|作者：刘永科 文章来源：本站原创 点击数： 更新时间：2013-6-1||
English Idioms Related To Animals
How many idioms are there in English that are drawn from animal life?
For example, when we do two things at one and the same time we “kill two birds with one stone”, or if we are greedy and foolish, we “kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.” A bad-tempered person is “like a bear with a sore head”, an awkward, heavy-footed person is “like a bull in a china shop”, and a person with a bad character is “the black sheep” in a group.
But let’s leave the foolish person or the bad person, and consider the wise man. A wise man never “counts his chickens before they are hatched” or “buys a pig in a poke”—he always examines carefully what he is buying before he pays his money. He will always, of course, do things in the right order and not try to “put the cart before the horse.” He will leave alone things that might cause trouble, as he would say “let sleeping dogs lie”, nor will he waste good things on people who can’t appreciate them; he does not believe in “casting pearls before swine”. There are some people who always take safety measures. When it is too late and “lock the stable door after the horse is stolen”, that, he considers, is as foolish as “putting the cart before the horse”. When bold decisive measures are necessary he takes them and “takes the bull by the horns”. And when an ill-tempered, sharp-tongued friend says something unpleasant, he doesn’t worry too much; he knows “a barking dog does not bite.” If he knows a secret, he keeps it; he is not one to “let the cat out of the bag”. He knows, too, that there are things you can’t force people to do. As he would say, “you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make it drink”. And he would, of course, be too generous-hearted to “look a gift horse in the mouth.” He’s a cheerful, hard-working fellow, and “works like a horse.” He isn’t proud, “riding the high horse”, and is always willing to help others in difficulty, “putting his shoulder to the wheel” and never giving “a white elephant” to them. He pities the poor fellow who has “never had a dog’s chance” and “leads a dog’s life”, perhaps because misfortune has always “dogged his footsteps”.
Here is a new married couple. They get on very well together; they don’t lead a “cat and dog life”. She, of course, never makes “catty remarks”, nor will she fuss “like a cat on hot bricks” if he goes out when it is “raining cats and dogs”. She doesn’t worry too much; she knows that “care killed a cat”. She knows the husband is careful what company he keeps. “Birds of a feather flock together,” he often says to her. Otherwise, he’d feel “like a fish out of water”.
Now the author had better stop or you will think I am “riding my horse to death”.(www.yygrammar.com)
Match the Following Chinese Idioms with the English Versions
1. 本末倒置 A. look a gift horse in the mouth
2. 亡羊补牢 B. birds of a feather flock together
3. 物以类聚 C. let sleeping dogs lie
4. 一举两得 D. put the cart before the horse
5. 吹毛求疵 E. kill two birds with one stone
6. 趾高气扬 F. ride the high horse
7. 莫惹是非 G. lock the stable door after the horse is stolen
8. 害群之马 H. the black horse
Key: 1. D 2. G 3. B 4. E 5. A 6. F 7. C 8. H
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