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· One’s brain child某人的主意,某人想出来的

等同于one’s original idea

one’ brain children(复数)

The new ways of teaching which have been proved very effective are brain children of all teaching staff of our department.

· Have a chip on one’s shoulder叫阵,叫板

He is not popular among his peers. He always seems to have a chip on his shoulder.


Mary has got a chip on her shoulder about not having obtained the scholarship.

· Clam up守口如瓶,拒不开口,沉默不语

I don’t understand why my students are quite talkative during the break but all clam up in class.

· Take someone to the cleaners使人囊中如洗,一贫如洗

Don’t ask me to play in a crap game. I don’t want to be the cleaners.

· A cliff-hanger扣人心玄的事情

Peter was nearly involved in a car accident. He called it a narrow escape. But it was really a cliff-hanger.

· Fight the clock争分夺秒,与时间赛跑

等同于work against the clock

If you don’t fight the clock to enrich yourself, you will surely be lagged behind soon.

· A clotheshorse讲究穿戴的人

Princess Diana was a real clotheshorse. It’s hard to imagine how much she had spent on clothes.

· Get hot under the collar发怒,怒气冲天

Make someone hot under the collar

He got hot under the collar when he found his bicycle was missing.

· Come through with flying colors干得出色,大获成功

In the 13th Asian Games, Chinese athletic team came through with flying colors

· Show (reveal) one’s true colors原形毕露

He always appears polite and gentle. But his quarrelling with others in dirty words show his true colors.

· Come up with找出,想出,弄出,提出

等同于to produce, to find out, to think out

After three days’of deep thinking, the manager came up with an idea of promoting the products.

· Jump to conclusions仓促的下结论

Being a teacher, he shouldn’t jump to conclusions that a student is not worth teaching simply because he fails one exam.

· To one’s heart’s content心满意足

Today is weekend. The lights won’t go off after 11 o’clock. We can chat to our heart’s content.


Mary loves keeping diary. She can express her emotion to her heart’s content.

· Lose one’s cool沉不住气

反义词keep one’s cool

In the boxing match. Tyson lost his cool and bit Hollyfield’s ear.

· Play it cool不露声色,沉着沉着

Sampras, the No. 1 tennis player in the world, always plays it cool when he wins in the match.

· e rotten to the core坏透了、烂透了

Keep away from that boy. He is rotten to the core.

· cut corners偷工减料、走捷径、图省事、节约

Student is a serious thing. You can't expect to cut corners.

cut corners并不是都是贬义的,还表示节约,节省

With only $100 left, he had to cut corners to make his journey back home.

· have a crush on someone迷恋某人

Some teenager girls got a crush on the film star

· be a far cry from...与……相差甚远(一般用来表示水平或程度等的差距)

Though Dick has tried hard, it is still a far cry from what his father expects of him.

· chew the cud好好琢磨琢磨

I don't want to jump to conclusions, I have to chew the cud on it for a few days.

· be cut out for...天生适合于……(用于否定句中)

Thank you for your kindness, but I can't accept it. You know, I'm not cut for a manager.

· be completely in the dark一无所知,仍蒙在鼓里

keep someone in the dark; be left (kept) in the dark

He is a dictator. Though I'm the production manager, I'm completely in the dark as what to do next.

· a blind date初次约会

James was too excited to have dinner. He was having a blind date with Sue in the evening.

· have seen better days今非昔比

Look at our dean, He has seen better days.

· be out of one's depth力所不及

Liu was extremely happy to have been admitted to Oxford, but soon he found he was out of his depth in his major.

· give someone a dose of his own medicine以其人之道还制其人之身

On April Fool's Day, my classmates made me an April Fool. Next year, I'll give him a dose of his own medicine.

· a drop in the bucket沧海一粟

He has suffered a lot in his life. Losing his job this time was only a drop in the bucket.

· play dumb with someone装聋作哑

It's no use playing dumb with teachers. They know very well their students.

· be down in dumps垂头丧气,深情沮丧

I burned midnight oil yesterday. So I feel down in the dumps today.

· make the dust fly干得很起劲

Many volunteers are helping in the Olympic Games. They are making the dust fly without getting pay.

· go easy on...酌情处理……;节约使用……;对……手下留情

I hope the teacher will go easy on me. Otherwise, I'll have no chance to pass the exam.


Go easy on salt. We have to save some for the next meal.

· egg someone on to do something怂恿,鼓动某人干某事

Haven't you seen him through? He can help you nothing but egg you on to do illegal things.

· rub elbows with someone和某人没有很深的交情

I suppose Jack doesn't know me well. We have only rubbed elbows with other for several times.

· be at the end of one's tether山穷水尽

Mark feels worried because he can't write any new books. He is afraid that he is at the end of his tether.

· be at one's wits' end不知如何是好

My boy is such a mischief-maker. I am at my wits' end with him.

· be at loose ends心里没有着落

Many old people feel at loose ends after their retirement.

· make both ends meet收支平衡

The newly-wed couple found it hard to make both ends meet.

· be green with envy羡慕极了

Don't be green with envy. He deserves the prize, since he has spent a whole month on that paper.

· be of the essence绝对不可少,关键的

As for study, diligence is of the essence.

· a poor apology for...蹩脚货,名不副实

That travel agency was first-class, but it offered a poor apology for its service

· make an exhibition of oneself出洋相

如果表示总出洋相可以在exhibition一词前加上形容词, regular

She is a bit insane. She always makes a regular exhibition of herself by raging at almost everybody.

· keep an eye open密切注视

Keep an eye open for anyone who arouses your suspicion.

· see eye to eye with...与……意见一致

Though they are twins, they never see eye to eye with each other on anything.

· turn a blind eye on装做没看见

It is not right for teachers to turn a blind eye to those who cheat in the exam.

· feast one's eyes on...观赏……,一饱眼福

Yesterday we went to a fashion show. We really feasted our eyes on beauties and fancy clothes.

· have a face would stop a clock奇丑无比

The old lady has a face that would stop a clock, but she is the helpful person I have ever met.

· keep a straight face板着脸

He likes telling jokes . But always keeps a straight face when others are shaking their sides with laughter.

· be fed up with...对……烦透了

My roommates are too noisy. I'm really fed up with them.

· fall for...迷恋上……

She fell for that guy simply because he behaved quite differently from others.

· be riding for a fall自讨苦吃

That big country is riding for a fall if it keeps interfering with others'' internal affairs.

· play fast and loose with...敷衍了事,不正经干

You are not clever enough to play fast and loose with Susan.

· play favorites with...对……有偏心眼

The girl isn't on good terms with her parents. They play favorites with her little brother.

· put out a feeler to do...试探……的反应

The chairman put out a feeler to see people's reactions to his election speech.

· be dead on one's feet筋疲力尽

Our boss regards us his slaves. Everyday after work.

· land on one's feet安全摆脱困境

With the loan from the bank, the company landed on its feet.

· stand on one's feet自食其力

The Chinese Communist Party decided to stand on their feet during the Liberation Campaign. People in Naniwan were called upon to develop agriculture.

· sit on the fence保持中立

Who would you vote for? You bet I won't vote for him. He likes sitting on the fence on important issues.

· play the field不正经干

He is really a playboy, He likes to play the field and is never serious with any one girl.

· burn one's fingers因管闲事而吃苦头

I always tell you to keep away from the scoundrels. Now you are burning your fingers.

· have sticky fingers手不老实。有小偷小摸的陋习

The old lady fired the maid because she had sticky fingers.


· keep one's fingers crossed祈求成功

The leader was guilty of a serious dereliction of duty. He kept his fingers crossed that he could escape severe punishment.

· let something slip through one's fingers眼睁睁地看着……跑掉

The lawyer studied the case very carefully. He wouldn't let something slip through his fingers.

· build a fire under someone紧催促某人……

That guy is a slowpoke. I wish there were some way to build a fire under him.

put a fire under someone其主语一般是物,而不是人。

· have other fish to fry有其他要紧事要做

Come on out! Forget about the exam, You're got other fish to fry.

· a flash in the pan昙花一现

He used to be called a young entrepreneur. But soon he was forgotten by the public. He was a flash in the pan.

· a fly in the ointment美中不足

Mobile phone are quite popular nowadays, but they ring at any time in the public areas. It is a fly in the ointment.

· be nobody's fool不傻,精明

You can not easily take him in. It is obvious that he is nobody's fool.

· get off on the right foot开门红

Everything will go smoothly if we get off on the right foot.

· put one's foot down气愤的表示反对

The boy wanted to quit school, but his father put his foot down.

· play footsy with...与……调情

Jack was so in love with Mary that he couldn't help playing footsies with her while having dinner.

· marry a fortune嫁给了有钱人

Scariet was in trouble, She wanted to marry a fortune and save the whole family.

· as sly as a fox非常狡猾

Though the suspect was as sly as fox, he had to admit his crime in front of solid evidence.

· a dime a dozen数不清,很多

Pagers were rare ten years ago. Now they are a dime a dozen.

· make free with...擅自使用……

Do you think I'm a millionaire? Don't make free with my things.

· a freeloader白吃白喝,爱占便宜的人

In America, even if you live with your relative, you can't be a freeloader.

· a fair-weather friend不能同患难的朋友

I have searched my conscience, and believe I have never mistreated you. But you turned out to be a fair-weather friend.

· get stage fright怯场,紧张

The student got stage fright when he stepped into exam room.

· add fuel to the flames火上浇油

The boy refused to make an apology to his father, which added fuel to the flames.

· have a barrel of fun极开心

Children had a barrel of fun in the masquerade.

· make fun of someone取笑某人

It is not right to make fun of the disabled.

· play to the gallery哗众取宠,收买人心

He's so good at playing to the gallery, especially in front of girls.

· gang up on someone结伙对付某人

The local ruffians ganged up on the policemen.

· be in high gear全力进行,快速进行

Construction on the subway is in high gear.

· get away with...逃脱惩罚

Law offenders can't get away with their offence.

· have the gimmies患伸手病(来自小孩子give me的说法,后来就说成gimmies)

Don't you know you have grown up? How shameful of you7 to have the gimmes.

· give as good as one gets不服输,不示弱

He is a small boy, but he gives as good as he gets in chess match.

· fit like a glove恰倒好处,非常适合

A: How do you like the frame? B: It fits like a glove. It well matches with the room decoration.

· handle...with kid gloves小心,谨慎对待……

The antique is very precious. You'd better handle it with kid gloves.

· get someone's goat使人恼怒,惹人生气

The way he boasted that he was an authority got my goat.

· for good永远地

I hope war will disappear for good in the world.

· be too good to be true好的令人难以置信

Yesterday Joe received a letter saying that the company decides to offer her a job with a salary which was too good to be true.

· have the goods on someone有某人犯罪的证据

Fred was sure that he would win the case. He had the goods on the culprit.

· goof off偷懒耍滑

Williams has been goofing off at school and his report card shows it.

· through the grapevine道听途说,小道消息

I hear through the grapevine that Jim has been dismissed from his post.

· The grass is always greener on the other hill这山望着那山高

He wrote to his brother, persuading him to keep his mind on his work and not to think the grass is always greener on the other hill.

· use elbow grease费很大的劲头

How long haven't you cleaned your kitchen? It'll use elbow grease to get it shine again.


You have to use a bit of elbow-grease to clean all windows.

· get the green light得到批准

We're got the green light from our dean that we can have some changes on teaching curriculum.

give the green light给予批准,准许某人干……

The employees can have a day off. The director has given them the green light.

· grin and bear it一笑忍之,相当于汉语的“逆来顺受”

You have had enough insults from your boss. How can you grin and bear it?

· catch someone off guard乘虚而入

Within three days, the run-away was exhausted. He fell asleep in a basement. The police caught him off guard.

· hate somebody's guts恨之入骨

He dismissed my for no reason at all. I hate his guts.

· kick the habit戒除恶习

You are doomed to be broke one day if you don't kick the drug habit.

· get in somebody's hair苦恼某人

Every day, salesmen come to my door. I can't concentrate on studied. They do get in my hair.

· let one's hair down无拘无束

Our supervisor is a stone-faced young lady. In front of her, you can't let your hair down and do what you desire.

· without turning a hair保持沉着的态度,不动声色

The president talked about the international situation without turning a hair.

· a half-wit弱智者

Do you think it is a good idea to send a half-wit to a normal school?

· bite the hand that feeds one恩将仇报

Sorry, I can tell you nothing about my master. Otherwise, I will be biting the hand that feeds me.

· gain the upper hand占上风

In strength, their team gain the upper hand; but in skill, we can have a chip on our shoulder.

· have someone eating out of one's hand使人完全服从某人的摆布

Money can let him eating out of your hand.

· live from hand to mouth勉强糊口

With three children to support, the window had to live from hand to mouth.

· overplay one's hand做的过火了,做得过头了

We may have overplayed our hand by urging him to give us an early reply.

· tip one's hand无意中亮底

Our rival was drunk. He tipped his hand by murmuring that his company will cut down the price of its products.

· try one's hand at...试着干……

Michael Jordan is a great basketball player, and he has ever tried his hand at baseball.

· fly off the handle大发雷霆

It's no use flying off the handle. You can reason with us.

· play into someone's hand正中某人下怀

Think it over. If we reduce the price, I'm sure we're playing into his hand.

· wash one's hands off something洗手不干某事

Mr. Butcher, with a long family history of gambling, decided to wash his hand off gambling.

· get the hang of something掌握某事的窍门

I've got the hang of the new computer system pretty soon.

· go haywire乱了套

The computer opposes me. Everything goes haywire when I use it.

· bury one's head in the sand逃避现实

The environmental pollution is getting worse and worse. We can't bury our head in the sand, or the nature will punish us.

· make neither head nor tail of...对……摸不着头脑

Tim scribbled a note to me during the lecture. But I couldn't make head or tail of it.

· have one's head in the clouds满脑子幻想

I know you have been dreaming of becoming a professor. But you shouldn't have you head in the clouds all the time. Settle down and do something.

· turn one's head使某人满意

Sara is a successful woman, but she never allows her achievements to turn her head.


· have one's heart set on...一心想要……

Once he had his heart set on something, he'll accept no turning-back.

· one's heart in one's mouth吓得要命

My heart was in my mouth when I heart someone tapping on my window one raining night.

have one's heart in one's mouth; with one's heart in one's mouth

· not have the heart to do something不忍心去做

How can you have the heart to kill my pet?

· take something to heart往心里去/认真接受意见等

Tom decided to take his father's words to heart and wash his hands off smoking.

· be in the seventh heaven高心极了

Mary was in seventh heaven when she finally came to Paris, the center of fashion.

· move heaven and earth想尽一切办法

Believe me. I promise to move heaven and earth to help you.

· cool one's heels等的双脚发凉,久等

Let's meet at the gallery at 7 o'clock. Come at 7 sharp. Don't make me cool my heels.

· take to one's heels逃走

The naughty boy took to his heels after he should 'trick-or-treat'.

· shoot from the hip信口开河

Don't take Jay's words to heart. He shouldn't have shot from the hip.

· by hook or by crook千方百计得,不择手段得

He rose to that position by hook or by crook.

· blow hot and cold出尔反尔,喜怒无常

Do you think he'll support you? He is the type who blows hot and cold.

· make it hot for...刁难某人

Out section manager is a woman. Our general manager always looks down upon her and makes everything hot for her.

· have the lots for someone迷恋某人

You have to stop her. She has the lots for a married man.

· bring down the house博得满堂喝彩

The first-prize winner of the speech contest has brought down the house for several times.

· be over the hump已度过难关

The Asian financial crises has almost paralyzed Asian economy. But we are over the hump now.

· have a hunch that...预感到……

I have a hunch that the bear market will be over soon.

· be hunky-dory挺不错的

A: How do you like the food here? B: Hunky-dory.

· skate on thin ice如履薄冰,冒风险

We are skating on thin ice if we continue killing wild animals.

· toy with the idea of...心里盘算要……

She's toying within the idea of marring a foreigner.

· no ifs, ands and buts不要找任何的理由和借口

A: You know I could have done it well, but... B: No ifs, ands and buts. Tell me if you want to save your job.

· give someone an inch and he'll take a mile得寸进尺

Give my roommate an inch and he'll take a mile. Last time, I offered him some candies. Today, he asked for an ice-cream.

· have many irons in the fire同时有很多要紧的事要做

Although he was out of job, he still wrote to his parents saying he had many irons in the fire.

· be in a jam陷入困境

get in a jam

You've got to help me. I'm in a jam. May car refused to work on my way to office.

· jaywalk横穿马路

It is dangerous to jaywalk.

· in a jiffy不大一会儿

=in a moment, right away. at once

I'll be with you in a jiffy.

· have ( a case of ) the jitters忐忑不安

The new teacher had a case of jitters when he first stood in front of the class.

· keep up with the Joneses与别人比阔,与别人攀比

He likes keeping up with the Joneses.

· get a kick out of doing something从……得到很大的乐趣

He gets a kick put of racing.

· take kindly to something/someone愿意接受

Don't you feel that people in the lab don't take kindly to a nosy reporter?

· kill someone with kindness好得让人受不了

The old lady almost killed me with kindness when I lived at her home.

· parade one's knowledge买弄知识

He is a well-learned man, bit he never parades his knowledge.

· be at large逍遥法外(也可以形容动物不受约束)

The murderer was still at large. The victim's parents was determined to find enough evidence to sue him to court.

· rest on one's laurels故步自封,吃老本

You are sure to be lagged behind if you rest on your laurels.

· turn over a new leaf洗心革面

The juvenile delinquent promised that he would turn over a new leaf if he could be given lenient punishment.

· have a hollow leg(喝酒)海量

The best man has a hollow leg. He drinks a lot instead of the bridegroom.

· pull someone's leg开某人的玩笑

Never ever pull his leg. He is a man without a sense of humor. He takes everything seriously.

· keep someone at arm's length与某人保持距离

My boss is my uncle. In order to avoid unnecessary misunderstanding, I'd better keep him at arm's length in company.

· let someone down使某人失望

Joe really let me down by having broken his promises for several times.

· can't for the life of one怎么……也不行

I thought I could recite my speech backwards, but when I stood in front of the audience, I couldn't for the life of me remember what to say.

· air one's linen in public家丑外扬

The wife was often beaten by her husband, but she never told others. She didn't want to air her linen in public.

· keep a stiff upper lip意志坚定,坚强不屈

One failure means nothing. You've got to keep a stiff upper lip.

· be at loggerheads with...互不相让

The two parties were at loggerheads with each other over the new tax policy.

· a born loser一事无成者

Nobody is a born loser. All you need is perseverance.

· louse up something把某事搞得一团糟

He let the cat out of the bag, which loused up the whole deal.

· not do...for love or money死也不会……

Stop trying. I won't betray my friend for love or money.

· feel a lump in one's throat心里感到很难受

I felt a lump in my throat on hearing her story of fighting with the deadly disease.

· make do with...用……凑合

We are too tired to cook. We can make do with two bags of instant noodles.

· the man in the street普通的人,老百姓

The interview with the man in the street shows that 90% of them are satisfied with the TV fro grams.

· be one's own man不受他人支配,自己管自己

Our monitor is not easy to cope with. He is much his own man.

· steal a march on someone抢在他人前面,声东击西

We stole a march on our rivals by reducing 5% of our price and got back our market.

meat and drink精神寄托

To some old people, raising pets is their meat and drink.

· be at the mercy of受……支配

When you get this kind of disease, your life is at the mercy of God.

· blow someone's mind把某人搞得晕晕乎乎

Readers had rather high opinion of his new book, which blew his mind.

· have a good mind to do something很想去干某事

When I see young and robust men elbow their way onto the bus, I have a good mind to smack them.

· have a one-track mind死脑筋,一根筋

Mark has a one-track mind. All he cares is earning money.

· mind one's own affairs少管闲事

You are nothing but an old gossip! Can't you only mind your own affair?

· weigh on someone's mind心事重重

The failure of signing the contract has been weighing on his mind. He couldn't sleep at night.

· be of two minds拿不定主意

Jill was of two minds as whether to spend the money on books or on clothes.

· have money to burn有花不完的钱

The new rich has money to burn.

· once in a blue moon千载难逢

Our boss is a miser. He gives us a treat only once in a blue moon.


· be down in the mouth垂头丧气

Sandra was down in the mouth because she didn't make the appointment.

· keep mum about something对某事保持沉默

The high official kept mum about his scandal.

· face the music承担责任,甘受责备

You are caught stealing. You have to face the music.

· hit the nail on the head说到点子上

I like to discuss with Helen. She always hits the nail on the head.

· call someone names辱骂某人

The neighbors keep dropping litter in front of her door. She couldn't bear it any more and call them names.

· be neck and neck不分上下

The two workshops are neck and neck in monthly output.

· get up the nerve to...鼓起勇气去……

The patient got up the nerve to ask the doctor how long he could live in the world.

· get on someone's nerves使某人心烦

There is an airport in the vicinity. The noise gets on my nerves.

· a nobody无名小辈

He is somebody in the small town, but he is a nobody in the capital city.

· lead someone around by the nose牵着别人的鼻子走

All nations should exercise their own judgment. They shouldn't be led around by some big countries.

· poke one's nose into something乱打听别人的私事

I hate those journalists who poke their nose into people's private life.

· be a notch above someone略胜一筹

In study, we are neck and neck; but in sports, he is a notch above me.

· sit up and take notice of something/someone对……刮目相看

He used to know nothing about chemistry. Now he talks like a chemist, I have to sit up and take notice of him...

· have someone's number知道某人的底细

Don't waste your tongues with him. I've got his number. What he is trying to do now is to set a trap and let us jump into it.

· be quick to take offense特别爱生气

I don't think he is a quality leader. He is too quick to take offense.

· have one too many喝多了

The bridegroom had one too many at the wedding ceremony and was shooting cats.

· be on the outs with someone与……失和

For some reason, the two countries have been on outs for a long time.

· a pain in the neck使人讨厌的事

Working for VIPs was an honor for me, but now it has become a pain in the neck. I don't know how to balance the relationships.

· grease someone's palm贿赂,给某人好处

It is reported that Sydney has greased the palms of someone members of IOC for the right to hold 2000 Olympic Games.

· get peanuts微不足道的钱

He gets paid peanuts although he often works extra hours.

· cast pearls before swine对牛弹琴,明珠暗投

My boss is an idiot. Working for him is just like casting pearls before swine.

· feel like a square peg in a round hole感到格格不入,不适合

After graduation, I remained as a teacher in college. Whenever our former classmates have a get-together, I always feel like a square peg in a round hole. All they talk about are ways to make money, expensive hotels, luxurious entertainment, things I have no experiences to share with them.

· pinch pennies节俭

Though he is a tycoon, he pinches pennies in daily life.

· rob Peter to pay Paul拆东墙,补西墙

You borrow money from me to pay the bank loan. It is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

· be no picnic不是件轻松的事

To learn one foreign language is possible. But to be a bilingual is no picnic.

· sugar the pill给人一点甜头安慰一下

Sonia didn't want to work extra hours quite often, but the manager sugared the pill by promising her a trip abroad at the end of the year.

· be on pins and needles坐立不安

He is a very modest man. When others praise him, he feel on pins and needles.

· put that in your pipe and smoke it你好好考虑考虑吧


Don't take it out on me. It is he who makes you lose so much money. Put it in your pipe and smoke it!

· play up to someone拍某人的马屁

The young actress played up to the director, hoping to get a role in the TV series.

· take the plunge踌躇一段时间后断然决定去干……

The commander finally took the plunge and launched the final attack.

· play possum装糊涂,装傻

He often quarrels with his wife. When he comes to me for advice, I can do nothing but play possum.

· drop something like a hot potato赶紧抛弃,放弃

He has been dreaming of owning his own car. But when he knew a car would cost ten years' of his salary, he drop the idea like a hot potato.

· sing someone's praises颂扬某人

The lawyer is quite successful. His clients sing his praises to others.

· be past praying for不可救药

When I sent my cat to the vet, he said that it was past praying for.

· be sitting pretty享受安乐生活

Our company survived the economic crisis and now we are sitting pretty.

· pocket one's pride放下架子

The laid-off workers from the state-owned enterprises should pocket their pride and seek for re-employment.

· put someone up to...唆使某人去……

How dare you to have lodged a complaint against me with the director? Who put you up to it?

· pop the question求婚

Can you tell me how you popped the question to your wife? Maybe I can learn something from you.

· call it quits作罢

Mary and Tom had been in love for several years. But these days, they began to realize that they had very little in common. They decided to call it quits.

· chew the rag闲聊

chew the rag也有争持的意思

If they have time, these wives are always sitting together and chewing the rag.

· fly into a rage大发雷霆

The old father flew into a rage when his daughter didn't obey his will.

· break ranks with someone与……分道扬镳

反义词为:close ranks with someone

People within one party gradually had conflicts on some political issues. Some of them decided to break ranks with others and set up a new party.

· smell a rat察觉可疑

He is a well-known miser. I smell a rat when he invites me to his home for dinner. I was wondering if he is asking favors of me.

· beat a hasty retreat急忙撤退

The hoodlum was about to dully the lady when he saw a patrolman coming towards them. He beat a hasty retreat.

· take someone for a ride欺骗某人,玩弄某人的感情

They were taking us for a ride. I turned out that the tickets they sold us with low price were invalid.

· rip someone off敲某人竹杠

The local villain rips us off by collecting 100 yuan for protection charge every month.

· be on the rocks陷入困境,完蛋

The foam economy was struck by the Asian financial crisis. Japan's economy was on the rocks.

· rub it in哪壶不开提哪壶

Would you please talk in Chinese? You know I'm a pretty bad English speaker. You don't have to rub it in.

· give someone the runaround敷衍搪塞

My washing machine broke down, When I went to the repair shop, they gave me the runaround.

· be in a rut千篇一律,一筹莫展

His life is in a rut. Office, library, and home are the three places he goes everyday. It is time he had a holiday for a change.

· play it safe小心谨慎

Our car works very well. But to play it safe, we will bring a spare tire.

· safe and sound安全无事

He came back from the battlefield safe and sound.

· the salt of the earth好心肠的人,没有坏心眼的人

The taxi driver who saved the drowning boy from the river is the salt of the earth.

· take something with a grain of salt听话打折扣,不能轻信

He is a braggart. Take his words with a grain of salt.

· tip the scales扭转局势

In the boxing ring, the two sides were evenly matched. But the short break seemed to tip the scales in favor of the boxer in red.

· throw someone off the scent转移某人的视线

The murder wrote a last letter for the victim and left it in the site, hoping to throw the police off the scent.

· start from scratch从零开始,白手起家

There are so many spelling mistakes. I have to write it again from scratch.

· talk sense into someone开导某人

I've tired to talk sense into him, but he still chose to work in the countryside.

· an open sesame法宝,秘诀,关键

Having connections with VIPs is not an open sesame to success.

· the lion's share最大的一份,绝大多数

He designed the most important part of the machine. So he deserves the lion's share of the award.


· the black sheep of the family有辱门楣的人

He lost everything in gabling and was called the black sheep of the family by this relatives.

· take a shine to someone一见就中意

She is an animal-lover. She takes a shine to whatever animal she meets.

· give someone the shirt off one's back为某人慷慨解囊,毫不吝啬的接济某人

He works in the charity organization and strongly believes that he who gives others the shirt off his back will be blessed by the God.

· lose one's shirt输得精光

The man didn't leave Las Vegas until he lost his shirt.

· know where the shoe pinches知道问题所在

A wise leader should be one who knows where the shoe pinches and knows what to do with it.

· a shot in the dark瞎猜

I didn't know which button was for TV. I pushed one, and TV was turned on. It was mere a shot in the dark.

· give someone the cold shoulder冷待某人

I hate going to expensive hotels. The receptionist always gives me the cold shoulder when she sees my plain clothes.

· steal the show喧宾夺主

Cinderalla stole the show in the Prince's party.

· side with someone与某人站在一起,支撑某人

I'm your friend, but I'm afraid I won't side with you on that issue.

· have a memory like a sieve记性太差

I think a computer notebook will be of great help for me, since I've got a memory like a sieve.

· out of clear blue sky意料不到

Yesterday, out of a clear blue sky, My landlady gave me a one-day notice, asking me to move out.

· .make a slip of the tongue说走嘴

The class burst into laughter when the teacher made a slip of the tongue. He meant to say "Good morning" to students, but he said "Good afternoon".

· be on the sly办事狡猾

The boy was smoking in the corner when his father caught him on the sly.

· for a song以级低的价钱,低价地

I got the rare edition of the book for a song in the flea market.

· sound someone out试探某人的意见

Have you sounded the principal out on postponing the final examination?

· call a spade a spade有什么就说什么

We are good friends. Call a spade a spade. Don't tell me in a round-about way.

· spick and span干干净净

The housewife always keeps her kitchen spick and span.

· go for a spin出去兜风

The city dwellers like going for a spin to the country on weekends.

· spine-chilling令人毛骨悚然

He likes horrible films. Those spine-chilling pictures to us are pleasant to his eyes.

· The spirit is willing; but the flesh is weak.心有余而力不足

A: How many times have you tried quitting smoking? B: It's not that the spirit is not willing, but that the flesh is weak.

· win one's spurs受到奖赏

She won her spurs as a popular writer immediately after her first book became a best-seller.

· put the squeeze on someone对某人施加压力

The new situation is putting the squeeze on all companies engaged in this business.

· stand up to someone与某人大胆对抗

The soldier stood up to the officer and was place in confinement.

· thank one's lucky stars感到万幸

I should thank your lucky stars that you missed the plane which crashed into the sea.

· get off to a flying start来了开门红

Our kindergarten got off to a flying start by having 100 children to sign up in the first month.

· go steady with someone 与异性稳步发展关系

Mary and Tim got married after going steady with each other for two years.

· watch one's step当心

You're better watch your step when you go out with John. He is a trouble-maker.

· a stick-in the-mud老古董

He is a stick=in-the-mud and will never invest his money in stock.

· be a stickler吹毛皮的人

I don't like to go to her home. She is a stickler for neatness.

· turn someone's stomach令人作呕

Her sweet voice turned my stomach.

· fall between two stools鸡飞蛋打

Tying to straddle two boats, he took up two jobs with two salaries. At last, unable to do either well.

· weather the storm度过难关

The wooden house weathered the storm.

· harp on the same old string老调重弹

He really gets on my nerves. He always harps on the same old string by promising us a paid holiday., but he never keeps it.

· have someone dancing on a string任意摆布某人

Betty is a housewife and no income. Her husband has her dancing on a string.

· pull strings for someone为某人走后门,幕后操作

In the material world, money pulls the strings.

· be stuck on someone迷恋上某人

Tom was stuck on the girl at the first meeting although it was a blind date.

· to sweet-talk someone into (out of ) doing...甜言蜜语地让某人做(不做)……

The accountant sweet-talked the boss out of checking her account.

· be in full swing达到高潮,全面展开

China has opened its door to the outside world for twenty years. Reforms in every walks of life are in full swing.

· be asleep at the switch玩忽职守

The goal-keeper was asleep at the switch and let the rival team goal at the last minute.

· suit...to a T对……再适合不过了

This new job suits me to a T.

· turn the tables扭转局势

Don't worry, your husband knows how to turn the tables and crack down on those guys.

· drink someone under the table把某人灌醉

He has a hollow leg. He can drink all of us here under the table.

· keep tabs on something/someone掌握情况,密切关注

He has subscribed ten newspapers in order to keep tabs on the new developments in market management.

· keep someone down a notch挫某人的傲气

The monitor likes to order us around. He needs to be kept down a notch.


· Take it out on someone拿别人出气

The boy was reprimanded by his father. He took it out on his ball.

· An old wives’ tale无稽之谈

Do you think the existence of life on Mars is an old wives’tale?

· Be the talk of the town满城风雨

The death of the Princess Diana has been the talk of the town.

· Leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth给人留下坏印象

Once I went to a famous university. But the untidy campus left a bad taste in my mouth.

· Crocodile tears假惺惺的眼泪

Some of my business partners came to comfort me when I lost almost everything in one bad deal.

· Lose one’s temper发脾气

You don’t have to lose your temper about trifle things.

· Through thick and thin有甘也有苦

The couple have gone through thick and thin for many years.

· Have another think coming大错特错

If you think I’m easily taken in, you are having another think coming.

· Thin-skinned神经过敏

She is so thin-skinned that, whenever we talk about something in a low voice, she will think we are referring to her.

· Jump down someone’s throat严厉训斥某人

The boy saved a girl from the river and went back home. Seeing him all through, his mother jumped down his throat.

· Stick out like a sore thumb特别扎眼

I hate my big nose. It sticks out like a sore thumb.

· Be all thumbs笨手笨脚

I just learned to type. I was all thumbs.

· Turn thumbs down on…不赞成……,反对……

The boss turned thumbs down on the new on promotion scheme.

· Twiddle one’s thumbs无所事事

Why do we have to work overtime while people in PR department are twiddling their thumbs?

· Beat someone’s time with someone勾引别人的女朋友

He is strange. He doesn't go steady with any girl, but enjoys beating others’ time with their girlfriend.


· On the tip of someone’s tongue就早嘴边上

A man in black came to ask about my son’s whereabouts. My words were on the tip of someone’s tongue when I found the man had a gun inside his pocket.

· Hold one’s tongue保持沉默

I can no longer hold my tongue when I see so many wild animals have become extinct.

· Keep a civil tongue in one’s head说话有礼貌

A child is taught to keep a civil tongue in his head when he is small.

· Blow one’s top勃然大怒

My neighbor blew his top when he saw his hedges were cut by someone.

· Carry a torch for someone单方想念某人

Though Jane has been engaged with Mr. Hall, Jimmy still carries a torch for her.

· Have the Midas touch有生财的运气,手气好

You’d better find Rogers as you stock broker. He has the Midas touch.

· Be touch and go万分危险

The patient is out of danger now, but it was touch and go for a while.

· Throw in the towel认输

She tried to save their marriage by talking her husband out of taking drugs. But she finally threw in the towel.

· Have the inside track for something处于有利的地位

I’m an Art student. I don’t have the inside track for applying for that job.

· Keep track of someone/something掌握……的情况

He is keeping track of all my old friends.

· Be on a gravy train走运,有赚钱的机会

You will be on a gravy train if you can get that antique. It is worth more money than it is offered.

· Have a mind like a steel trap头脑特别快

He has a mind like a steel trap. He can remember a new word even if he meets it once.

· Bark up the wrong tree弄错目标

The detective has been following the man for a week. But it turns out that he has barked up the wrong tree.

· Be too quick on the trigger操之过急,行动过于仓促

You are always too quick on the trigger. You jump into his throat before he can explain.

· Ask for trouble自找麻烦

Are you asking for trouble by challenging the emphasis on qualities education. You are asking for trouble if you cheat in the exam.


· blow one’s own trumpet自吹自擂

If you want to sell more, you should learn to blow your own trumpet.

· Not give someone a tumble不理睬某人

Though Jackson has asked May to marry him for many times, she just won’t give him a tumble.

· Talk turkey打开天窗说亮话

Let’s talk turkey, see if you agree. I’ll get 55%of the share, and you’ll get the rest.

· Not say uncle拒不认错,不服输

I don’t know when he has ever said uncle to anyone.

· Take a dim view of…对……抱悲观态度;不赞同

Teachers in middle schools usually take a dim view of students’ talking up too many after-class activities.

· Walk all over someone任意欺负某人

My neighbor walked all over me. He left rubbish in my door, stamped on my grass and wax my windows. I decided to fight back.

· Drive someone to the wall把某人逼得走投无路

He hates learning foreign languages. But the challenging situation drives him to the wall. He decides to go to an evening class.

· Drive someone up the wall把某人搞得心烦意乱

Would you please turn down that Rap music? It has driven me up the wall.

· Be in hot water陷入困境

I’m sorry I can’t lend you money. I myself am in hot water.

· Like water off a duck’s back满不在乎,不起作用

I can do nothing about him. Criticism rolls off like water off a duck’s back. It goes into his one ear and comes out of the other.

· Meet one’s Waterloo惨败

The famous lawyer met his Waterloo at the hands of a fledgling lawyer.

· Fish in troubled waters浑水摸鱼

Don’t tell him that we need that material badly, He is good at fishing in troubled waters and will take advantage of it.

· Make waves兴风作浪

Everything went smoothly in her wedding ceremony, when her formal boyfriend came to make waves by drinking the bridegroom under the table.

· Have a way with something/someone有应付……的办法

She will make a good teacher. She seems to have a way with even the most disobedient boy.

· Pave the way for…为……铺平道路

Donation from every walks of life has paved the way for the Hope Project to proceed.

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