Proverbs and Idiomatic Expressions

Proverbs and
Lecture 13
Make a long story short
 Anyway
to cut a long story short, we left
at midnight and James left somewhat
Be at loose ends
 If
you find yourself at a loose end over the
weekend, you could always clean out the
garden shed.
Go under the knife
 To
have a medical operation
 More and more women are choosing to
go under the knife just to improve their
Go (all) round the houses
 To
waste time saying a lot of things that
are not important before you get to the
subject you want to talk about
 There’s no need to go all round the
houses, just tell me straight out what’s
Eat like a horse
She eats like a horse, so I don’t know how
she manages to stay so thin.
Bring sth home to sb
 Make
someone understand sth much
more clearly than they did before,
especially sth unpleasant
 These photographs finally brought home
to us the terrible realities.
 It took an international crisis to bring it
home to British politicians that they
desperately needed allies in Europe.
Put in a good word for sb
 I’m
applying for a job in your office. Could
you put in a good word for me with your
A strong stomach
 The
ability to watch very unpleasant
things without getting upset or feeling ill
 Some of the war scenes are fairly horrific –
you need to have a strong stomach to
watch them.
Take the long view
 If
you take the long view, of course, you
can regard staff training as an investment
for the company.
Make sb’s toes curl
 Feel
extremely embarrassed and
ashamed for someone else
 The very thought of what she said makes
my toes curl.
 She gave a toe-curling performance on
the guitar.
Go up in smoke
 (A
plan or some work) be spoiled or waste
 Then his business went bankrupt and 20
years of hard work went up in smoke.
Roll your sleeves up
 To
prepare for hard work
 Our local team need to roll their sleeves
up and put a bit more effort into their
Sell sb/sth short
 To
not value sb or sth as much as they
deserve to be valued
 I’m fed up with people selling this country
 Who’d employ me at my age?
 Don’t sell yourself short. You’re intelligent
and you’ve got loads of experience.
Be nothing to shout about
 Not
be especially good or exciting
 The pay rise wasn’t much to shout about,
but I suppose it’s better than nothing.
 Absence
makes the heart grow fonder. 久
 All good things must come to an end. 好
 All things are difficult before they are easy.
 All your swans are geese. 希望成为泡影。
 The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. 苹
beggar’s purse is bottomless. 乞丐的口袋
 Care kills a cat. 忧虑伤身。
 Better be the head of an ass than the tail
of a horse. 宁为鸡口,无为牛后。
 A close mouth catches no flies. 口紧不招祸。
 Don’t try to run before you can walk.
 Enough is enough. 适可而止。