Expressions about water are almost as common as water itself. But many of the expressions using water have unpleasant meanings.
The expression "to be in hot water" is one of them. It is a very old expression. "Hot water" was used five-hundred years ago to mean being in trouble. One story says it got that meaning from the custom of throwing extremely hot water down on enemies attacking a castle.
"to be in hot water"（遇到麻烦；陷入困境）就是其中之一。早在500年前，"Hot water"就用于表示遇到麻烦。有一种说法称，这种表达起源于这样一个传统：当敌人袭击一座城堡时，城堡中的人就会将滚烫的开水泼向敌人。
That no longer happens. But we still get in "hot water." When we are in "hot water," we are in trouble. It can be any kind of trouble -- serious or not so serious. A person who breaks a law can be in hot water with the police. A young boy can be in hot water with his mother, if he walks in the house with dirty shoes.
那种情况已不再发生。但我们仍会遇到麻烦。当说我们in hot water,也就是说我们遇到麻烦。它可以表示任何严重或不严重的麻烦。触犯了法律人就会惹上警察。孩子穿着脏鞋在屋里乱走就会惹上他妈。
Being in "deep water" is almost the same as being in hot water. When you are in deep water, you are in a difficult position. Imagine a person who cannot swim being thrown in water over his head.
"in deep water"和"in hot water"含义几乎一样。当说你in deep water，也就是说你陷入困境中。想象一下，一个不会游泳的人被扔到深过头顶的水中会是怎么样？
You are in deep water when you are facing a problem that you do not have the ability to solve. You can be in deep water, for example, if you invest in stocks without knowing anything about the stock market.
当你面对自己无力解决的问题时，你就是in deep water。比如，如果你对股市一无所知时投资股票，你就会in deep water。
"To keep your head above water" is a colorful expression that means staying out of debt. A company seeks to keep its head above water during economic hard times. A man who loses his job tries to keep his head above water until he finds a new job.
"To keep your head above water"是一种饶有趣味的表达，意思是避免负债。公司在经济困难时期寻求避免负债。失业男子在找到新工作前会避免负债。
"Water over the dam" is another expression about a past event. It is something that is finished. It cannot be changed. The expression comes from the idea that water that has flowed over a dam cannot be brought back again.
Water over the dam（覆水难收）是另一个和过去发生的事有关的表达。它指已发生，无法改变的事情。这个表达源自这样一个观点：从大坝溢出的水再也无法回流。
When a friend is troubled by a mistake she has made, you might tell her to forget about it. You say it is water over the dam.
Another common expression, "to hold water," is about the strength or weakness of an idea or opinion that you may be arguing about. It probably comes from a way of testing the condition of a container. If it can hold water, it is strong and has no holes in it.
另一个常用表达to hold water是关于你可能争论的一个想法或意见是否站得住脚。它可能源自测试容器状态的方法。如果这个容器装上水后不漏，那这个容器就没有漏洞。
If your argument can hold water, it is strong and does not have any holes. If it does not hold water, then it is weak and not worth debating.
"Throwing cold water" also is an expression that deals with ideas or proposals. It means to not like an idea. For example, you want to buy a new car because the old one has some problems. But your wife "throws cold water" on the idea because she says a new car costs too much.
"Throwing cold water"（泼冷水）是一个和想法或建议有关的表达。意思是不喜欢某个想法。例如，你想买辆新车，因为旧车有一些毛病。但你的妻子对你这个想法泼冷水，因为她说，新车太贵了。(51VOA.COM对本文翻译保留全部权利，未经授权请勿转载，违者必究！)