Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. We received a list of expressions about food from Elenir Scardueli, a listener from Brazil.
Today we will talk about some good things to eat. If something is new and improved, we say it is the best thing since sliced bread. In the past, bread was only sold in loaves in baked goods stores. Today, American supermarkets sell sliced bread in plastic bags. Many people thought this was easier because you did not have to cut the bread yourself. The person who makes the most money in a family is called the breadwinner.
今天，我们将讲述一些好吃的东西。如果某件东西是新出或改进的，我们常说它是the best thing since sliced bread（有史以来最好的东西）。在过去，面包烘烤店只卖成块的面包。如今美国超市出售袋装的切面面包，很多人认为这方便了很多，因为不用自己再去切面包（这就是the best thing since sliced bread这种说法的来源）。家庭中赚钱最多的那位被称为breadwinner（家庭经济支柱，赚钱养家者）。
Bread and butter issues are those that are most important to Americans and affect them directly – like jobs and health care.
Bread and butter issues（民生问题）指的是那些对美国人最重要，影响最直接的事情--例如就业和医保。
Half a loaf is better than none means that getting part of what you want is better than getting nothing at all. If you know which side your bread is buttered on, then you know what your best interests are and will act to protect them.
Half a loaf is better than none（聊胜于无）意思是得到部分你想要的东西总比什么都得不到好。如果说you know which side your bread is buttered on，意思是说你知道什么才是你最大的利益，并将尽力保护它。
Many Americans like their bread toasted. Toast is cooked with dry heat until it starts to turn brown. But you are in big trouble if someone tells you you're toast.
许多美国人喜欢吃烤好的面包。烤就是加热直到其即将变黄。但如果有人告诉你 you're toast，意思是你有大麻烦了。
If you say something is a piece of cake, it means something is really easy, like a test you take in school. Cakes are often covered with a sweet topping, called icing. Icing on the cake means something good that happens in addition to another good thing. Another expression says you can't have your cake and eat it, too. This means you cannot have everything your way, especially if two wishes oppose each other.
如果你说什么事情是a piece of cake（小菜一碟）。意思是这事很简单，就像学校的一次考试。蛋糕表面通常覆盖了一层被称为糖衣的甜馅料。Icing on the cake意思就是锦上添花。另一句短语说you can't have your cake and eat it, too.（鱼与熊掌不可兼得），意思是不可能凡事都随你愿，尤其是两者互相矛盾的情况下。
Hotcakes are also called pancakes. They contain flour, eggs, milk and baking powder. You cook them in a frying pan and eat them with fruit or a sweet topping. If a new product is popular and selling well, you might say it is selling like hotcakes.
烤饼也称为煎饼，这种饼是用面粉，鸡蛋，牛奶和发酵粉做成。我们用平锅煎这种饼，并配以水果和甜馅料一起食用。如果一种新产品很受欢迎销量火爆，我们就说它selling like hotcakes（畅销）。
But if a friend of yours did something bad, you might stop being friends with him immediately or drop him like a hotcake.
但如果你的朋友干了坏事，你可能迅速与他绝交（drop him like a hotcake）。
Flat as a pancake describes something that is, well, really flat.
Flat as a pancake（平坦）用来形容某些东西特别平坦。
A tough cookie is not something you want to eat. It is a person who is difficult to deal with, and would do anything necessary to get what he or she wants. This person could be a sharp cookie or someone who is not easily fooled. Very often things do not go the way we planned. Instead of getting angry or sad, you might just accept it and say that's the way the cookie crumbles.
a tough cookie不是指你想吃的什么东西，而是指一个很难对付的人，你会做任何必要的事情来达其所愿。这种人可能还是a sharp cookie，也就是说很难愚弄的人。很多时候事情的发展并不会如你所愿，这个时候你只能接受现实，并且说一声that's the way the cookie crumbles（这就是生活，这就是现实），而不是生气或难过。
Many pies are also good to eat. If something is easy to do, you could say it is easy as pie. But if you do something wrong or bad, you might have to apologize and show you are sorry. In other words, you might have to eat humble pie.
很多馅饼也很好吃。如果什么事情容易办到，你可能就会说这件事是easy as pie（易如反掌）。但如果你做错或搞砸了什么事，你可能就需要道歉并表现出你的歉意。换句话说，你可能就需要eat humble pie（赔礼道歉，忍声吞气）。
If you have an idea or plan that is not really possible, someone might say it is pie in the sky. If something is really easy to do, you might say it is like taking candy from a baby. But that would not be a very nice thing to do!
如果你有一个不切实际的想法或计划，有人可能就会说那是 pie in the sky（空想、空中楼阁）。如果事情真的容易办到，你可能会说这就像taking candy from a baby（就像抢娃娃的糖果，当然意思是说容易办到）。但抢娃娃的糖果可不是件光荣的事哈哈！(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！)