Now, the VOA Learning English program, Words and Their Stories.

    Whoa, whoa boy! Whoa!

    Today, we tell all about horse expressions!

    In the past, many people depended on horses for transportation, farming and other kinds of work. A lot of people still like to ride horses for sport. Horse racing and betting on horse racing are also popular. So, it is not surprising that Americans use a lot of expressions about horses.

    Long ago, people who were rich or important rode horses that were very tall.

    Today, if someone acts better than everyone else, you might tell him to "get off your high horse."
    如今,如果有人摆出自己高人一等的架势,你就可以告诉他别摆臭架子(get off her high horse)。

    And if someone is pushing you to do something, you can say, "Hold your horses!" This is a very informal way to tell someone to calm down and wait. You would not use it with your boss but you could use it with children.
    如果有人催促你做某事,你可以说,“稍安勿躁(Hold your horses)!”这是一种告诉别人冷静下来等待一会的非正式用法。你不能对老板这么说,但是你可以对孩子这么说。

    Something else you could say to children if they are playing too rough or hitting each other is to stop horsing around! When kids horse around, they could get hurt. However, kids who live in a one-horse town might have nothing to do but horse around. A one-horse town is a small town with not too much going on.
    如果孩子们在互相打闹,你可以对他们说,别闹了(stop horsing around)!然而,住在偏僻小镇(one-horse town)的孩子可能没什么好玩的只有胡闹(horse around)。

    So, if you live in a one-horse town, you might like to watch a lot of television. Imagine that you are watching your favorite show when your phone rings. You do not answer it. Wild horses could not drag you away from the television. Nothing could stop you from doing what you want to do.
    所以如果你住在偏僻小镇,你可能会喜欢看电视。想象一下你在看最喜欢的电视节目时手机响了。你不接电话。什么事也不能阻止你看电视(wild horses could not drag you away from the television)。

    In fact, that's what the Rolling Stones are singing about in their song, "Wild Horses."

    "Wild horses couldn't drag me away ..."

    If you love someone, even strong wild horses could not drag you away from that person.

    When you get news directly from the best source, you get it straight from the horse's mouth. If your teacher, for example, tells you there is going to be a test tomorrow, you got that information straight from the horse's mouth. Don't worry. This is not the same as saying your teacher has a "horse face."
    当你直接从最佳来源获得消息时,你可以说你是从可靠渠道(straight from the horse's mouth)获得这个消息。比如说,如果老师告诉你明天要考试,你就是从可靠渠道获得这个消息。别担心,这句话并不是说你老师长得难看(horse face)。

    Sometimes a person keeps arguing a question that has already been settled. They are beating a dead horse. A dead horse is quite different from a dark horse. A dark horse is a person who surprises others by doing better than unexpected. In politics, a dark-horse candidate is someone who is not likely to win ... but then does.
    有时候某人对已经解决的问题争论不休。他们是在白费口舌(beating a dead horse)。死马和黑马又完全不同。黑马是指做事高于预期让人惊奇的人。在政界,黑马候选人是指不太可能赢但却赢了的人。

    A horse of a different color is a different matter entirely.
    A horse of a different color 意思是完全是另一回事。

    For example, you and your friend might be talking about how to make more money.

    Your friend suggests investing in the stock market. You mention betting at the race track.

    "Gambling!" your friend says, "That's a horse of a different color." In other words, it's a different way of thinking about the same topic.

    Your friend might use another horse expression to give you some advice. If she tells you do not put the cart before the horse she is telling you to do things in the proper order.
    你的朋友可能会用到另一句关于马的词句给你提建议。如果她告诉你,do not put the cart before the horse,她意思是说不要本末倒置。

    Here's another piece of advice: do not change horses in midstream. You would not want to make major changes to something you've already started. In the past, this expression was used as an argument to re-elect a president, especially during a time when the country was at war.
    以下是另一句忠告:不要临阵换将(do not change horses in midstream)。你肯定不希望对你已经开始做的事情做出重大改变。在过去,这句话常被用做论据来辩论重选总统,特别是国家处于战争期间重选总统。

    And one more piece of advice from the world of horses is if you fall off the horse, get right back on again. When you fail or suffer a setback it is important to try again. People doing something after a long period of not doing it are getting back in the saddle again. The saddle is the leather seat you put on a horse in order to ride it.
    还有一句和马相关的忠告,那就是 if you fall off the horse, get right back on again(跌倒了再爬起来再接再厉)。当你失败或受挫时,再试一次非常重要。人们在很久不做之后再开始做某件事就是重振旗鼓(back in the saddle again)。Saddle(马鞍)是骑马用的真皮坐椅。

    And this is Gene Autry, the singing cowboy, singing "Back in the Saddle Again."
    以下是牛仔歌手吉恩·奥特里所唱的《Back in the Saddle Again》。

    "I'm back in the saddle again ..."

    But people often ignore even good advice. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink. This means you can give someone advice but you cannot force them to use it.
    但是人们常常忽视甚至更好的建议。毕竟,牵马河边易,逼马饮水难(You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink)。意思是说,你可以给人建议,但不能强迫人接受这个建议。

    We end this Words and Their Stories with a riddle.

    (We can't write the riddle because it will give away the answer!)

    Take a guess and write it in the comment section. We will tell you the answer next week on Words and Their Stories.

    I'm Anna Matteo.