词汇掌故:Nose and Ear

    Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.

    A person's nose is important for breathing and smelling. The nose is also used in many popular expressions.

    Some people are able to lead other people by the nose. For example, if a wife leads her husband by the nose, she makes him do whatever she wants him to do.
    有些人能够能够牵着别人的鼻子走(lead other people by the nose)。例如,如果妻子牵着丈夫的鼻子走,她想让他干嘛,他就干嘛。

    Some people are said to be hard-nosed. They will not change their opinions or positions on anything. If someone is hard-nosed, chances are he will never pay through

    the nose, or pay too much money, for an object or service.
    有些人被称为顽固的(hard-nosed)。他们不会自己对任何事情的观点或立场。如果某人很顽固,他从来不会付出比真正价值更高的钱(pay through the nose),也就是说不会为某件东西或


    It is always helpful when people keep their nose out of other people's business. They do not interfere. The opposite of this is someone who noses around all the

    time. This kind of person is interested in other people's private matters. He is considered nosey.
    避免插手他人的事情(keep their nose out of)总是有好处的,他们不会干涉别人。相反的,有些人总是喜欢打听别人的事(noses around)。这种人对别人的私事非常感兴趣。他被认为爱


    Someone who keeps his nose to the grindstone works very hard. This can help a worker keep his nose clean or stay out of trouble.
    那些鼻子对着磨刀石的人(keeps his nose to the grindstone,指埋头苦干)工作非常勤奋。这可以帮助一个工人循规蹈矩(keep his nose clean),避免麻烦。

    One unusual expression is that is no skin off my nose. This means that a situation does not affect or concern me. We also say that sometimes a person cuts off his

    nose to spite his face. That is, he makes a situation worse for himself by doing something foolish because he is angry.
    一个不太寻常的表达方式是no skin off my nose,意思是某件事情不影响我,或者与我无关。我们还说,有时一个人损人不利己(cuts off his nose to spite his face)。也就是说,因


    More problems can develop if a person looks down his nose at someone or something. The person acts like something is unimportant or worthless. This person might also

    turn up his nose at something that he considers not good enough. This person thinks he is better than everyone else. He has his nose in the air.
    如果一个人对某人或某事不屑一顾(looks down his nose at),会产生很多问题。这种人的表现就好像是其他事情都不重要或没有价值。这种人还会对他认为不够好的东西非常不屑(turn

    up his nose at)。这种人认为他比其他任何人都好,他非常自大(his nose in the air)。

    In school, some students thumb their nose at their teacher. They refuse to obey orders or do any work. Maybe these students do not know the correct answers. My

    mother always told me, if you study hard, the answers should be right under your nose or easily seen.
    在学校,有些学生不尊重老师(thumb their nose at their teacher)。他们拒绝服从任何命令或者做任何工作。或许这些学生不知道正确的答案。我的母亲经常告诉我,如果你努力学习,

    答案非常明显(under your nose)。

    I think we have explained the nose expressions. What about ears? Well, I hope you are all ears or very interested in hearing more expressions. We might even put a

    bug in your ear or give you an idea about something. We also advise you to keep your ear to the ground. This means to be interested in what is happening around you

    and what people are thinking.
    我想,我们已经讲了很多关于鼻子的短语。那么耳朵呢?我希望你们全神贯注地倾听(all ears)更多的短语。我们可能甚至针对某事为你提出建议(put a bug in your ear)。我们还建议你

    注意各方面的动向(keep your ear to the ground)。意思是说要对发生在你周围的事情和人们的所思所想感兴趣。

    If you are a good person, you will lend an ear to your friends. You will listen to them when they have a problem they need to talk about. Our last expression is to

    play it by ear. This has two meanings. One is to play a song on a musical instrument by remembering the tune and not by reading the music. Play it by ear also means

    to decide what to do at the last minute instead of making detailed plans.
    如果你是一个好人,你会倾听朋友的话(lend an ear to your friends)。如果他们遇到需要找人谈一下的问题时,你应该倾听他的诉说。我们的最后一个短语是play it by ear。这个短语

    有两个意思。一个是用乐器演奏音乐时通过记忆,而不是通过读谱。play it by ear还有一个意思是,随机应变,而不是做出详细的计划。

    1. lead by the nose 牵着鼻子走

    eg: Don’t let anyone lead you by the nose, use your own judgment and do the right thing. 不要让人牵着鼻子走,自己有点主见,做该做的事情。

    2. hard-nosed adj.顽强的,不屈不挠的,不讲情面的

    3. pay through the nose

    按字面解释,pay through the nose就是通过鼻子来付钱,这听起来似乎很痛苦,而实际上,pay through the nose的确切意思是付出比真正的价值高得多的钱,也可以说是付出的钱实在太多而

    让人感到心痛。eg: My brother Bob borrowed the money to open his restaurant five years ago when the interest rate was very high, so he’s been paying through the nose

    ever since.我哥哥鲍伯五年前借钱开饭馆的时候正好利率非常高,所以,他从那时起就一直在大笔大笔地还债。

    4. keep one’s nose out of sth 避免插手(他人的事),尽量不卷入

    eg: When Billy asked his sister where she was going, she told him to keep his nose out of her business. 当比利问他姐姐要去哪里时,她让他别管她的事。

    5. nose around / about  找寻,打听(别人的事)

    eg: We found a man nosing around in our backyard.我们发现有个人在我们后院里找什么东西。

    6. nosy adj.好管闲事的,爱打听的

    eg: Don’t be so nosy —it’s none of your business.别管那么多闲事——这与你无关。

    7. keep one’s nose to the grindstone连续辛勤地工作


    表达一种持续的状态,把"埋头"的意思更生动地表达了出来。eg: These years those who’re keeping their nose to the grindstone can’t make bundles. 这年头,只会埋头苦干的人


    8. keep one’s nose clean 循规蹈矩,不做违法的事

    eg: Since leaving prison, he’s man-aged to keep his nose clean. 自从出狱以来,他尽量做到规规矩矩。

    9. no skin of my nose不关我的事

       字面意思是:没有我鼻子上的皮。乍听起来让人有些摸不着头脑,这一俗语的实际意思是:……与我无关,我不在乎。eg: Hey, it’s no skin of my nose if Susie’s going out now

    with that guy! I don’t  care what she does —I broke up with her a month ago, when I met Helen. 嗨,苏茜现在是否跟那个家伙好,一起出去玩,这不关我的事!她干什么我都无


    10. cut off one’s nose to spite one’s face (恼怒之下)伤人害己,损人不利己

    eg: If you resign to inconvenience your boss, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. 如果你辞职就是为了给你的老板找麻烦的话,那就是吃砒霜药老虎,伤人害己了


    即把对联改为"门对千竿竹短无,家藏万卷书长有"。曹尚书不但没有难倒解缙,而且空自毁了自家的竹林,用英文来形容就是cut off one’s ,nose to spite one’s face。

    11. look down one’s nose at 对……不屑一顾,蔑视

    eg: Harry has never had to work, and he looks down his nose at people in business. 哈里从不需要上班,他也看不起上班的人。

    12. turn up one’s nose at看不上,觉得不屑于(要、吃、做等)

    eg: When I gave her the present, she turned up her nose at it.当我把礼物给她时,她很不屑。

    13. have one’s nose in the air 非常傲慢,自高自大