—Learning Western Culture Bit by Bit
跟其他任何语言一样，美国英语的成语构成也大量使用动物形象。Harry CoIⅠis 在《101个美国英语成语》中列举到10个原汁原味的美国英语成语，其中所提到的动物，要说构成一个动物园也不为过。请看：
1.Cat got your tongue？（＝can't talk）哑口无言，无言以对
Come on, Connie! Tell us what you think about our little ride down the rapids yesterday.
Well, uh . .
Wasn't it exciting?
What's the matter? Cat got your tongue?
If you must know, I'm keeping quiet because I was scared out of my wits!
2.Horse around(＝play around)胡闹，起哄，鬼混
Did you hear about Dave's back injury?
No. How did he get hurt?
Well, after the coach left the gym he decided to stay and horse around on the parallel bars. He somehow lost his grip and fell on his back.
That's too bad, but he shouldn't have been aimlessly playing around on the equipment without proper ，supervision.
3.Straight from the horse's mouth(from a reliable source)来源可靠的
How did you find out that Jill was engaged?
I got the information from a very reliable source.
You mean Jill told you so herself?
That's right. I got it straight from the horse's mouth!
4.For the birds(uninteresting and meaningless)无趣，无意义
They went to a poetry reading, but they got bored and restless. As far as they were concerned, it was for the birds! They left during an intermission because they found the reading totally uninteresting and meaningless.
5.Let the cat out of the bag（＝inform beforehand)露了马脚，泄漏秘密，提前透露消息
Bob was going to retire from teaching in June, and the foreign language department was planning on presenting him with some luggage at his retirement dinner. He wasn't supposed to know about it, but someone let the cat out of the bag. At the dinner Bob acted surprised,even though someone had told him what he was getting before the official presentation.
6.horse of a different coⅠor
(＝quite a different matter)完全是另一码事
Eric likes to play jokes on his friends, but he makes sure that nobody is hurt by any of his pranks. A prank that hurts someone is a horse of a different color! Being playful is one thing, but hurting someone by one's prank is quite a different matter.
7.take the buIⅠ by the horns
(＝take decisive action in a difficult situation)不畏艰险，勇敢面对危险
Julie had always felt that she was missing out on a lot of fun because of her clumsiness on the dance floor. She had been putting off taking lessons, but she finally took the bull by the horns and went to a professional dance studio for help. She was tired of feeling left out and acted
decistvely to correct the situation.
(＝strange and suspicious)奇怪可疑的
When the security guard saw a light in the store after closing hours, it seemed to him that there was something fishy going on. He called the central office and explained to his superior that he thought something strange and suspicious was occurring.
9.go to the dogs(＝become run-down)破落，每况愈下
Have you seen their house lately? It's really gone to the dogs.
It's true that it has become run-down and in serious need of repair, but I'm sure that it can be fixed up to look like new.
I guess with a littIe carpentry work and some paint it could look pretty decent.
10.smeIl a rat(＝feel that something is wrong)感觉不对头，觉得可疑
How come the front door is open? Didn't you close it before we went shopping?
I'm sure I did. I can't
Frankly, I smell a rat.
Me, too. I'm convinced that something is definitely wrong here.
We'd better call the police.
声明：本文根据Harry CoIⅠis 著《101个美国英语成语》相关章节编译。如有侵权，联系删除。欢迎阅读！感谢关注！持续推送中。