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Practical Chinese

Daily Figurative Slangs (37)
   
每日惯用语 (37)

卖关子  keep people guessing

【注音】mài guān zi
【解释】小说或说书的讲到最紧要处突然停下来,吊读者或听众的胃口。与人打交道时在最关键、最吸引人的时候停下来。
Novelists or storytellers like to stop the story at the very climax to keep readers or listeners in suspension. This technique can be also applied in dealing with people——stop action at the most critical moment in order to attract the opposite side to meet their demand.
【例子】
A:老板,XX公司来电话,说如果不能满足他们的要求,这个合同就签不了了。
B:别听他们卖关子,这份合同难道不也是他们希望的吗?
Ex.:
A:Manager, XX Company has called to say that they won't sign the contract if we don't meet their demand.
B:Don't take it seriously. They are just tantalizing us. Remember that they also want the contract, don't they?
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Daily Figurative Slangs (36)
每日惯用语 (36)
临时抱佛脚
seek help at the last moment
【注音】lín shí bào fó jiǎo
【解释】俗话说“平时不烧香,临时抱佛脚”。就是平时不跟佛烧点香儿,碰到麻烦了就去找佛保佑,比喻事情到紧急的时候再想办法,已经来不及了。
There is a folk saying: "Never burn incense when all is well but clasp Buddha's feet when in distress." That is to say, never worship the Buddha at ordinary times but only pray in time of trouble, which means it's too late to find a way out at the last minute.
【例子】
爸爸:儿子,已经12点了,你还不睡觉,明天学习会没有精神的。
儿子:我再学会儿,后天就要考试了。
爸爸:你平时不认真学习,想临时抱佛脚,恐怕已经晚了吧?
Ex.:
Dad: It's 12 o'clock now. Go to bed, otherwise you'll be tired tomorrow.
Son: Let me study more, the exam is in two days' time.
Dad: You never work so hard in ordinary days. Now you want to make up at the last minute. I'm afraid it's a bit too late.
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Daily Figurative Slangs (35)
每日惯用语 (35)
老油条
Oily and wily

【注音】lǎo yóu tiáo
【解释】“油”给人一种滑溜的感觉,油条满身是油,比喻处事圆滑、社会经验极其丰富的人,从感觉上是恰如其分的。
You has a extended meaning of “slippery” or “foxy”. As youtiao (deep-fried twisted dough sticks, the most common Chinese breakfast) is oily from end to end, it’s not hard to understand why this expression came to mean those worldlywise people who are experienced and wily.
【例子】
例:那位赵老板可是个老油条,跟他打交道可要分外小心。
Ex.:That Manager Mr. Zhao is a wily old bird, you’ve got to be extremely careful when you have dealing with him.
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Daily Figurative Slangs (34)

每日惯用语 (34)

老皇历
Out of date

【注音】lǎo huáng lì
【解释】过了时的皇历,比喻过了时的事或规定。
An out of date calendar is a metaphor for obsolete practice or regulation.
【例子】
例:
A:听说外国人去公园玩儿买的票跟中国人不一样?
B:那已经是老皇历了。

Ex.
A:They say a foreigner in China has to pay a different price for park entrance ticket, is that so?
B:That’s an obsolete practice.


Last Updated on Monday, 23 November 2009 08:46
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Daily Figurative Slangs (33)
每日惯用语 (33)
老大难
Big old trouble

【注音】lǎo dà nán
【解释】一个老问题,一个大问题,也是一个难问题。
It’s an old problem, a big problem and a difficult problem.
【例子】
例:职工们住得太远了,免不了迟到,这是一个老大难问题。

Ex.:Living too far away, the staff are often late for work. It has been a big and difficult problem for a long time.
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