雞同鴨講──熊、河貍、貓…與動物有關的片語｜A Chicken Talking To A Duck By Chatterbox
All eyes are on Donald Trump, the US president-elect, since his shocking win in November and no doubt he is being scrutinised from head to toe, but more so his head will come under even more intense spotlight, I would say.
We have all heard jokes about Trump’s hair (or hair piece) and many will agree they are rather hilarious and a lighter alternative to the more serious political topics at hand. Some have mused that he should rename Air Force One as Hair Force One and many have likened his hairstyle to a hamster or a guinea pig. No matter what though, we can’t deny that with Trump as US President for the next four years, we no doubt will hear a lot of jokes that will make us laugh, cry and cringe.
That got me thinking maybe we can share a light moment and look at some of the popular idioms or phrases that are related to animals.
Let’s look at those that we can apply to daily conversations.
If you say to someone “you make an ass of yourself” you mean they are behaving in a stupid and ridiculous way.
When someone is behaving like a “bear with a sore head” that is to say they are feeling irritable and in a bad mood. Pretty easy to understand because it applies to all of us because we have all been in a foul mood when we have had a headache.
If you call someone an “eager beaver”, it’s rather flattering because you are applauding them for their enthusiasm and diligence. I love the rhyming tone of the phrase.
I bet most of you have heard the phrase “kill two birds with one stone” and there is a Chinese equivalent to mean getting two objectives achieved at the same time. Rather efficient, I would say.
When you call a person “a social butterfly” it means they have a lot of friends and are socially active and attend countless events and parties.
Can you guess what a fat cat is? It describes a person who is rich and influential but the phrase has a rather disapproving tone to it underlining a subtle negative meaning to imply inequality.
Still on the subject of cats, how about the expression “like herding cats”? Just imagine how difficult it would be to herd cats because they are pretty individualistic. The phrase means being in a situation where one finds it difficult to coordinate people because every one seems to want to act independently. I think this is rather fitting to describe the current situation in today’s government.
One more useful phrase before we go; “let the cat out of the bag” means revealing a secret accidentally. Okay after so much cat talk, I think we all need a catnap or a light rest. See you all next week.
那些近來關於特朗普髮型（或頭髮）的笑話，我們都聽過了。它們完全脫離了政治新聞的範疇，的確令人捧腹大笑。有人甚至靈機一觸，提議特朗普可把空軍一號（Air Force One）命名為「Hair Force One」，亦有人把他的髮型比作倉鼠或天竺鼠。無論如何，在未來四年特朗普的總統任期，我們肯定會聽到許多令人發笑、叫喊、或是難堪的笑話。
先看看可在日常生活應用的例子吧。如果你對某人說，「you make an ass of yourself」，代表他們的行為愚蠢、荒謬。而當某人表現得像「a bear with a sore head」，意味他們正感到煩躁、心情不佳。這句適用於所有人的話，非常容易理解──頭痛欲裂時，誰會不煩躁呢？
「Kill two birds with one stone」這句話，肯定大家都聽過了，它與中文的「一石二鳥」意思相同，一舉完成兩個目標，是相當高效率的表現。
把某人喚作「a social butterfly」，則意指他們廣結朋友，身影出現在無數的活動和派對，善於交際，如魚得水。
至於「a fat cat」的意思，你又猜得到嗎？它描述有錢有勢的人，卻帶有負面的意思，暗示背後隱含著不公平的狀況。
談起貓，還有「like herding cats」這說法。想想看，要馴養生性自由的貓群，是多麼的困難呢！這句話意思就是，某人嘗試協調人群時，人人都希望特立獨行，面對的困難情況。我認為這用來描述香港政府的當前形勢，是相當合適的。
擱筆之前，再談一個有用的短語吧，「let the cat out of the bag」代表不小心披露了一個秘密。好了，談了這麼多「貓話」，我們也許需要一個「catnap」，打打瞌睡了，下周再見！