a fifth wheel

多余的人;不受欢迎的人

Since my girlfriend didn't come, I was a fifth wheel at the party.


spin one's wheels

白费力气;浪费时间

After realizing we were just spinning our wheels, we quitted the project.


the die is cast

这里的 die 不是“死亡”,而是作名词意为“骰子”,相当于 dice。短语意思是“大局已定,木已成舟”。

From the moment she closed the door behind her, the die was cast and a divorce was inevitable.


a shot in the arm

刺激因素;兴奋剂

The reform will provide a shot in the arm for thousands of small businesses.


whistle in the dark

给自己壮胆;虚张声势;强装镇定

To claim this as such a glorious record is whistling in the dark.


put on the dog

摆排场;装腔作势;充门面

He borrowed a new suit to put on the dog for his girlfriend.


out of the window

完全消失,不再存在

When people start drinking, sense goes out of the window.


two left feet

形容手脚不协调、笨手笨脚的人

When they danced together, she discovered he had two left feet.


Hobson's choice

只有一个选项、别无他选。据说这个短语来源于17世纪一位马厩主人,他从来不给他的客户提供选择的余地。客户向他租马时,他总是只把离门最近的那一匹马给他们,不容挑拣。

It's a case of Hobson's choice, because if Idon't accept this salary, I'll lose this job.


hem and haw

哼哼呃呃;犹豫不决

We hemmed and hawed for months before actually deciding to buy the car.


out of the frying pan into the fire

每况愈下;刚刚走出一个困境,却又陷入另一个更加艰难的困境

He thought his old job was stressful, but his new one is 10 times worse. It's like going out of the frying pan and into the fire.


right as rain

完全康复,十分健康。在英国,雨水是最丰富充沛、担保不会短缺的东西,而相对于难得一见的晴天,下雨反倒是一种正常的状态了。

He just needs a goodnight's sleep, and then he'll be right as rain again.


in a nutshell

一言以蔽之;简而言之。据说著名的史诗著作《伊利亚特》曾被抄写在羊皮纸上,收藏在坚果壳里

He had put the whole situation in a nutshell.


full steam ahead

全力以赴;奋勇前行

The government was determined to go full steam ahead with its economic reform.

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