Archive | febrero 2013

To be Behind the Eight Ball

Estar en aprietos; estar en el hoyo; con la soga al cuello

Google images, "Behind the eight ball"

Google images, “Behind the eight ball”

Meaning:

To be behind the eight ball means that you are in trouble, in a difficult position or in a situation in which you have little hope for winning. Other similar expressions are: “In a pretty kettle of fish,” “in a pickle,” “in the dog house,” and “in hot water.”

behind the eight ball1

Google images, “Behind the eight ball” Click on the picture to learn more.

Origin:

If you have played pool or billiards, you will easily understand why people use this expression. There is a pool game in which you have to hit the balls into a pocket one by one in numerical order. But the eight ball has to be pocketed at last. So, if the eight ball is bettween the white ball and the ball that you want to hit, then, you are in trouble and you will have to think of a clever move to keep playing or you will lose your turn.

behind the eight ball happy tree friends

Google images, “Behind the eight ball” Click on the picture to watch a video.

Example:

• The company is planning to cut expenses due to the crisis. My boss announced that some people in my department will be laid off. Last week, I had a terrible argument with him because of a report. When he made the announcement, he looked at me and smiled in a frightening way. Oh, my God. I’m definitely behind the eight ball.
Google images, "Behind the eight ball"

Google images, “Behind the eight ball”

Beggars can´t be Choosers

Limosnero y con Garrote

Google images, "Beggars can´t be choosers"

Google images, “Beggars can´t be choosers”

Meaning:

When we say this, it is because somebody has asked for help but they are conditioning the help that they will get from others. When you beg for something, you have to take whatever the others want to give you. You have to set your dignity or pride aside.

 

Google images, "Beggars can´t be choosers"

Google images, “Beggars can´t be choosers”

Origin:

A beggar is a person who asks for money in the streets. A chooser is a person who selects what to take or not to take. When you are a beggar, you can’t be a chooser. In the 1500’s, people began using this expression to mean that sometimes you have little or no control over the things that you will receive or you just simply can’t choose what you will get. You just have to accept what the others want to give you.

 

Google images, "Beggars can´t be choosers"

Google images, “Beggars can´t be choosers”

Example:

• When I was giving Minna a ride in my car, I was hearing the new CD I had just bought. She said that she didn’t like that music and that she preferred to hear something else. But just before she could set any radio station, I told her that was my car and I was giving her a lift. So, she had to hear my music because beggars can’t be choosers.
Google images, "Beggars can´t be choosers"

Google images, “Beggars can´t be choosers” Click to watch a video

A Bee in your Bonnet

Tener telarañas en la cabeza

Google images, "A bee in your bonnet."

Google images, “A bee in your bonnet.”

Meaning:

You have a bee in your bonnet when you have an obsession or a crazy idea in your head. A similar expression is to “have bats in your belfry.”

 

Google images, "A bee in your bonnet." Click for video.

Google images, “A bee in your bonnet.” Click for video.

Origin:

The original expression that was used in the 16th century was “to have a head full of bees.” But, due to alliteration (to have two words beginning with the same letter), the writer Robert Herrick changed it for “a bee in one’s bonnet” for his poem “Mad maid’s song.” If we think that is bee is an insect that makes an irritating buzzing sound, just imagine having it under your hat. You wouldn’t be able to think clearly of anything else because of the buzz.

 

Google images, "A bee in your bonnet."

Google images, “A bee in your bonnet.”

Example:

• Derek is insisting again in applying for that university againg. This is his 6th attempt. He has been rejected every time but he thinks that one day he will be accepted. He is totally disqualified for that option but he hears nothing about that. Everybody agrees that he has a bee in his bonnet about that school.
a bee in your bonnet2

A Bed of Roses

En un Lecho de Rosas

Google images, "A bed of roses!

Google images, “A bed of roses!

Meaning:

We say that someone is on a bed of roses when they are in a very comfortable, pleasant situation. On the other hand if someone is not on a bed of roses, they mean that they are going through very difficult times. A similar expression is “A bowl of cherries.”

Google images, "A bed of roses!

Google images, “A bed of roses!

Origin:

It is said that when Hernan Cortes was torturing Cuauhtemoc so that he confessed where the Aztec treasures were, Cortes complained that he was having difficult times, at which, Cuauhtemoc said that he was not exactly on a bed of roses. Roses are lovely, perfumed, soft-petalled flowers. Well, that is true if we don’t take the thorns (spines) into account. A bed of roses is just a bed of rose petals.

Google images, "A bed of roses!

Google images, “A bed of roses! Click to watch Bon Jovi´s Ben of Roses song

Example:

• When my new co-workers were complaining about the new boss, I told them that for me, he was fine. They didn’t understand why but when I explained to them how things were with the last boss, they all agreed that now we are on a bed of roses.

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Todo depende del color del cristal con que se mire

Google images, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Google images, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Meaning:

We use this expression to mean that there is not an exact beauty standard. What is beautiful for some is not for the others. We all have different likes and dislikes.

Google images, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Google images, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Origin:

A beholder is a person who sees something or someone else. It is common that we, as beholders, emit a personal opinion after looking at something or someone else. When two people watch the same thing but they have different opinions about it, we simply say that the reason for this disagreement is that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Google images, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Google images, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

Example:

•When we saw the groom and bride walking down the aisle together. She just simply looked fabulous, exquisite. She was a modern Venus. But he, I don’t know what zoo she got him from. He looked like a monkey. She loves him in spite of what people say. She thinks he is handsome and charming. I guess that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Google images, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Google images, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

To beat Your Swords Into Plowshares

Hacer el amor y no la guerra / Fumar la pipa de la paz

 

Google images, "Beat your swords into plowshares."

Google images, “Beat your swords into plowshares.”

Meaning:

You beat your swords into plowshares when you decide to stop fighting and to devote your time to more constructive affairs.

 

Google images, "Beat your swords into plowshares."

Google images, “Beat your swords into plowshares.”

Origin:

It comes from the Bible, Isaiah 2:4 where the following expression appears, “And they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” Swords and spears are war artifacts. To turn them into farming tools, such as plowshares and pruning hooks means to devote our time into peaceful affairs and to forget about war. A clear example of the use of this expression in modern times is when a country decides that a manufacturing company that used to produce war tanks will now make farm tractors.

 

Google images, "Beat your swords into plowshares."

Google images, “Beat your swords into plowshares.”

Example:

•The two main cola soda producers have agreed on launching a new pro-children campaign together. It seems that they have decided to beat their swords into plowshares.

To Beat Around The Bush

Andarse con Rodeos / Salirse por la Tangente

Google images, "To beat around the bush."

Google images, “To beat around the bush.”

Meaning:

You beat around the bush when you avoid answering questions that people ask you or when you go around an issue that you do not want to talk about. A contrary expression is “To go to the point”.

Google images, "To beat around the bush."

Google images, “To beat around the bush.”

Origin:

In the 1500’s, hunters hired people to beat around the bushes. These people were called beaters. The purpose of beating around the bush was that animals that were hiding inside could go out so that the hunters could shoot at them in the open. The beaters didn’t beat directly on the bush because they found it more effective if they beat around.

Google images, "To beat around the bush."

Google images, “To beat around the bush.”

Example:

• The father of my girlfriend was not sure if she and I were having a relationship. He is a big intimidating man. So, when he asked me about it, I started stuttering and sweating cold. I didn’t know what to say. So, he shouted loud at me, “Don’t beat around the bush and answer my question, now!”
Google images, "To beat around the bush."

Google images, “To beat around the bush.”

To Beat The Band

Hacer Tanto Ruido Como Para Despertar a los Muertos

Google Images, "To Beat The Band."

Google Images, “To Beat The Band.”

Meaning:

You beat the band when you make a lot of noise. In fact, people tell you that you are noisier than a band is. You might defeat a band in making noise.

 

Google Images, "To Beat The Band."

Google Images, “To Beat The Band.”

Origin:

This idiomatic expression came to America from England during the 1800’s. Bands were usually playing in the luxury liners. So if you wanted to have a conversation while the band was playing you had to beat it. Nowadays, we use this expression to express excitement or amazement for an astonishing, great achievement.

 

Google Images, "To Beat The Band."

Google Images, “To Beat The Band.”

Example:

• When the dean of the university announced that my friends and I had been accepted to enroll into that prestigious institution, we jumped and cheered to beat the band.
Google Images, "To Beat The Band."

Google Images, “To Beat The Band.”

To Beat a Dead Horse

 

Tratar de Revivir a un Muerto

 

Google Images, "Beat a Dead Horse."

Google Images, “Beat a Dead Horse.”

Meaning:

You beat a dead horse when you are trying to get an impossible goal, when you continue fighting a lost battle or keep arguing after a final decision has been made. A similar expression is to try to get water out of a dry well.

 

Google Images, "Beat a Dead Horse."

Google Images, “Beat a Dead Horse.”

Origin:

In ancient Rome, a playwright Plautus used this expression in one of his plays in the year 195 B.C. In it, a farmer whipped a dead horse so as to make it move a heavy load. This situation teaches us that sometimes we try to get worthless pursuits.

 

Google Images, "Beat a Dead Horse."

Google Images, “Beat a Dead Horse.”

Example:

I did not study Mathematics at all along the year and one week before the term exam was given, I tried to cram all that knowledge into my mind. In the end, I did not pass the test. Everything I did was useless. It was like beating a dead horse.
Google Images, "Beat a Dead Horse."

Google Images, “Beat a Dead Horse.”