ANGOL: 5 érdekes idióma és az eredetük

5 érdekes idióma és ezek eredete

Facebook Tweet

5 érdekes idióma és az eredetük. Magyar jelentéssel és szinonima párosító feladattal.

Would you like to spend the rest of your life as happy as a clam? Of all living creatures, why are clams associated with high spirits? Dogs are known to produce facial movements resembling smiles. Cats purr when they are content. Baby animals romp, prance, and play with apparent enjoyment. What do clams do that makes them the epitome of happiness? Let’s explore the interesting origins of five idioms, beginning with the one about these glad mollusks.

Happy as a clam

The term clam is applied to bivalve mollusks, organisms that have a soft body protected by two hard shells. There are thousands of types of clams. Some are as small as a grain of sand, while the giant clam can grow to over four feet across and weigh over five hundred pounds! To the delight of shell collectors, clam shells also vary in color. As well as having diverse characteristics, clams are susceptible to a diverse array of predators, including eels, starfish, sea snails, and humans. Not contented with a simple bowl of clam chowder, New Englanders invented the clam bake. They bake dozens of clams and other morsels from the sea in a pit of hot stones and seaweed. The clams are then devoured along with potatoes and sweet corn. You would think that with so many creatures trying to eat them, clams would be associated with fear or danger rather than happiness!

The key to understanding the expression happy as a clam lies in their habitat. Clams live in both freshwater and saltwater habitats. They spend most of their time burrowed under the sand or mud. At low tide, it’s relatively easy to dig clams from their hiding places. When the water is high, it’s more difficult to find them. Therefore, clams are “happiest” when they’re least likely to be dug up and turned into a pasta dish. In fact, the full expression, published in an 1841 edition of Bangor Daily Whig and Courier, was “happy as a clam at high tide.”

A dead ringer

If you saw a dead ringer for Brad Pitt at the mall, how would you react? Don’t run over for an autograph. A dead ringer is a person who closely resembles someone else—so a dead ringer for Brad Pitt is a lookalike, not the genuine article. How did this expression get its start? Well, ringer is a horse racing term. Bookies took bets on whether horses would win or lose a race based on their reputation. By replacing a frequent winner with a slower stand-in, the owners of the horses could defraud the bettors. In time, the term ringer came to represent anything closely resembling something else.

What about the dead part of the phrase? Don’t worry; no horses have to be killed to explain this expression. Dead, in this case, means precise or exact. For example, you can hit a target dead centre if you are a dead shot. So dead ringers are simply very close matches of the original. In an early reference, the Oshkosh Weekly Times quoted an alleged drunk in June 1888, who used the phrase to describe a photograph of himself: “Dat ar is a markable semlance be shoo. Dat’s a dead ringer fo’ me. I nebber done see such a semblence.”

Bite the bullet

Though no source seems perfectly certain about the origin of this idiom, the consensus points to wartime medical treatment. Before anesthesia was invented, surgery was performed on conscious patients. An amputation or a removal of a bullet from the body caused extreme pain for the patient. To ease the discomfort as much as possible, patients would drink whiskey and bite down on a lead bullet. Though this did not diminish the pain much, it did cut down on screaming and gave patients something to do while the surgeon did his cutting. Why bullets? For one thing, they were readily available. For another, they were made of lead, a soft metal that was unlikely to break the patient’s teeth. Now, English speakers bite the proverbial bullet whenever they confront an undesirable situation but press on and endure it.

Heard it through the grapevine

“I bet you’re wonderin’ how I knew ’bout your plans to make me blue… Don’t you know that I heard it through the grapevine…” In this famous song, Marvin Gaye credits the grapevine as the source of his information. Though the Motown tune was released in the 1960s, the expression heard it through the grapevine originated in the 1800s. Grapevines have tendrils that dangle in coils, entwined with other grapevines in a large network. Therefore, spreading gossip through a network of individuals, person to person, was using the grapevine telegraph. Although the telegraph is virtually extinct as a means of popular communication, the gossip grapevine is as alive and well as it ever was.

Kick the bucket

This idiom is quite old. It appears in Grose’s Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, published in 1785. Kick the bucket means to die. If you have ever literally kicked a bucket and survived, you may wonder how this expression became associated with death. One explanation, though not supported by much evidence, seems plausible. To commit suicide, a person who stood on a bucket while wearing a noose could then kick the bucket away in order to fall and die.

Consider another theory. In the sixteenth century, a bucket referred to a wooden yoke used to carry objects. In particular, dying pigs were suspended from buckets, or beams, when they were to be slaughtered. The expression could come from their kicking and squealing attempts to escape death. If that explanation doesn’t seem to hold water, perhaps finding more evidence is a task for your bucket list!

source: grammarly.com

Can you match the idioms and their synonyms?

1. happy as a clam

a. spitting image

2. a dead ringer

b. to hear on the bush telegraph

3. to bite the bullet

c. to be over the moon

4. to hear it through the grapevine

d. to meet one’s maker

5. to kick the bucket

e. to stand up and take it

 

Key

1. c.

2. a.

3. e.

4. b.

5. d.

Vocabulary

clam

kagyló

facial movement

arc mozgása

to purr

dorombolni

to be content

elégedettnek lenni

to romp

hancúrozni

to prance

ficánkolni

mollusk

puhatestű

bivalve

kéthéjú

a grain of sand

homokszem

to be susceptible to

ki van téve valaminek

predator

ragadozó

eel

angolna

starfish

tengeri csillag

to devour

felfalni

habitat

élőhely

burrowed

betemetve

mud

iszap, sár

low tide

apály

high tide

dagály

dead ringer

hasonmás

autograph

autogram

to resemble

emlékeztetni

lookalike

hasonmás

bet

fogadás, tét

stand-in

helyettesítő, beálló

to defraud

becsapni

bettor

fogadó (ember)

exact

pontos

target

célpont

dead centre

pont a közepébe

dead shot

pontosan célzó

alleged

állítólagos

drunk

részeg

anesthesia

műtéti altatás

surgery

sebészeti beavatkozás

conscious

öntudatánál lévő

removal

eltávolítás

bullet

puskagolyó

lead

ólom

undesirable

kellemetlen, nem kívánatos

to press on

továbbmenni, folytatni

to endure

elviselni

to make sy blue

elszomorítani valakit

I heard it through the grapevine

„azt csiripelték a verebek”

grapevine

szőlőtőke

tendril

inda, kacs

to dangle

lógni

coil

szövevény

entwined

egymásba fonódva

spreading gossip

terjedő pletyka

telegraph

távíró

virtually

gyakorlatilag

extinct

kihalt, nem létező

to kick the bucket

feldobni a talpát, meghalni

literally

szó szerint

evidence

bizonyíték

plausible

hihető, valószínű

to commit suicide

öngyilkosságot elkövetni

noose

hurok

yoke

járom

beam

tőke

to slaughter

leölni

to squeal

visítani

to hold water

meggyőző, valószínű

bucket list

bakancslista

 

Nehézségi szint:
középfok
Tetszett a lecke? Oszd meg barátaiddal is!
Kapcsolódó anyagok
5Perc Angol | 2016. Aug 20.

Idioms describing feelings and mood

Íme, egy hosszabb feladatsor az érzelmekkel kapcsolatos idiómák gyakorlására. 
Tovább
Szalai Nóri | 2017. Feb 16.

Heart Idioms - Szíves kifejezések

Ebből a rövid kis leckéből olyan kifejezéseket fogunk megtanulni, amelyekben benne van a szív szó.
Tovább

Head over heels in love - Love idioms

Szerelmes idiómák megismerkedéstől a szakításig. Hogy minden helyzetben tudd, mit kell mondani.
Tovább
Szalai Nóri | 2017. Oct 31.

Scary Idioms - Félelmetes idiómák

Tanuljunk meg egy-két félelmetes idiómát :)
Tovább