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Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - walking on eggshells|又中又英

2022/06/16 04:12:11 網誌分類: 生活
16 Jun
        As I said in my previous column, readers had emailed me with many suggestions on what topics to write about, including idioms and proverbs. I heard two interesting idioms while watching the TV news last week. The first was 「walking on eggshells」. An eggshell is the hard but easily breakable outside of an egg.Eggshells will break if you walk on them. You have to be careful even when holding an egg. It will break if you drop it. The expression 「walking on eggshells」 means to be very careful about what you do or say so you won」t offend anyone. People close to outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor have told me they have to walk on eggshells when talking with her because she is easily offended.

The expression originated in the 1800s. In those days people who collected eggs in hen houses had to be very careful not to walk on broken eggshells that might disturb the hens. The other expression I heard was 「the juice is not worth the squeeze」. It comes from the expression 「is the juice worth the squeeze?」 I explained this expression several years ago but will explain again for new readers. Squeezing oranges by hand to get orange juice is hard work. You have to put a lot of effort into squeezing enough oranges to get just one glass of orange juice. If you say 「is the juice worth the squeeze?」 it means is it worth trying very hard to achieve something when the end result is minimal?

If you passed an exam after studying very hard you can say the juice was worth the squeeze. If an employer offers you a job that requires you to work long hours seven days a week with very little pay, you can tell the employer the juice is not worth the squeeze. If an employer offers you a job that requires you to work long hours six days a week but with very high pay you can say the juice is worth the squeeze.
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正如我在上一篇文章中所說,不少讀者寫電郵給我,提出很多建議我到底可以寫甚麼題目,其中包括可以寫一寫成語和諺語。我上星期看電視新聞報道時,就聽到兩個挺有趣的成語。第一個是「walking on eggshells」。 An eggshell就是蛋殼,堅固卻又易碎,若你踏上去,蛋殼(eggshells)就會破碎。即使只是用手拿着一隻蛋,也要相當謹慎,若掉下來它就會碎掉。習語「walking on eggshells」是指如履薄冰、戰戰兢兢地做事或說話,以免得罪任何人。那些將要離任的特首林鄭月娥的人曾經告訴我,他們跟她說話時總是伴君如伴虎、小心翼翼的(walk on eggshells),因為她很容易感到被冒犯。

這個習語來源自十九世紀,當時人們在雞舍收集雞蛋時,必須萬分小心,不要走在破碎的蛋殼(eggshells)上,免得打擾了母雞。另一個我聽到的習語是「the juice is not worth the squeeze」。它來自習語「is the juice worth the squeeze?」我幾年前曾解釋過這個習語,但會為新讀者們再解釋一下。用手榨橙汁是個苦差,你必須要用許多的氣力,擠擰有夠多的橙,才勉強榨出一杯橙汁。若你說「is the juice worth the squeeze?」,意思便是,當結果是那麼微小,還是否值得為此去勞心勞力,務要促成其事?

若你寒窗苦讀而考試合格,你便可以說 the juice was worth the squeeze,一切艱苦的付出都是值得的。若一位僱主給你一份工作,卻要你一星期七天長時間工作,薪酬卻只得那麼一丁點,你便可以跟那位僱主說這不值得啊,the juice is not worth the squeeze。若一位僱主給你一份工作,要求你一星期工作六天,但人工很高,你便可以說 the juice is worth the squeeze。中譯:七刻
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - walking on eggshells|又中又英
 Michael Chugani 褚簡寧 - walking on eggshells|又中又英 
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