Meaning 意义

Speak of the devil (and in he walks). This idiom means "talk about certain person and he appears".  A similar Spanish idiom is ""Hablando del Rey de Roma, por la ventana se asoma" (Speaking of the King of Rome, through the window he appears).  In Chinese, it is 说曹操,曹操到 ("shuō Cáo Cāo, Cáo Cāo dào"), which translates as "Speak of Cao Cao and Cao Cao arrives. Cáo Cāo is the a well known historical figure of ancient China during the Three Kingdom Period (220-265CE).

Example 例子

  • Hey, I haven't seen Bob for a long time. Speak of the devil, here he comes.
  • Hola. hace tiempo no he visto a Bob. Mira, hablando rey del Roma, aquí viene Bob ahora.
  • 喂,我很久没有见过Bob. 说曹操,曹操到, 他正走过来!

Meaning 意义

Back in the seventies and eighties, polyvinyl discs, known as records, were the mostly common form of music albums. A scratch of a record may cause the needle of a record player stuck in the same groove and plays the music over and over again. The idiom “Sound like a broken record” refers to a person saying the same thing over and over again. The literal translation of this idiom in Spanish is “pareces un disco rayado” 早在七十,八十年代音乐唱片普遍是用胶碟播放,当唱片被刮花唱针停留在槽上, 音乐重复又重复,此语句是指一个人说同样的事情一遍又一遍,喋喋不休。

Examples 例子

  • Brandon, you sound like a broken record. Please don’t keep telling me to visit your blogs. 白兰敦,请不要象破坏的唱碟,一天到晚叫我上你的网页。
  • Americans for the umpteen times accuse that China controls its currency. It sounds like a broken record to me. 美国无数次指中国操控人民币汇率,真是不胜其烦!
A popular use of the subject proverb was in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, which was written in 1596. 

"All that glitters is not gold" is to say that all may not be as it appears to be. Literally, it means that just because something sparkles or glitters, that does not mean it is gold. It could be some other metal or something that sparkles similarly to gold. In real life, it is easier to apply. For example, if someone appears to be your friend as they treat you nicely and act favorably to you, this does not necessarily mean that they are really your friend and hold your best interests at heart.  You can, of course, also apply it to items or products that look or sound valuable, but can be worthless.

  • Don't be deceived by the designers' dresses, shoes and jewellery that Mary wears. The fact is she is on the verge of bankruptcy. All that glisters is not gold.
  • Don't listen to what the investment consultant told you. She claimed the mini-bonds were as safe as government bonds, but she did not tell you that they could become worthless. All that glisters is not gold

Question:  Glitters appear to be a plural noun,  why is it not "All those glitters are not gold"?
Answer:     Glitters is not a noun here. It is a verb. All in this situation should be followed by a singular verb as in "All is well". "that glitters" forms a verb clause. If you still cannot figure that out, please try treat it as "All (which glitters) is not gold".

这语句最为人熟识是娄似句子曾在沙士比亚名著威尼斯商人 (1956) 出现过。


  • 你看她穿着名牌服装,皮鞋及珠宝,但不要被他蒙闭,其实她面临破产边缘,人不可以貌相,
  • 请不要听那位投资顾问所说,她声称迷你债券稳如证府债券,但她没有告诉你它们可以变为一文不值,物不可信包装。

here is a limit to everything. We can load the camel with lots of straw, but finally it will be too much and the camel's back will break. And it is only a single straw that breaks its back - the last straw. This can be applied to many things in life. People often say "That's the last straw!" when they will not accept any more of something. 

There are a Spanish phrase and a Chinese phrase which have a similar meaning to the subject proverb and they are "La gota que colmó el vaso” and 忍无可忍 respectively. 


  • You broke a lot of rules and I tried to put up with you. However, stealing money is the straw that broke the camel's back. You are fired! 
  • Rompiste muchas reglas y trato de aguantarte. Pero haberte robado el dinero es la gota que colmó el vaso. íEstás despedido! 
  • 你多次犯规,我已容忍你,但是挪用公款,我忍无可忍,我现在开除你。 

  • You have been rude to me all day. I've had it. That's the last straw. 
  • Has sido muy maleducado conmigo todo el día. ¡Me harté! !Esto es el colmo! 
  • 你一整天对我不客气,我受够,忍无可忍!
One can’t have one’s cake and eat it too is a popular English idiomatic proverb or figure of speech. It means an individual can’t use a thing and still attempts to own it (such as eating a piece of cake and yet still possessing that piece for future use) It may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve, or trying to have two incompatible things. The proverb’s meaning is similar to the phrases, “you can’t have it both ways” and “you can’t have the best of both worlds.

There is a Chinese proverbs which bears similar meaning. It is 鱼与熊掌不可兼得, which literally means “one cannot get fish and bear’s paw at the same time”. Back in the old days, both were considered culinary rarities. I was told the closest Spanish phrase to this is.“no puedes tener simpre lo que quieras”



  • He can’t make up his mind whether to go to college or get a full-time job. You can’t have your cake and eat it. 上大学还是找个全日工作的职业,他还拿不定主意,两者不可兼得啊。
  • You spend all your money on beer and then complain about being poor, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, you know. 你把所有的钱都喝啤酒喝完了,然后又抱怨没钱用,你知道,这不能两全其美啊。
The phrase "turning a blind eye" is attributed to an incident in the life of British Admiral Horatio Nelson, who was blind in one eye. In 1801, in certain battle, Nelson deliberately disobeyed the order of his superior by putting the telecope to his blind eye claiming that he did not see the related signal.

Meaning To choose to ignore behavior that one knows is wrong.

  • The city officials were bribed. They turned a blind eye to crimes committed by the gangsters.
  • Management often turn a blind eye to harassment in the workplace.
  • She knew Peter was taking the money from the company but she turned a blind eye because he was her son. 




  • The city officials were bribed. They turned a blind eye to crimes committed by the gangsters. 某些地方官员因受贿对歹徒的罪行视若无睹。
  • Management often turn a blind eye to harassment in the workplace. 高层往往对公司发生的性骚扰视而不见。
  • She knew Peter was taking the money from the company but she turned a blind eye because he was her son. 她知道彼得挪用公款,但她视而不见,因他是她的儿子。

Arm' and 'leg' are used as examples of items that no one would consider selling even at an enormous price. It costs an arm and a leg is used to describe the price of something that is very expensive compared to what you expected.'臂'和'腿'被用来作为例子,无论出价多少相信没有人会考虑出售其'臂'和'腿',It costs an arm and a leg 通常用于描述某物品的价值远远超出你的预期。

Examples 例子 

I went to the dentist today to check my teeth and I need to do some dental work, but it costs an arm and a leg.

Originally we planned to have our vacation in Europe, but a two-week vacation in Europe costs an arm and a leg, so we are going to have our vacation in Thailand.

I can’t afford to buy a new iPod because it costs an arm and a leg.


You are "burning the midnight oil" when you are working hard late into the night. Example: "I could see the light in your window last night. It looks like you have been burning the midnight oil." Before they had electric lamps, people used oil-burning lamps to read or work in the darkness at night. When you are working very hard until late at night you are "burning the midnight oil." "Has your son been working hard to prepare for his final exams?" Reply: "He sure has. He's been up each night burning the midnight oil".

Burning the midnight oil 的意思就是挑灯夜读,也就是我们平常所说的熬夜,开夜车。在英文中,这个用法也由来已久了,可以追溯到人们最初开始使用油灯的时候。如果在午夜时分燃烧灯油,那也就意味着熬夜苦读、看书了。例如:I have a big test tomorrow morning, so I plan to burn the midnight oil tonight.(因为明天我有一个重要的考试,所以我计划挑灯夜读了。)
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush means that it is better to keep what you have than to give it up and try to get something better. Example: "Dan has asked me to go to a party with him. What if my boyfriend finds out? I don't know if I should go." Reply: "Don't go. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush." The thing that you already have is a bird in the hand; the things you want but don't have are two (birds) in the bush. You should not risk losing what you have by trying to get something that you don't have. Example: "I've been offered $250 for my stereo. Should I take it, or wait for a better offer?" Reply: "Take the $250. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush."  A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush means that we should be happy with what we have and not risk losing it by being greedy and trying to get more.

我们人生路途上常常遇到类似问题,一个人应否辞去现时工作而去找一份新工作,一位女仕是否应离开现时不满意的男朋友去另找一个,你曾遇过这些问题吗? 请告诉我们。
A girl at Italki, the other day, posted a message on her blackboard "I will never trust men again". That girl must have had some bad experience with men. This reminded me of the subject provert "One bitten, twice shy". It means that someone who has been hurt or who has had something go wrong will be far more careful next time. In Chinese there is a similar saying 一朝被蛇咬,十年怕井绳. Shy here means "frightened". Do you have some personal experience which this proverb applies? Please write about it.