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今天,我们将为大家讨论一些美食。如果某件东西是新品种或经过改进,我们常称这件东西是有史以来最好的东西(the best thing since sliced bread)。

Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. We received a list of expressions about food from Elenir Scardueli, a listener from Brazil.
现在美国之音慢速英语词语曲故。我们收到了巴西听众Elenir Scardueli发来的一份食物词语表。

Today we will talk about some good things to eat. If something is new and improved, we say it is the best thing since sliced bread. In the past, bread was only sold in loaves in baked goods stores. Today, American supermarkets sell sliced bread in plastic bags. Many people thought this was easier because you did not have to cut the bread yourself. The person who makes the most money in a family is called the breadwinner.
今天,我们将为大家讨论一些美食。如果某件东西是新品种或经过改进,我们常称这件东西是有史以来最好的东西(the best thing since sliced bread)。过去,只有烘烤食品店才卖面包。如今,美国各大超市均出售袋装的切面面包。很多人认为切面面包更为方便,因为省去了切面包之劳。家里赚钱最多的那位被称为家庭经济支柱,赚钱养家者(breadwinner)。

Bread and butter issues are those that are most important to Americans and affect them directly – like jobs and health care.
民生问题(Bread and butter issues)指那些对美国人最为重要,影响最直接的事情--例如就业和医疗。

Half a loaf is better than none means that getting part of what you want is better than getting nothing at all. If you know which side your bread is buttered on, then you know what your best interests are and will act to protect them.
聊胜于无(Half a loaf is better than none)意思是得到一些你想要的东西总比什么也得不到要好。而you know which side your bread is buttered on的意思是:你知道什么是你的最大利益,并将用实际行动维护它。

Many Americans like their bread toasted. Toast is cooked with dry heat until it starts to turn brown. But you are in big trouble if someone tells you you're toast.
许多美国人喜欢吃烤好的面包。烘烤就是加热直至开始变黄变焦。但如果有人告诉你 you're toast,意思是你惹大麻烦了。

If you say something is a piece of cake, it means something is really easy, like a test you take in school. Cakes are often covered with a sweet topping, called icing. Icing on the cake means something good that happens in addition to another good thing. Another expression says you can't have your cake and eat it, too. This means you cannot have everything your way, especially if two wishes oppose each other.
如果你说什么事情是小菜一碟(a piece of cake),就是说很简单,比如你形容学校的一次考试。蛋糕表面通常会覆盖一层被称为糖衣的甜酱。锦上添花就是Icing on the cake_。另一句表达鱼与熊掌不可兼得(you can't have your cake and eat it, too),意思是不可能事事如愿,特别是在事物对立的情况下。

Hotcakes are also called pancakes. They contain flour, eggs, milk and baking powder. You cook them in a frying pan and eat them with fruit or a sweet topping. If a new product is popular and selling well, you might say it is selling like hotcakes.
烤饼也称为煎饼,由面粉、鸡蛋、牛奶和发酵粉而制成。我们在煎锅烹调这种饼,并与水果和甜酱一起食用。如果一种新产品很受欢迎、大为畅销,我们就说它非常畅销(selling like hotcakes)。

But if a friend of yours did something bad, you might stop being friends with him immediately or drop him like a hotcake.
但是,如果你的朋友干了糟糕的事情,你可能迅速与他绝交(drop him like a hotcake)。

Flat as a pancake describes something that is, well, really flat.
平坦(Flat as a pancake)用来形容某些东西十分扁平。

A tough cookie is not something you want to eat. It is a person who is difficult to deal with, and would do anything necessary to get what he or she wants. This person could be a sharp cookie or someone who is not easily fooled. Very often things do not go the way we planned. Instead of getting angry or sad, you might just accept it and say that's the way the cookie crumbles.
a tough cookie不是指你想吃的什么东西,而是指一个很难对付的人,并且你可能要用尽一切必要手段才能满足这种人。这种人可能还是a sharp cookie,也就是说很难被糊弄的人。很多时候,事情并不会如人所愿发生发展,这个时候你只能接受现实,并且说一句这就是生活,这就是现实(that's the way the cookie crumbles),而犯不着生气或难过。

Many pies are also good to eat. If something is easy to do, you could say it is easy as pie. But if you do something wrong or bad, you might have to apologize and show you are sorry. In other words, you might have to eat humble pie.
很多馅饼都很好吃。如果什么事情非常容易,你可能会称这件事易如反掌(easy as pie)。但如果你做错或搞砸了什么事,你可能不得不道歉,并表现出你的歉意。换句话说,你可能需要赔礼道歉,忍声吞气(eat humble pie)。

If you have an idea or plan that is not really possible, someone might say it is pie in the sky. If something is really easy to do, you might say it is like taking candy from a baby. But that would not be a very nice thing to do!
如果你有一个不太现实的想法或计划,有人可能就会说那是空中楼阁(pie in the sky)。如果事情确实很容易,你可能会说这就像抢小娃娃的糖果,意思当然极其容易(taking candy from a baby)。但抢小娃娃的糖果可是不很光彩哟!


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