Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Today, we tell about "horse" expressions. In the past, many people depended on horses for transportation, farming and other kinds of work. A lot of people still like to ride horses. And, horse racing is also popular. So it is not surprising that Americans still use expressions about the animals.
Long ago, people who were rich or important rode horses that were very tall. Today, if a girl acts like she is better than everyone else, you might say she should get off her high horse.
很久以前，非富即贵者都骑着高头大马。现在如果一个女孩子摆出比人优越的架势，你就可以跟她说，别摆架子（get off her high horse）。
Yesterday my children wanted me to take them to the playground. But I had to finish my work, so I told them to hold your horses. Wait until I finish what I am doing. My two boys like to compete against each other and play in a violent way. I always tell them to stop horsing around or someone could get hurt.
昨天我的孩子们想要我带他们去游乐场，但我必须先做完工作。所以我告诉他们耐心等一会（hold your horses），等我完成手头的工作。我的两个儿子喜欢暴力比拼打闹。我经常告诉他们别闹了（stop horsing around），否则有人该受伤了。
We live in a small town. It does not have any exciting activities to offer visitors. My children call it a one-horse town.
Last night, I got a telephone call while I was watching my favorite television show. I decided not to answer it because wild horses could not drag me away from the television. There was nothing that could stop me from doing what I wanted to do.
昨晚，在我观看最爱的电视节目时有人给我打电话，我决定不理会它。因为八抬大轿都不能把我从电视机前抬走（wild horses could not drag me away from the television）-- 什么事也无法阻止我做想做的事情。
Sometimes you get information straight from the horses mouth. It comes directly from the person who knows most about the subject and is the best source. Let us say your teacher tells you there is going to be a test tomorrow. You could say you got the information straight from the horses mouth. However, you would not want to call your teacher a horse!
有时候你从可靠渠道(straight from the horse’s mouth)获得消息。这些消息直接来自最了解情况的人，最可靠的渠道。比如说，老师告诉你明天将举行测验，你可以说你得到了“最可靠的消息”(straight from the horse’s mouth)。但是，你并不是想把老师称作马。
You may have heard this expression: You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. That means you can give someone advice but you cannot force him to do something he does not want to do.
你可能听过这样一句老话：牵马河边易，逼马饮水难（You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink）。意思是你可以给人建议，但你不能强迫他们做不想做的事情。
Sometimes a person fights a battle that has been decided or keeps arguing a question that has been settled. We say this is like beating a dead horse.
有时，某人可能就一个已有定论的问题争论不休。我们说这简直就是徒劳无益白费口舌(beating a dead horse)。
In politics, a dark-horse candidate is someone who is not well known to the public. Sometimes, a dark horse unexpectedly wins an election.
Another piece of advice is, do not change horses in midstream. You would not want to get off one horse and on to another in the middle of a river. Or make major changes in an activity that has already begun. In the past, this expression was used as an argument to re-elect a president, especially during a time when the country was at war.
另一个建议是，不要临阵换将（do not change horses in midstream）。你肯定不希望在河中央时再换骑另一匹马，也不希望在事情已经开始后再做重大改变。在过去，人们常用这条习语来论证不要重选总统，尤其是国家处于战争期间时。