2009年 12月 2日, 星期三 - 格林尼治标准时间11:19

Emmet's Student Diary 伦敦学生博客第十周

Emmet Conlon O'Reilly

Wednesday 2nd December 2009 – Expressions

What’s the craic?

Thanks again to those of you who sent in colloquial Mandarin phrases. Here are the English equivalents of a few of them:

English equivalents of Mandarin phrases

加油

Go for it (or in Ireland: give it welly).

小意思

Piece of cake.

说的比唱的好听

Someone who does this can 'talk the talk but not walk the walk' or

you can say they are 'a bit too big for their boots'.

Emmet Conlon O'Reilly

Emmet has enjoyed his search for English expressions this week

This week’s blog has been a lot of fun. As promised, we’re talking about colloquialisms, turns of phrase, local expressions and slang. Some of the ‘Irishisms’ (see the Irish English box below) really made me laugh because I haven’t heard some of them in ages.

“What’s the craic?” or “any craic?” (pronounced crack) is a uniquely Irish expression. Even when I say this to some English friends they haven’t a clue what I’m talking about. It means, how are things or what’s happening? Craic as I mentioned a while ago is fun or banter.

How do you answer someone when they ask you, “What’s the craic?” Actually, the only way to answer it really is by saying, “not much”, even if you’ve just managed to single-handedly end world hunger. We’ve got a remarkable ability to speak to each other without actually communicating any information whatsoever.

‘Sound’ is a really useful and versatile adjective. If I say someone is sound, I think he or she is nice person; they’ve got a good personality. If someone asks me how I am I can also answer sound, meaning I’m well or in good form.

An American baseball player

Is this American baseball player going to smash it out of the park?

Another phrase I really like is ‘hit/smash it out of the park’. This is an American phrase which comes from baseball. If an exam or board meeting goes well for you, you could say you smashed it out of the park.

‘Break a leg’ is another handy phrase. If a friend is about to perform on stage or has a big day ahead, you can wish them good luck by saying break a leg.

craic (爱尔兰人喜欢使用的)朋友间的惬意谈笑, equivalent 相对的, colloquialism 通俗用语, banter 朋友间的惬意谈笑, in ages 很久以来, single-handedly 独力的,单独的, remarkable 显著的,特别的, versatile 通用的, good form (通指健康)状况良好, board meeting 董事会议, superstition 迷信, originate 起源于, cracking 很好的

The term ‘sound’ might originate from the phrase ‘as sound as a bell’. When a bell is rung if it is cracked, the sound won’t be clear, so if a bell was ‘sound’ then it was undamaged. It later became used to describe people – a healthy person is ‘sound’. The phrase ‘Break a leg’, used to wish people good luck, seems to originate from theatrical superstition. Many actors believe that you shouldn’t say good luck on the opening night of a show because it will bring bad luck. Instead, you say “Break a leg” which is the opposite of what you want to happen.

I have to thank my brother Ruraidh and friends Paul and Johnny for sending me some cracking phrases. Xie​xie​ ni​men​. I’ve listed the most useful phrases first.

Have fun!

How many of these have you heard before? Can you think of equivalent phrases in Mandarin?

British/ American English Expressions

Cool

Trendy, good (adjective)

Sound

Nice, kind, well (adjective)

Handy

Useful

Knackered

Very tired

I haven’t a clue

I really don't know

Break a leg!

Good luck!

I hit it out of the park or I smashed it out of the park

It went really well or it was a great success

To crack up (laughing)

To suddenly start laughing

Cracking

Great (e.g. what a cracking goal)

Irish English Expressions

What’s the craic?/ How’s tricks?

How are you?

Get out of that garden!

Stop talking rubbish!

Aye

Yes, indeed

Deadly

Good (e.g. my friend's new band is deadly)

Eejit

Fool

Gaff

House (e.g. call around to my gaff)

He’s got a face for radio

He is ugly (Note: this is an insult)

You’re as mad as a bag of spiders

You are mad

Email Emmet at 按键 chinaelt@bbc.co.uk


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