В этой рубрике будут выходить фразовые глаголы и/или идиомы, объединенные одной темой. Это тоже, к сожалению, не для новичков, а для более продвинутых изучающих, начиная с уверенного pre-intermediate.
Объяснения даны на английском, как и примеры. Предлагаю более продвинутым перевести объяснения, а потом всем вместе подыскать русские эквиваленты (а это далеко не всегда совпадает с буквальным переводом) выражениям.
Сегодня все пугают кризисом, завязыванием поясов, повышенными требованиями на работе и прочими радостями. А мы ответим на это уроком английского про идиомы, связанные с работой. Повысим свою квалификацию и фиг нас кто тогда уволит! ))
Here are some handy idioms you can use when you’re working:
- reduction of expenses
Example: When worldwide demand for software decreased, Microsoft had to do some belt-tightening.
bite the bullet
- to make a difficult or painful decision; to take a difficult step
Example: When demand was down, U.S. automakers had to bite the bullet and cut jobs.
This idiom comes from the military. During the Civil War in the United States, doctors sometimes ran out of whiskey for killing the pain. A bullet would be put in the wounded soldier’s mouth during surgery. He would "bite the bullet" to distract him from the pain and keep him quiet so the doctor could do his work in peace.
bitter pill to swallow
- bad news; something unpleasant to accept
Example: After Gina spent her whole summer working as an intern for American Express, failing to get a full-time job offer from the company was a bitter pill to swallow.
- credit for doing a good deed or for giving someone a compliment (usually a boss or teacher)
Example: Sara scored brownie points with her boss by volunteering to organize the company’s holiday party.
: The junior branch of the Girl Scouts is called the Brownies. Brownies earn credit to then earn a badge by doing good deeds and tasks. When applied to adults, the meaning is sarcastic.
- a product, service, or business division that generates a lot of cash for the company, without requiring much investment
Example: With strong sales every year and a great brand name, Mercedes is a cash cow for DaimlerChrysler.
(to) compare apples to oranges
- to compare two unlike things; to make an invalid comparison
Example: Comparing a night at EconoLodge with a night at the Four Seasons is like comparing apples to oranges. One is a budget motel, and the other is a luxury hotel.
You will also see the related expression "compare apples to apples" which means to compare two things of the same type. This means that you are making a valid comparison, as opposed to when you’re comparing apples to oranges.
- a short period when there’s high pressure to achieve a result
Example: It’s crunch time for stem cell researchers in Korea. New government regulations may soon make their work illegal.
- a cruel and aggressive world in which people just look out for themselves
Example: Your company fired you shortly after you had a heart attack? Well, it’s certainly a dog-eat-dog world!
This expression dates back to the 1500’s. Wild dogs were observed fighting aggressively over a piece of food. The connection was made that people, like dogs, often compete aggressively to get what they want.
(to) dot your i’s and cross your t’s
- to be very careful; to pay attention to details
Example: When preparing financial statements, accuracy is very important. Be sure to dot your i’s and cross your t’s.
(to) face the music
- to admit that there’s a problem; to deal with an unpleasant situation realistically
Example: Enron executives finally had to face the music and admit that they were involved in some illegal activities.
(to) jump the gun
- to start doing something too soon or ahead of everybody else
Example: The company jumped the gun by releasing a new product before the results of the consumer testing were in.
A runner "jumps the gun" if he or she starts running before the starter’s pistol has been fired.
mum’s the word
- let’s keep quiet about this; I agree not to tell anyone about this
Example: Please don’t tell anybody about our new project. Remember: mum’s the word!
The word "mum" comes from the murmur "mmmmm," the only sound you can make when your mouth is shut firmly. Try making other sounds besides "mmmmm" with your lips and mouth shut firmly, and you will see that it’s impossible!
(to) work out the (or some) kinks
- to solve the problems with
Example: The company announced that they will delay the launch of their new product by two weeks. They still need to work out the kinks with their packaging process.
: A "kink" is a usually a bend in a wire or a pipe, which makes it work poorly unless it’s straightened out.