1. Call it a day (結束, 到此為止)
例句: You've been working on that history report since before breakfast. Why don't you call it a day?
意思: to stop work for the day; to bring a project to an end for the time being
來源: The idea expressed in this idiom is that a certain amount of work is enough for one day. When you've done that amount, you should "call it a day", meaning to declare that you've done a full day's work and that you're stopping. (這句話要表達的意思是一天內已經做了足夠份量的工作. 用這句話則表示你已經有做到你該做的工作量, 就應該結束一天的工作, 到此為止.)
2. Call the shots (下命令; 做最後的決定)
例句: You may know all about glassblowing, but here in the gym, I call the shots.
意思: to make the decisions; to be in charge; to give orders
來源: The origin of this expression is unclear, but it might refer to the officer in charge of soldiers in a battle. He gives the commands and calls the (gun) shots. The phrase also suggests the role of a coach of a basketball team who tells the players what plays to make and what (basketball) shots to take. Today we say that the person in charge of any kind of activity "call the shots". (這句用語的來源處不明, 但很有可能是指負責管理軍人的長官, 通常是下達命令或做最後決定的人. 也可以用在球隊教練身上, 他通常會告訴球員怎麼打球, 怎麼進球. 今日, 我們把這句用語指負責任何活動, 最後做決定的人. )
3. Calm before the storm (暴風雨前的寧靜)
例句: The meeting may be peaceful now, but this is only the calm before the storm.
意思: a period of peace before a disturbance or crisis; an unnatural or false calm before astorm
來源: There was an ancient Greek proverb that said "Fair weather brings on cloudy weather". Though that's not always true, people have noticed since the 1500s that there often was a period of stillness before a big storm. For over four centuries the meaning of this saying has been broadened to include any time of false peace fulness right before a violent outburst. (有句古希臘用語說:好天氣後, 伴隨來的是陰天. 雖說不是完全準確, 但在1500年左右, 有人注意到每當有好天氣時, 之後跟著的就是暴風雨. 經過4個世紀後, 這句用語被沿用指任何激烈的事情發生前的那段寧靜的假象.)
4. Cast the first stone (率先批評、責難或攻擊)
例句: Don't criticize. You've done it yourself, so you shouldn't cast the first stone.
意思: to be the first to attack, blame, or criticize someone; to lead accursers against a wrongdoer
來源: This is another saying that comes from the Bible. The apostle John writes that when people wanted to stone to death a woman accused of something immoral, Jesus said, "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her". In other words, you shouldn't criticize how other behave unless you're perfect yourself. (這句是從聖經裡出來的. 基督使徒John寫到, 當眾人想要把一個被控有不道德行為的女人用石頭砸死時, 基督便說: 讓無罪之人投第一塊石頭. 也就是說, 要指責別人之前, 先看看自己有沒有做好. )
5. Cat got your tongue (你啞巴了; 啞口無言; 舌頭打結)
例句: Why don't you answer me? Cat got your tongue?
意思: Is there a reason that you're not speaking?
來源: By the mid-1800s this expression was popular in both the United States and Britain. No one is sure where it came from, but you can image that if a cat really got hold of your tongue, you wouldn't be able to say a word. Probably someone thought up this aying to ask, "Why don't you talk?" in a clever way, and it caught on. (無人知曉這句用語的來源. 但可以想像如果真的有隻貓抓住你的舌頭, 應該是完全說不出話來吧!)
6. Catch more flies with honey than with vinegar (投其所好; 對症下藥)
例句: Ask her nicely. Remember, you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
意思: more can be accomplished by being pleasant than by being disagreeable
來源: As early as the 1600s people were using different versions of this expression in many European languages. If you've ever had a fly buzzing around your house, you know that it is attracted to sweet things like honey. It doesn't like sour things like vinegar. In the same way, you're more likely to get what you want from people ("catch more flies") by being sweet and agreeable (like honey), rather than bitter and sharp (like vinegar). (如果你家裡有隻蒼蠅飛來飛去, 你知道那是因為家裡有甜的東西吸引它, 像是蜂蜜. 蒼蠅不喜歡酸酸的東西, 像是醋. 相同道理, 如果你想要從別人那裡得到想要的東西時, 最好多奉承一點, 多說點甜言蜜語, 而不是說尖酸苛薄或批評的話.)
7. Catch someone red-handed (當場抓獲某人做壞事; 證據確鑿)
例句: Ashley's brother was caught red-handed at the scene of the crime.
意思: to catch someone in the act of doing something wrong
來源: At first this expression referred to someone caught in the middle of a murder with blood on his or her hands ("red-handed"). Later the saying grew to mean any kind of wrongdoing, not just a criminal action. If you were nabbed sneaking one of your gradmother's freshly baked brownies, for instance, your fingers might be covered with chocolate, but you'd still be caught "red-handed". (一開始這句用語是應用在現行犯在犯罪現場被當場抓到時(手沾滿了血). 後來應用在被抓到做任何壞事的情況下. 假設你偷拿了奶奶/外婆做好的布郎尼巧克力, 被抓到的話, 你的手會是沾滿了巧克力的, 但還是會用"red-handed"這句用語. )
8. Catch you later (待會見)
例句: I've got to get right home to baby-sit my sister. I'll catch you later.
意思: good-bye, I'll see or speak to you at another time
來源: The verb "catch" has many meanings, including to capture, to trap, and to grasp or take hold of forcibly. In this late 20th century African-American expression, "catch" means to see or hear from you at a later time. ("Catch"這個動詞有很多意思, 像是補獲, 設陷阱, 抓, 或是霸佔等等. 後來20世紀後, "catch"演變成待會見的意思.)
9. Chew the fat (閒聊)
例句: My friend and I sat up half the night just chewing the fat.
意思: to have a friendly, informal talk; to chat in a relaxed way
來源: In the late 1800s this expression was popular in the British army, and then it came to the United States. One possible origin might be that military and naval people were given tough meat to eat and they had to chew the fat of the meat as they talked. At any rate, if you're just hanging out, talking with your friends in an easy, relaxed way, you're "chewing the fat" (or "rag"). A similar expression is to "shoot the breeze". (這句用語在1800世紀末時的英國軍隊中很流行, 後來流傳到美國. 有來源說是陸軍和海軍在行軍時, 只有硬梆梆的肉乾可以吃. 他們一邊嚼著肉乾, 一邊說話. 後來演變成, 如果你只是跟朋友在一起聚會, 聊東聊西的話, 就可以用這句. 另外"shoot the breeze"也有相似的意思.)
10. Chill out (冷靜; 沉著; 放鬆)
例句: When Chris threw down the paddle after he lost the Ping-Pong game, the counselor told him to chill out.
意思: relax, calm down
來源: When a person starts to get angry, we often use expressions like "steamed up" and "hot under the collar" to describe his or her emotions. If being heated up suggests being overly excited, then it's easy to see how the opposite means calm. "Chill out" is a recent African-American idiom, and so are other similar expressions like "take a chill pill" and "cool it". (當有人開始生氣時, 通常會使用"steamed up - 激動; 發怒; 怒火中燒" 和"hot under the collar-怒氣沖天"來形容. 反之, "chill out"是要人冷靜下來, 別衝動. 其它類似的說法有"take a chill pill-冷靜一下"和"cool it-放鬆; 冷靜".)