Nov 02

“I won $50 in the lottery, but then I had to pay a parking ticket. Oh well, easy come, easy go.” 「宝くじで50ドルが当たったけど駐車違反で使ってしまった。まあ、簡単に手に入るものは簡単に立ち去る。」


Something that is easily gained is also easily lost. We use this phrase when we’ve lost something that wasn’t terribly important because we didn’t put a lot of effort into getting it. You might use this phrase if you are a little disappointed to lose something, or to comfort somebody who has lost something that wasn’t too important.

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Oct 05

“She only lied because he asked her to, but when they got caught, he threw her under the bus.” 「彼女は頼まれたから嘘をついたのに、バレたら全部彼女のせいになってしまった。」


When someone betrays a person who helped or cooperated with them, we sometimes say they threw the person under the bus. They probably did something bad together and got caught. Or one person helped another gain power and was then betrayed rather than rewarded.

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Jun 22

“His speech today could make or break his chances in the upcoming election.” 「今日のスピーチで今回の当選に可能性があるかないかが決まってしまうでしょう。」

“Holiday sales will make or break our business.” 「ホリデーシーズンの売上で商売の未来が決まる。」

未来を決める大事なことは、大きな成功をもたらすか、成功するチャンスを永遠になくすか、というときはmake or breakと言います。例えば、プロ野球チームに誰をリクルートするかを決めるためにスカウトが観ているときに、ひどく下手にプレイしたら、プロになるチャンスをなくしてしまう(break)。とてもうまくプレイしたら、その試合に基づいてプロになるチャンスを得る(make)。

Something that decides your future can either make you a great success, or break your chance of ever succeeding. For example, if a baseball player plays a terrible game on the day a scout is watching to decide who to recruit, his future as a professional player could be lost (broken); if he plays very well, he could get a chance to join a professional team based on that game.

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May 28

“It may be cute when your puppy jumps up on you, but it won’t be cute when he’s an adult, so you had better nip it in the bud!” 「子犬が体当たりしてもかわいいだけだけど、大人になったらかわいいじゃ済まないから今のうちに躾けといたほうがいいです。」


To “nip it in the bud” is to stop a problem before it becomes big. A bud will someday bloom into a flower, so if you don’t want the flower, you should cut the bud off now before it blooms.

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Apr 06

“That new bicycle is the cat’s meow.” 「あの新しい自転車がかっこいい」

猫の一番いいところは鳴き声ですか?The cat’s meowまたはthe cat’s pajamasは何かすごいものやかっこいいものを表します。今は古い表現ですが、猫に関する言葉遊びなどでは役に立ちます。1920年代のアメリカからくるフレーズです。

Is the meow the best part of a cat? “The cat’s meow” or “the cat’s pajamas” describes something very cool and awesome. It’s old-fashioned, but still useful for making cat-related puns. The phrase comes from the US in the 1920s.

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Mar 09

“What’s that word? It’s on the tip of my tongue, but I can’t remember it!” 「なんだっけ?言葉がもうちょっとで思い出せそうなのに思い出せない!」


When you’re looking for a word, and you’re sure you know it, but you can’t think of it at the moment, you can say the word is “on the tip of your tongue”. If you could get it off your tongue and out of your mouth, you could say the word!

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Dec 16

“If you did your best and had fun, that’s a win in my book.” 「頑張って楽しかったなら、私に言わせればそれが勝利だ。」

自分だけの意見や信じることをまとめた事典や百科事典のような本があると想像してみましょう。子供が野球の試合で負けて悲しいときに、負け犬だとおもわないで、違う「勝利」の意味を語って元気づけようとします。本屋や図書館の事典にはなくても「my book」ではそう書かれています。「My book」には色々な意見や信じることが集まっています。

Imagine that you have a dictionary or encyclopedia that contains all your opinions and beliefs. If your child’s team loses a baseball game, they may feel bad about losing. But you don’t think of them as losers. You cheer them up by telling them a different definition of “winning”. It isn’t in the dictionary on the shelf at the library or bookstore, but it is in “your book”. “Your book” can contain all kinds of alternate definitions and personal beliefs.

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Nov 18

“When the project fell apart, I was left holding the bag.” 「プロジェクトが失敗に終わったときは私が貧乏くじをひいた。」


The bag in this metaphor is a bag full of stolen items. A group of people cooperate to steal something, but when they are about to be caught, the others run away. The person left with the bag will be arrested and punished. We can use this phrase to say people escaped responsibility for a group failure, leaving someone less powerful to take the blame.

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Aug 27

uehonmachi_aug26“I’m going to tell his girlfriend I saw him talking to his ex.” 「彼が元カノとしゃべっていたことを彼の今の彼女に言おう。」
“Okay, whatever. It’s no skin off my nose.” 「まあ、いいけど、私は関係ないね。」

誰かが問題を起こしそうなことをしようとしている状況で、でもそれは自分とは関係のない時「It’s no skin off my nose」と言ったりします。相手がそうすることで問題が起こりそうだけど、自分とは関係ないし困らないので相手がしようとしていることを別に止めはしません。もちろん、「It’s no skin off my nose」と言うことでおすすめではないことをさりげなく伝える事ができます。

If someone is going to do something that will probably cause trouble, but it isn’t any of our business, we can say “it’s no skin off my nose”. We expect that there will be trouble, but we aren’t involved and won’t be hurt, so we won’t stop our friend from doing something that might not be very smart. Of course, by saying this, we gently suggest that it might not be a good idea.

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Jul 08

uehonmachi_july8“He’s always keeping me waiting, so tonight I’ll show up ten minutes late on purpose. See how he likes a taste of his own medicine!” 「彼はいつも私を待たせてるんだから、今日はわざと10分遅刻してやる。私の身にもなってもらおう!」




When someone who has done something bad to others receives the same treatment himself, we say he’s gotten “a taste of his own medicine”. This could be something very bad, like bullying, or something small, like an attack in a multiplayer video game. “You keep using the special attack against me, but now you’ll get a taste of your own medicine!”

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