May 23

“To the airport, please, and step on it!” 「空港までお願いします。大急ぎで!」

映画やテレビを見ているときに、誰かがどこかに急いでいてタクシーに乗る場面を観たことはありますか?よく「Step on it!」と言います。踏むように言っている物は、車を速く走らせるために足で踏むアクセルペダルです。たまには車を運転していないのにこのフレーズで「急いで!」と促すこともあるかもしれません。

Have you ever watched a movie or TV show in which a character was trying to get somewhere in a hurry and hailed a taxi? They often tell the taxi driver to “step on it!” “It” means the gas pedal, which they have to press with their foot in order to go fast. But you might occasionally hear this phrase used to mean “hurry up” even when nobody is driving a car.

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May 16

忙しいときに夜遅くまで働くことがあります。夜に石油ランプを使っていた17世紀では夜中まで働くときは「深夜の石油を燃やす」必要がありました。今は電気を使いますが、それでも遅くまで残業するときなどに「burn the midnight oil」という表現を使います。

Sometimes when you are very busy, you have to work late into the night. In the 1600s, when people used oil lamps for light at night, they had to “burn the midnight oil” in order to see their work late at night. Now we usually use electricity, but we still say things like, “We’ll have to burn the midnight oil,” if we have to work a lot of overtime.

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