Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Every language has its own special words and expressions. And a story can be told about each of them.
Hot is a simple, easily understood word. So are most of the expressions made with the word hot. But not always, as we shall see.
The words hot potato, for example, give you no idea at all to the meaning of the expression, hot potato.
The potato is a popular vegetable in the United States. Many people like baked potatoes, cooked in an oven or fire. Imagine trying to carry a hot, baked potato in your hand. It would be difficult, even painful, to do so.
Now we are getting close to the meaning of hot potato.
Some publicly disputed issues are highly emotional. The issues must be treated carefully, or they will be difficult and painful if an elected official has to deal with them. As difficult and painful as holding a hot potato.
One such hot potato is taxes.
Calling for higher taxes can mean defeat for a politician. And yet, if taxes are not raised, some very popular government programs could be cut. And that also can make a politician very unpopular. So the questions must be dealt with carefully, the same way you would handle any other hot potato.
Another expression is not so hot. If you ask someone how she feels, she may answer "not so hot." What she means is she does not feel well.
Not so hot also is a way of saying that you do not really like something. You may tell a friend that the new play you saw last night is not so hot. That means you did not consider it a success.
A hot shot is a person, often a young person, who thinks he can do anything. At least he wants to try. He is very sure he can succeed. But often he fails. The expression was born in the military forces. A hot shot was a soldier who fired without aiming carefully.
Hot is a word that is often used to talk about anger.
A person who becomes angry easily is called a hothead. An angry person's neck often becomes red. We say he is hot under the collar. You could say that your friend is no hothead. But he got hot under the collar when someone took his radio.
In nineteen sixty-three, hot line appeared as a new expression.
The hot line was a direct communications link between the leaders of the Soviet Union and the United States. The hot line had an important purpose: to prevent accidental war between the two competitors during the period known as the Cold War. The American president and the Soviet leader were able to communicate directly and immediately on the hot line. This helped prevent any conflict during an international crisis.
You have been listening to the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES. Our program was written by Marilyn Rice Christiano. I'm Warren Scheer.
1.disputed adj. 有争议的
Talks have broken down over the disputed territory.
2.hothead n. 性急的人；鲁莽的人
She's such a hothead.
3.accidental adj. 意外的；偶然的；附属的；临时记号的
His hand brushed against hers; it could have been either accidental or deliberate.
1.Now we are getting close to the meaning of hot potato.
get close to 靠近，接近
No one is dare to get close to your dog as it is too feral.
We should seize every opportunity to get close to the masses.
另一个表达是not so hot，如果你问别人感觉如何，她可能会说not so hot，意思是感觉不那么好。
Not so hot也可用来表示不喜欢某物，你可以告诉朋友，昨晚看的新戏not so hot，意思是你认为这出戏不怎么成功。
Hot shot通常是自认为无所不知的年轻人，至少他希望尝试，他十分相信自己能成功，但通常会失败。这个表达来自军队，hot shot是指不认真瞄准就射击的士兵 。
容易发怒的人被称为hothead，愤怒者的脖子通常会变红。我们会说他hot under the collar(怒气冲冲)，你可以说朋友不容易发火，但有人拿走他的收音机他就会怒气冲冲 。
Hot line(热线)是苏联和美国领导人之间直接的通讯线路，它有一个重要的目的：阻止冷战期间这两个竞争对手之间发生意外战争。美国总统和苏联领导人可以通过热线直接沟通，这样就阻止国际危机期间发生冲突 。