Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
There are many American expressions about insects -- like bees, for example. Bees are known as very hard workers. They always appear to be busy, moving around their homes, or hives. So you might say you were "as busy as a bee" if you spent your weekend cleaning your house. In fact, you might say your house was "a beehive of activity" if your whole family was helping you clean.
You also might say you made a beeline for something if you went there right away. When we go to see a movie, my friend always makes a beeline for the place where they sell popcorn.
Here is an expression about bees that is not used much any more, but we like it anyway. We think it was first used in the nineteen twenties. If something was the best of its kind, you might say it was the bee's knees. Now, we admit that we do not know how this expression developed. In fact, we do not even know if bees have knees!
If your friend cannot stop talking about something because she thinks it is important, you might say she has a bee in her bonnet. If someone asks you a personal question, you might say "that is none of your beeswax." This means none of your business.
Speaking of personal questions, there is an expression people sometimes use when their children ask, "where do babies come from?" Parents who discuss sex and reproduction say this is talking about the birds and the bees.
Hornets are bee-like insects that sometimes attack people. If you are really angry, you might say you are mad as a hornet. And if you stir up a hornet's nest, you create trouble or problems.
Butterflies are beautiful insects, but you would not want to have butterflies in your stomach. That means to be nervous about having to do something, like speaking in front of a crowd. You would also not want to have ants in your pants. That is, to be restless and unable to sit still.
Here are some expressions about plain old bugs, another word for insects. If a friend keeps asking you to do something you do not want to do, you might ask him to leave you alone or "stop bugging me." A friend also might tell you again and again to do something. If so, you might say he put a bug in your ear.
If you were reading a book in your warm bed on a cold winter's day, you might say you were snug as a bug in a rug. And if you wish someone good night, you might say, "sleep tight -- don't let the bed bugs bite."
This VOA Special English program was written by Shelley Gollust. I'm Faith Lapidus. You can find more WORDS AND THEIR STORIES at learningenglish.voanews.com.
1.beeline n. 直线
She made a beeline for the car.
2.bonnet n. [机] 阀盖；软帽
The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.
3.beeswax n. 蜂蜡
The hive is full of beeswax.
4.snug adj. 舒适的；温暖的；紧身的；隐藏的
They lay snug and warm amid the blankets and watched their sister hard at work.
1.as busy as a bee 极忙碌
She is as busy as a bee in the morning.
The manager and secretary as busy as a bee all day.
2.And if you stir up a hornet's nest, you create trouble or problems.
stir up 激起；煽动；搅拌；唤起
They saw first a cloud of dust and then the car that was stirring it up.
As usual, Harriet is trying to stir up trouble.
美国有许多有关昆虫的表达，比如与蜜蜂有关的表达。大家都知道蜜蜂是很辛勤的劳动者，总是忙个不停，在蜂房周围转来转去 。所以，如果你周末要打扫房间，你可以说自己as busy as a bee(忙忙碌碌的) 。事实上，如果你一家人都帮你打扫，你可以说家里a beehive of activity(人人都在忙碌) 。
如果你径直走向某处，那就可以说made a beeline(走直路)。每当我们去看电影，我朋友总是径直走到卖爆米花的地方 。
有个已经不再用的有关蜜蜂的表达，但我们还是喜欢它。我们认为这个表达最早使用是在20世纪20年代，如果某物是这一类中最好的，你可以说它是bee's knees(顶尖儿的) 。现在，我们承认我们不知道这个表达是如何演化的，事实上，我们甚至不知道蜜蜂是否有膝盖 。
如果你的朋友无法停止说她认为重要的东西，你可以说她a bee in her bonnet(一心一意做某事)。如果某人问你一个私人问题，你可能会说that is none of your beeswax(这不关你的事) 。
谈到个人问题，当孩子们问“婴儿从哪儿来的”时，人们经常会用一个表达。那些谈到性和繁殖问题的父母们说这是about the birds and the bees(两性方面的基本知识) 。
大黄蜂是长得像蜜蜂昆虫，有时会蜇人。如果你真的愤怒，你就会说自己mad as a hornet(怒不可遏) 。如果你stir up a hornet's nest(捅了马蜂窝)，你就惹事了 。
蝴蝶是美丽的昆虫，但你肯定不想have butterflies in your stomach(忐忑不安)，意思是对必须做某事感到紧张，就像当众讲话。你也不想have ants in your pants(坐立不安)，就是不安分坐不下来 。
以下有一些关于plain old bugs的短语。plain old bugs是昆虫的另一种说法 。如果你朋友一直让你做你不想做的事情，你可能会要求他，让你一个人呆会，stop bugging me(别烦我) 。朋友还可能一再告诉你做某事，如果这样，你可以说put a bug in your ear(让你耳朵里都长茧了) 。
如果在寒冬的一天，你在温暖的被窝里看书，你可以说snug as a bug in a rug(非常舒适)。如果你祝某人晚安，你可以说sleep tight -- don't let the bed bugs bite(睡个好觉) 。
这里是美国之音慢速英语节目，作者Shelley Gollust，我是Faith Lapidus。登陆learningenglish.voanews.com获取更多词汇典故节目 。