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. If 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. It 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.
1.beeline n. 直线
She made a beeline for the car.
2.bonnet n. [机] 阀盖；软帽 vt. 给…装上罩；给…戴上帽子
The baby's bonnet keeps the sun out of her eyes.
3.beeswax vt. 涂蜜蜡 n. 蜂蜡
to beeswax the wooden floors
4.restless adj. 焦躁不安的；不安宁的；得不到满足的
My father seemed very restless and excited.
1.And if you stir up a hornet's nest, you create trouble or problems.
stir up 激起；煽动；搅拌；唤起
Before painting, you should stir up the paint a bit.
They saw first a cloud of dust and then the car that was stirring it up.
关于昆虫，美国英语有许多表达方式—象蜜蜂。大家都认为蜜蜂非常勤劳 。他们常常表现地很忙碌，在他们的家里或蜂巢里来回活动 。因此如果你周末打扫房间，你可能会说忙碌地象只蜜蜂 。
实际上，如果全家人都在帮你打扫卫生，你可能会说您的房子进行着蜂巢的活动。如果你需要立即动身，你可能会说以“蜂线”方式做某事 。当我们去看电影时，我朋友常常“蜂线”直奔卖爆米花的地方 。
还有一个关于蜜蜂的词语，用得不是很多，但是我们还是喜欢用它。我们认为第一次这样使用是在二十世纪二十年代 。如果一种东西是同类中最好的，你可能会说他是蜂膝 。现在，得承认我们并不知道这种表达是如何演变而来的 。实际上我们甚至不知道蜜蜂有膝盖 。
大黄蜂是一种很像蜜蜂，有时会袭击人类的昆虫。如果你非常生气，你可能说你象黄蜂一样疯了 。如果你搅动黄蜂的巢，你是在制造麻烦或问题 。
蝴蝶是非常美丽的昆虫，但是你可能不想在胃里有蝴蝶。这意味着你为要做某事而感到紧张不安，比如要在人群面前讲话 。你也不想有蚂蚁在裤子里吧，那将会令人躁动不安，无法安坐 。
还有一些关于那些普通的老虫子的说法，那是昆虫的另一种说法。如果一个朋友不停地让你做不想做的事情，你可能会请他让你独自呆会或说“不要烦我了” 。有的朋友可能琮会不停地让你做事情 。如果这样，你可能会说他在你耳朵旁边放了只臭虫 。