Now, the VOA Learning program Words and Their Stories.
Language changes over time. Many words and expressions have changed over the centuries.
But the word "friend" has stayed the same. It is a rare example in the English language. The meaning and usage of "friend" has stayed unchanged for hundreds of years.
Well, that is until 2005.
That was when the social website Facebook started using the word as a verb. Now, you can "friend" someone or "unfriend" them, as the case may be. However, be advised, using friend as a verb only works when talking about Facebook. Of course, that may change some day too.
But for now, the correct word for making friends is the verb "befriend." For example, you can use a sentence like, "She befriended many Korean students while living in China."
Speaking of making friends, it is easy to be friendly when things are going well for you. Maybe you have lots of money, a nice house and a fast car. No wonder people like you!
But what happens when you run into trouble? Maybe you lose your job or wreck your fast car? When you run into real trouble and need real help, you quickly learn who your real friends are.
In American English, we often use the saying, "A friend in need is a friend indeed." When you are in need, the person who helps you through the difficult times is, indeed, a friend.
There is also some debate about this expression. Some think it is not "indeed" but "in deed," as in a person's actions. The meaning does not change much, but the expression using "in deed" stresses the action of helping a friend in trouble.
The words tight and thick are often used to describe really strong friendships. If you are tight with someone, you are close with them. For example, I know two people who have been friends since grade school. They are super tight.
A good friend will see you through "thick and thin," meaning both the good times and the bad.
One of my favorite expressions to describe close friends is to say they are "thick as thieves." This may sound as if the friends are living a life of crime. Not so. But the saying may have its roots in criminal circles, which gives this expression a somewhat risky feeling.
Some word historians say this expression began in 17th century England within thieving communities. Thieves would often have secret languages to communicate. Today "thick as thieves" describes people who understand, trust and defend one another.
Speaking of crime, we sometimes joke that two people are partners in crime. Again, it doesn't mean they are actually criminals. This expression means that you always know what the other person is doing.
Two people do not have to be together all the time to be called two peas in a pod. Peas growing inside a pod are often very similar. So, people who are like peas in a pod have a lot in common.
If two people are always together they are said to be attached at the hip, or joined at the hip, even if they are very different from each other.
Some people get along so well, it's as if they were made to be together. A dated expression that describes this relationship is to go together like a horse and carriage. These days Americans rarely say that. Instead, you might say "they go together like "milk and cookies." Or you could use other foods that go well together like, "mac-n-cheese," "salt and pepper," or "peanut butter and jelly," which is very American.
But if you do not get along with someone then you are like oil and water. In other words, you don't mix.
And that brings us to enemies, which will be the subject of another Words and Their Stories. I'm Anna Matteo.
1.a friend in need is a friend indeed 患难见真情
A friend in need is a friend indeed. Only these people deserve your life-long cherishing.
2.thick and thin 在任何情况下
I'll always stand by you through thick and thin.
3.thick as thieves 亲密无间
They are as thick as thieves, down to the last second cousin.
4.like oil and water 水火不相容；很难融和
In some situations, different cultures mix like oil and water.
关于这个表达，还存在一些争论。有的人认为不是indeed，而是in deed，就像一个人的行为一样。意思没有什么大变化，但是使用in deed的那种表达方式，是要强调帮助陷入困境中的朋友的动作。
一个好朋友，会陪你经历thick and thin（任何事情），意思就是美好的时光和困难的时光。
我最喜欢的一个描述亲密朋友的表达是说他们thick as thieves（亲密无间）。这种表达也许听起来像是说朋友以盗窃为生。事实并非如此。但是它可能确实是起源于犯罪圈，从而赋予了这种表达一种危险的感觉。
有一些单词历史学家称，这种表达始于17世纪英格兰的盗贼团体。盗贼们经常会用密语来交流。而今天，thick as thieves形容的是相互之间理解、信任、维护的人。
讲到犯罪，我们有时候会开玩笑说两个人是partners in crime。同样的，这不是在说他们真的是罪犯。这种说法的意思是指你总是明白另外一个人在做什么。
用来表示不会时时刻刻待在一起的两个人的短语是two peas in a pod。在一个豆荚中生长的豆子，通常会非常相似。所以，像豆荚中的豆子一样的两个人，会有很多共同点。
如果两个人总是在一起，就可以说他们attached at the hip（连体婴儿），或者是joined at the hip，即使他们二人相互之间差别很大。
有些人相互之间相处得很好，好像融为一体一样。用来描述这种关系的一个过时的表达是to go together like a horse and carriage。不过现在美国人很少这么说了。相反，你可以说“they go together like milk and cookies”（他们的关系就像牛奶和饼干一样）。或者你也可以使用其他搭配在一起的食物，比如说“mac-n-cheese”（芝士通心粉）、“salt and pepper”（盐和胡椒）、“peanut butter and jelly”（花生酱和果冻），这可是非常美式的说法。