Today we will talk about expressions that use vegetables and fruits.
For example, a cucumber[黄瓜] is a long, green vegetable that people often eat in salads. You might say a person is 1)as cool as a cucumber if he never seems to worry about anything and stays calm in a stressful situation. If you put a cucumber in a solution of vinegar[醋] and spices[香料] for a long time, it becomes a pickle[泡菜]. But if you are 2)in a pickle, you are in trouble or a difficult situation.
If two people are very similar, you might say they are like 3)two peas in a pod[豆荚].
There are several expressions about beans. If someone is very energetic, you might say she is 4)full of beans. If you say something 5)does not amount to a hill of beans, you mean it is of little importance. I might say you 6)don't know beans about a subject if you do not know anything at all about it. But if you 7)spill the beans, you tell something that was supposed to be a secret.
Potatoes are a popular food in many areas. But something is considered 8)small potatoes if it is not important. You probably would not want to hold a 9)hot potato in your bare hands. This also means a problem or issue that no one wants to deal with. Someone might call you a 10)couch potato if you sit and watch television all day and get little or no physical exercise.
Like potatoes, turnips[萝卜] are root vegetables that grow in the ground. Here is an old saying: 11)you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip. That means you cannot get something from a person that he or she is not willing or able to give.
Farmers have to separate the valuable parts of their crops from the waste. So 12)separating the wheat from the chaff[谷壳] means keeping what is valuable and rejecting what is worthless.
Students often have to take a difficult test to gain entrance to a special school. So you could say the ones who are chosen are the best ones, or 13)the cream of the crop.
There is an old saying that 14)forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. That means some people get pleasure from doing something that they are not supposed to do.
Bananas are a popular fruit to eat. But if you 15)go bananas, you are wild with excitement or worry.
Finally, let us talk about lemons[柠檬]. Lemons have a sour taste if you eat them plain. But lemons make a nice drink when you mix their juice with sugar and water. So here is an expression about lemons that we like: 16)If life gives you lemons, make lemonade[柠檬水]. This means you should always try to make the best of a bad situation.
1) as cool as a cucumber 非常冷静，泰然自若
2) in a pickle 处于困境
3) two peas in a pod 一个模子刻出来的，一模一样
4) full of beans 精力充沛
5) does not amount to a hill of beans 无足轻重，一文不值
6) don't know beans about a subject 一窍不通
7) spill the beans 说漏嘴，泄露秘密
8) small potatoes 不重要的事、鸡毛蒜皮的事；小人物
9) hot potato 烫手山芋，即很棘手的问题
10) couch potato 沙发土豆，意为电视迷
11) you cannot squeeze blood out of a turnip 你不能从萝卜中挤血，引申为：巧妇难为无米之炊，即不能做办不到的事
12) separate the wheat from the chaff 去其糟粕，取其精华
13) the cream of the crop 百里挑一，精英
14) forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest 禁果最甜，意思是人们从一些不应该做的事情中得到乐趣
15) go bananas 情绪失控，抓狂
16) If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. 如果生活给你柠檬，就榨柠檬汁吧。意即如果生活不尽如人意，也不要抱怨，自己尽力做到最好。