belly laugh
  knee-slapper
  美国有一个谚语是这么说的:Laugh-and-the-world-laughs-with-you。Cry-and-you-cry-alone.
  按字面来解释,这个谚语的意思是:笑,全世界和你一起笑。哭,你一个人哭。它的含义就是:欢乐的时候,朋友都来了,遇到危险和灾难的时候,你就只能独自承担。这句话虽然有一定的道理,但是并不完全正确,因为愿意和别人共甘苦的人还是有的。不过,大多数人喜欢高兴,喜欢笑,这也是事实。美国人富有幽默感,他们经常说笑话,也非常喜欢类似相声那样的文艺节目。这种节目电视上每天都有。美国人把说笑话的文艺演员叫做:comedian。
  实际上,美国的comedian和中国的相声演员很相似。不过美国那些说笑话的演员一般是一个人站在台上说。电视上那些固定节目的主持人往往会每天邀请几个有名望的人来参加他的节目。在他们很轻松地坐在那里谈话的过程中,他们就不断讲一些笑话。这样,观众既看到了有名望的演员,歌唱家,政界人物等,同时又听到了笑话。今天我们就要给大家介绍两个和笑有关的俗语。笑有各种各样的笑法,最痛快的笑可能就是:belly laugh。
  Belly 就是肚子,因此belly laugh就是捧腹大笑。这可能是相声演员最喜欢听到的笑声。现在我们给大家举一个belly laugh的例子。这是一个观众在说话:
  例句-1:
  "Say, did you hear Johnny Carson last night? It’s hard to be funny five nights a week, but last night was one of his best shows in a long time. He got some great belly laughs trading jokes with his guest star, Bob Hope."
  这个人说:“喂,你昨晚看了Johnny Carson的节目没有?要做到一星期五天都很滑稽是不容易的。但是,昨晚的节目是他很久以来最好的一次。他和他请来的著名演员Bob Hope一起讲笑话,好几次引得大家捧腹大笑。”
  美国每年都生产很多新的电影。但是,许多在几十年前拍的老电影至今还是很受人欢迎。其中包括不少闹剧和喜剧。下面这个例句就提供了一个例子。
  例句-2:
  "Fifty years ago, there were three clowns who made a lot of short movies. They are all dead now, but their comedies live on television because they are so full of belly laughs."
  这句话的意思是:“五十年前,美国有三个小丑,他们拍了好多短小的电影。现在,这三个小丑都已经去世了,但是他们的喜剧电影仍然在电视上播放,因为这些喜剧里有好多地方让人感到非常好笑。”
  大家肯定注意到有些人笑的时候喜欢拍大腿。这种笑虽然不像belly laugh那样让人笑的肚子痛,但是也说明那个笑话也确实很好笑。美国人把这种笑话叫做:knee-slapper。
  Knee就是膝盖;slapper这个字是来自slap这个动词,是拍手的意思。 Knee-slapper的意思就是一个能让人笑的拍大腿的笑话。下面我们来举个例子。这是一个爸爸在说他的儿子:
  例句-3:
  "My son likes to tell jokes, although he has no intention to become a comedian. Last week, at a party he told a couple of knee-slappers about Bush and Gorbachev. I was quite surprised at his talent."
  这位爸爸说;“我儿子喜欢讲笑话,虽然他没有意图想当一个相声演员。上星期,他在一次聚会上讲了两个有关布什和戈尔巴乔夫的笑话,笑的人们直拍大腿。真没想到他还有点天才。”
  显然,这位爸爸对儿子的才能没有充份的估计。
  在美国,想当相声演员的人还真不少。他们也许是认为自己在这方面有才能,或是认为做一个相声演员并不是高不可攀的。所以,新的演员经常出现,想一显身手。可是,人们对专业演员的要求很高。下面说话的人就是一个例子。
  例句-4:
  " I was disappointed with that new comedian on TV last night. He talked for ten minutes and told only one knee-slapper during all that time. He’d better find funnier jokes or he’ll be looking for a new job."
  这人说:“我对昨天晚上电视上那个新的相声演员很失望。他讲了十分钟,里面才有一个真正可笑的笑话。他还是最好想办法找一些更滑稽的笑话。否则,他得另外找工作了。”
  我们今天给大家介绍了两个和笑有关的习惯用语,它们是:belly laugh和knee-slapper。
  Belly laugh是指那种出自内心,痛快的大笑。Knee-slapper是那种使人笑得拍大腿的笑话。 break out in(to) laughter/tears
Meaning: to laugh or to cry suddenly;
Example: The room was relatively quiet until a group of people in the back broke out into laughter;

open up
Meaning: to express or reveal one's true emotions or thoughts;
Example: Instead of just holding your feelings in, why don't you open up to me?;

get sth. off one's chest
Meaning: to express one's true thoughts or feelings after a long period of saying nothing;
Example: After years of keeping the fact that she hated men from her family, Miriam felt good getting it off her chest by telling them the truth;

pour out
Meaning: to reveal what is troubling one, to allow one's feelings to flow;
Example: I could tell that Casey had been holding his feelings in for a long time when he poured his heart out to me over the phone;

break out in(to) laughter/tears
Meaning: to laugh or to cry suddenly;
Example: The room was relatively quiet until a group of people in the back broke out into laughter;

choke up
Meaning: to be overcome with emotion and be unable to speak;
Example: The retiring vice-president choked up while giving his farewell speech to a small group of colleagues;

get to
Meaning: to affect emotionally;
Example: Stella is deliberately provoking you when she says things like that. Don't let it get to you;

break someone's heart
Meaning: to hurt someone's feelings badly;
Example: When Angela told Tony that their engagement was over, it nearly broke his heart;

burst one's bubble
Meaning: to destroy one's illusion, or dreams, by correcting a mistaken impression;
Example: I hate to be the one to burst your bubble, but your team doesn't have the slightest chance to winning;

be music to one's ears
Meaning: to be good news or information;
Example: Did you say you're going to take me out to eat tonight? That's music to my ears!;

hard pill to swallow
Meaning: news or information that is very difficult to accept;
Example: Well, I have to say that learning that I was not eligible for the executive position was a hard pill for me to swallow.
set up shop
Meaning: to start up or open a business;
Example: The florist moved into a new neighbourhood and set up shop on a good street;

do business (with)
Meaning: to have business transactions, be involved in trade (with);
Example: Don't do business with that repair shop. I'm sure they cheated me the last time;

head-hunter
Meaning: someone who recruits qualified people or senior management personnel for a company;
Example: The government statistician wasn't thinking of changing to private sector, but a head-hunter convinced her that it would be financially worthwhile;

household word
Meaning: well-known brand, well-known company name;
Example: Our company is hoping that this new product we're introducing this year will become a household word;

on the market
Meaning: available in stores, for sale now;
Example: The most difficult thing for game inventors is actually getting their new device on the market;

go out of business
Meaning: to fail as a business, close, stop operations;
Example: Two samll video stores in our neighbourhood went out of business when the big video chain opened a store nearby;

rank and file
Meaning: common people, as distinguished from leaders or officials;
Example: One purpose of a union is to represent the rank and file in salary negotiations;

put in for
Meaning: to apply for, request;
Example: Val intends to put in for a transfer to the Tokyo office;

lay off
Meaning: to let go from a job, fire, discharge;
Example: In order to increase profits, the company laid off over 200 workers whose positions had been replaced by machines;

go on strike = walk off the job
Meaning: to refuse to work until certain demands (higher pay, lower number of working hours) are met;
Example: The construction workers went on strike when one of their labourers was seriously injured at the new job site;

enter into
Meaning: to engage in, take part in; to deal with, discuss;
Example: The warring factions agreed to enter into negotiations towards a mediated settlement of their long-standing conflict;

be on the table
Meaning: (Brit. Eng) be open for consideration and negotiation;
(Ame. Eng) be postponed, delayed;
Example: Sections of the billion-dollar spending bill were on the table before the senate subcommittee; (ready to be discussed)
Sections of the billion-dollar spending bill were on the table for months before the subcommittee looked at them; (delayed)

go-between
Meaning: person who serves as an intermediary between two parties or opposing side;
Example: When the Nottingham's teen-age son refused to talk to them, a school counselor agreed to act as a go-between;

cut a deal
Meaning: reach or negotiate an agreement;
Example: You know we both want to do business on this, so let's just see if we can cut a deal quickly, okay?;

drive a hard bargain
Meaning: to negotiate in a tough, uncompromising way;
Example: -- You're saying that your lowest price on the car is US$14,000, nothing less? -- Boy, you do drive a hard bargain;

break off
Meaning: to discontinue, suspend;
Example: After 10 days of intense discussions, the two parties suddenly broke off talks and refused to go further;

meet halfway
Meaning: be willing to compromise with sb;
Example: We almost always do things your way. I think that, for once, we could try to meet each other halfway;

give and take
Meaning: yielding or compromise on both sides;
Example: Relationships almost always need some give and take from each partner if they are to succeed.

salt away
Eg: Every month John salts away half of his salary.

rain cats and dogs
Eg: It's raining cats and dogs, so we can't go out to play right now.

see the light
Eg: I didn't approve of his action, but he explained his reason and then I saw the light.

from the bottom of one's heart
Eg: Though he is being rude at times, he respects you from the bottom of his heart.

rob Peter to pay Paul
Eg: Trying to study a lesson for one class during another classs is like robbing Peter to pay Paul.

brown off
Eg: Most of the audience was browned off before the performance ended and wanted their money back.

go ape
Eg: Mr. Brown went ape and shouted happily as soon as he learned that he got the first prize.

out of breath
Eg: When he dashed back, he was already out of breath.

sell like hot cakes
Eg: I hear this book sells like hot cakes.

have one's hands full
Eg: Three emergency cases came into the hospital at the same time and the doctors really had their hands full.

dog-eat-dog world
Meaning: Very competitive and often unfair world;
Example: Did you hear that over 300 people applied for the entry-level job at Monty's Department Store? It's a dog-eat-dog world out there.

rat race
Meaning: Continual struggle to get ahead or survive in life;
Example: Some people move to the country in order to avoid the rat race of city life.

on the run
Meaning: Don't hastily, while constantly moving, never resting;
Example: Sorry, I don't have time to talk with you very often. It seems that I'm always on the run.

run around in circles
Meaning: To be so busy that you're not sure of what's happening or what to do next or whether anything is being done;
Example: Look at me. Here I am trying to do three things at once and I'm only managing to run around in circles.

in a rut
Meaning: Caught in a boring or unchanging situation or lifestyle;
Example: You need to get out and make some new friends. You seem to be in a rut, you need a change.

back to the same old grind
Meaning: Back to someone's usual work routine;
Example: The vacation was wonderful, but now it's back to the same old grind.

couch potato
Meaning: Someone who sits around watching a lot of TV and doing nothing;
Example: Every night Max comes home form work and becomes a couch potato. He won't even get up to answer the phone.

creature comforts
Meaning: Conveniences of modern life;
Example: I don't know how people even survived 50 years ago when they didn't have the creature comforts. I couldn't possibly get by without my air-conditioner.

keep up with the Jones
Meaning: Maintain the same lifestyle as your friends and neighbours;
Usage note: This idiom applied to people who are very conscious of social status and possessions;
Example: The Youngs just bought a new minivan even though they can't afford it. They're always trying to keep up with the Jones.

in one's glory
Eg: When John won the race, he was in his
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