词语典故 - 山中无老虎，猴子称霸王
Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.
Cats are the most popular pets among Americans. So it is not surprising that there are many expressions about cats.
Some cats like to catch small birds, like canaries. If someone looks very proud or satisfied with himself, we say he “looks like the cat that ate the canary.”
有些猫喜欢抓小鸟，比如金丝雀。如果有人看起来非常自傲或自满，我们就说他 looks like the cat that ate the canary（看上去就像偷到腥的猫）。
Sometimes, a cat likes to play with a small animal it catches. So if you “play cat and mouse” with someone, you change between different kinds of behavior when dealing with another person. For example, a child might offer something sweet to her little brother and then take it away when he reaches for it.
有时候猫喜欢和自己抓到的小动物玩耍。所以如果你 play cat and mouse with someone（和某人玩猫鼠游戏），这是说在和别人打交道时，你的行为变换不定。例如，有个小孩可能给她的小弟弟一些糖果。然而，当小弟弟伸手拿的时候，小孩又把糖果拿走了。
A cat will often catch a small animal and present it to its owner. The saying that “looks like something the cat dragged in” describes something in bad condition.
猫经常会抓小动物并把它交给主人。that looks like something the cat dragged in（看上去就像猫拖来的东西）这个俗语形容事物一团糟。
Two old and funny expressions describe something that is the best or finest. Americans might say that something is “the cat’s meow” and “the cat’s pajamas.”
有两个古老而有趣的词语形容某样东西是最好或最精致的。美国人可能会说某样东西是 the cat's meow（不同凡响）和 the cat's pajamas（自命不凡）。
Children might call a child who is easily frightened a “fraidy-cat” or a “scaredy-cat.”
孩子们可能将一个很容易受到惊吓的小孩叫做 fraidy cat 或 scaredy cat 胆小（鬼）。
A “copycat” is someone who acts just like someone else or copies another person's work.
A “fat cat” is a person with a lot of money.
You may have known that cats spend most of their time sleeping. Sometimes people sleep for a short time during the day. This is called a “cat nap.”
你可能知道猫大部分时间都在睡觉。有时候人们会在白天小睡一会，这就叫做 cat nap（打盹）。
If you tell about something that was supposed to be a secret, we say you “let the cat out of the bag.” If you are not able to speak or answer a question someone might ask if “the cat has got your tongue.”
如果你说出本该保秘的事，我们就说你let the cat out of the bag（把秘密抖露出来）。如果你无法说话或回答问题，有人也许会问是不是 the cat has got your tongue（让猫揪住了舌头）。
Have you ever watched children in a classroom when their teacher leaves for a few minutes? “When the cat’s away, the mice will play” means people sometimes misbehave when there is no supervision.
你曾观察过当老师离开几分钟时，待在教室里的孩子们吗 ？ When the cat's away, the mice will play（山中无老虎，猴子称大王）意思就是人们在没有监管的情况下，有时候会很顽劣。
You may have heard this expression: “curiosity killed the cat.” This means being too concerned about things that are not your business might cause problems.
你可能听过这个词语：curiosity killed the cat（好奇害死猫）。它意思是过分关心与你无关的事，可能会招惹麻烦。
If your home is very small, you might say “there is not enough room to swing a cat.” But you probably should not try this at home!
如果你家很小，你可能会说 there is not enough room to swing a cat（空间还不够荡只猫，即空间狭小）。但你或许不该在家尝试这样（对待猫）！
If you ever had cats as pets, you know it is difficult to train them or to get them to do something. Cats are not like sheep or cows that can be moved in a group. So we say a difficult or impossible job “is like herding cats.”
如果你曾经养猫当宠物，那你就会知道训练它们或者让它们做件事非常困难。猫不像绵羊或奶牛那样可以成群地驱赶。所以我们将很难或不可能（完成的）任务叫做 like herding cats（就像赶鸭子上架）。
We leave you with a song from the musical play, "Cats."
This VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories was written by Shelley Gollust. I’m Faith Lapidus.