Now, Words and Their Stories, a VOA Special English program about American expressions.
I’m Rich Kleinfeldt with expressions made using the word “hold.”
“Can’t hold a candle to” is a popular expression. It is from the time before electricity, when people used candles for light. Someone who lived in a big house would have a servant light his way by holding a candle. The expression meant that the person who cannot hold a candle to you is not fit even to be your servant. Now, it means such a person cannot compare or compete. In the following song, singer Dolly Parton tells her new love that her old flames, her old lovers, cannot compare with him…
"Can’t hold a candle to"（比不上，远不如）是一个常用词汇。源自还没有电力，人们使用蜡烛照明的那个年代。住在大房子里的人会有一个仆人拿着蜡烛在前面为他引路。这个词汇以前的意思是拿着蜡烛给人引路都做不好的人，连做仆人都不配。现在它的意思是无法与这个人比较或竞争。在接下来这首歌里，歌手多莉·帕顿（Dolly Parton）对新欢唱道，她的旧爱远比不上他。
Another expression is “hold your tongue.” It means to be still and not talk. “Hold your tongue” is not something you would tell a friend. But a parent or teacher might use the expression to quiet a noisy child.
另一个词汇是“hold your tongue.”它的意思是保持安静，别说话。这个词汇不常用于朋友之间。但父母或老师可以使用这个词汇让吵闹的孩子安静下来。
“Hold out” is an expression one hears often in sports reports and labor news. It means to refuse to play or work. Professional football and baseball players “hold out” if their team refuses to pay them what they think they are worth. Members of labor unions “hold out” and refuse to work until they get the work agreement they want.
|Image released by the FBI of the holdup at an HSBC bank in New York City on Jan. 31, 2014.|
The expression “hold up” has several different meanings. One is a robbery. A man with a gun may say, “This is a hold up. Give me your money.” Another meaning is to delay. A driver late for work may tell his boss, “I was held up by heavy traffic.” Someone who was robbed on the way to work might say, “Sorry, boss, I was held up by a hold up.”
Still another meaning of the expression is for a story to be considered true after an investigation. The same driver late for work could say, “My boss did not believe a hold up held me up. But the police confirmed what I said, so my story held up.”
“Hold on” is another expression. Often it means wait or stop. As you leave for school, your brother may say, “Hold on, you forgot your book.”
“Hold on” is used to ask a telephone caller to wait and not hang up his telephone. If you call a library to ask for a book, the librarian might say, “Hold on while I look for it.”
Our final expression is “hold the line.” That means to keep a problem or situation from getting worse -- to hold steady. For example, the president may say he will “hold the line on taxes.” He means there will be no increase in taxes.
今天讲述的最后一个词汇是"hold the line." 意思是防止某个问题或状态恶化，保持稳定。例如，总统可能说他将保持税收稳定，意思是不再加税。
Now, I must “hold the line” on this program -- I have no more time left today.
This VOA Special English program Words and Their Storieswas written by Frank Beardsley.
I’m Rich Kleinfeldt.