Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.
There are so many expressions in American English that sound pleasant but are not.
“Face the music” is a good example. When someone says they have to “face the music,” it does not mean they are going to a musical performance or concert.
“Face the music”就是一个很好的例子。当有人说他们必须“face the music”时，意思并不是他们准备去听音乐会或演唱会。
“Facing the music” means to accept the unpleasant results of an action.
“Facing the music”的意思是接受某种行为导致的不愉快结果。
Americans often use the word “face” in this way. For example, “I can’t face another night of camping! It’s cold and rainy.” Or “In life, you must face your fears.”
Face used in this way is very common. But now, back to facing the music.
这样使用face这个单词非常常见。但是现在让我们回到“facing the music.”
Imagine a friend asks you to take care of her beautiful red sports car.
She gives you the keys and says, “Thanks so much for watching my car while I’m away. But please, do not drive it. It is an extremely fast car and you are not on the insurance.”
But you do not listen. You want to show off to some friends and pretend the car is yours. So, you drive it around town one night. As bad luck would have it, you lose control of the car and drive it into a stop sign.
The damage is severe. When your friend returns you must tell her what you have done and “face the music.”
车的损失很严重。当你的朋友回来时，你必须告诉她你做了什么，并且“面对现实(face the music)”。
The “music” here is the consequence or result of your actions. It could be losing her friendship or paying for repairs to her sports car or both. Whatever the music is, you must face it.
Most Americans know the expression “face the music.” It is more than 150 years old. As with many expressions, its history is not clear.
大多数美国人都知道face the music 这个短语，它具有150多年的历史。而很多短语的历史并不明确。
In 1851, the writer James Fenimore Cooper reportedly explained “face the music” as a theatrical term.
据说，1851年作家詹姆斯·费尼莫尔·库珀（James Fenimore Cooper）把face the music解释为戏剧术语。
In a theater, the orchestra often sits in front of the stage. So, actors come on stage facing the musicians. Many actors are very nervous, a condition called stage fright. They may want to run away. Face the music came to mean accepting stage fright and not surrendering to it.
在剧院中，乐团通常坐在舞台前方。这样，上台的演员就会面对着乐手。许多演员很紧张，也就是怯场。他们可能会想临阵脱逃。Face the music逐渐意味着承受怯场心理而不是向它投降。
Word experts also say “face the music” may have come from the military.
词汇专家还称face the music可能出自军方。
A solider who did something terrible could be forced out of the horse cavalry.
The army drummers would play a slow, sad beat. The soldier would be carried away seated backward on a horse and facing the music of the drums. Humiliating!
There are other American expressions that mean the same thing as face the music.
还有其它美式短语和face the music有着相同的意思。
To “take your medicine” means to accept the results from something bad you have done. And if someone says, “You made your bed. Now lie in it,” they mean you created a bad situation and now you will experience the results, or as we say in spoken American English, you must deal with it!
To take your medicine意思是接受你必须做的不好的事情导致的结果。如果有人说，“You made your bed. Now lie in it(自作自受)”，意思是说你造成了某种恶劣状况，现在你得承受这一结果，也就是我们在美式口语中所说的，你必须处理这一情况。
“Pay the piper” also means the same as “face the music.” But, that expression has its own very interesting beginning. We will talk about that on another Words and Their Stories.
“Pay the piper（承担后果）”的意思也等同于“face the music”。但是这一短语有着非常有趣的来历。我们将会在下期词汇典故节目中讨论它。
I’m Anna Matteo.
Words in This Story
concert – n. a public performance of music
show off – v. to display proudly
pretend – v. to give a false appearance of being, possessing, or performing
consequence – n. something that happens as a result of a particular action or set of conditions
cavalry – n. the part of an army that in the past had soldiers who rode horses and that now has soldiers who ride in vehicles or helicopters
humiliating – adj. extremely destructive to one's self-respect or dignity
confess – v. to admit that you did something wrong or illegal