Journey in Life: 09/08/14

Monday, September 8, 2014

"Come hell or high water" nghĩa là gì?

Savannah Harbor - CMA CGM Figaro. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps.

'Come hell or high water' (shared via VOA) có từ hell là địa ngục, và high water là nước dâng cao, tức là nạn lụt. Vì thế, thành ngữ này có nghĩa là dù cho có điều gì khó khăn hay nguy hiểm xảy ra đi nữa, chúng ta vẫn nhất quyết làm cho bằng được.

Ví dụ
Montreal merchants, worried that the newly-opened Erie Canal will sap business to New York, decide to build a canal of their own come hell or high water.

The design (bản thiết kế) for the new health center is so complex (phức tạp) that many engineers (kỹ sư) at my firm say it can’t be built. Not my boss. Come hell or high water, he plans to get the job done. Whatever is necessary, he’ll do it!

It doesn’t matter to Mary how difficult (khó khăn) it is to make all the wedding arrangements (sắp đặt, thu xếp). She’s determined (nhất quyết) to get married on a cruise ship (du thuyền) in Alaska, come hell or high water.

“We didn’t say, ‘We’ll give you 50 percent, come hell or high water,’ ” said S. Ken Yamashita, a U.S.A.I.D. veteran who coordinates aid spending at the American Embassy in Kabul. “We never said, ‘We will give you 50 percent even if you don’t have the right systems in place.’ We said we will work towards that, in a way that is reasonable.”

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. traveled to the state last year to vow that “come hell or high water,” the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project would get done. It has not even started. Instead, the $652 million project has become the latest emblem of Washington’s struggle to accomplish much of anything, even when all sides agree, and a vivid illustration of how the toxic political climate has made inertia the most powerful force in town.