Journey in Life: October 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

"Gag me with a spoon" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by: Tiard Schulz on Unsplash

"Gag me with a spoon" = nhét thìa vào mồm tao đi -> nghĩa là câu cảm thán biểu hiện sự ghê tởm.

Ví dụ
Immediately, my last week’s Atkins resolution to eat nothing but protein and a few low-carb veggies (rau) came to mind. Was this a small change? No, it was not. It was more like a gag-me-with-a-spoon radical (triệt để) change.

Well gag me with a spoon. I would've put good money on Bethesda's Wolfenstein: Youngblood debuting (ra mắt) at the top of the UK Charts this week, given the mainstream gaming public's natural propensity (xu hướng) to drift toward shooters. But it was not to be, as Nintendo's fantasy warfare title Fire Emblem: Three Houses made a glorious debut at the number one spot.

We do our worshiping (tôn sùng) in secret, bent with guilt for…what? Mostly for not being like you, so self-righteous, confident and condescending (bề trên). You and your merry throng of hypocritical (đạo đức giả), porn-addicted, wife-beating adulterers. Most of them have moved on to new careers and new institutions, but everybody’s still in the ministry. Gag me with a spoon!

Ngọc Lân

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

"Dust and ashes" nghĩa là gì?

Tớ đã từng hi vọng rằng ngôi nhà của tớ rồi sẽ xanh trở lại! Thật đấy! Nhưng mà... Photo by Will Shirley on Unsplash

"Dust and ashes" (tro và bụi) là cụm từ dùng để chỉ những sự việc hứa hẹn sẽ mang đến niềm vui, hạnh phúc nhưng cuối cùng lại mang đến sự thất vọng, vỡ mộng (những hy vọng, ước mơ tan thành mây khói). Cụm từ này cũng được dùng trong kinh thánh để miêu tả những trái cây nhìn vẻ ngoài thì hấp dẫn nhưng lại hoá ra có hương vị không dễ chịu chút nào.

Ví dụ
Everything worldly (trần tục) is dust and ashes. Only faith (sự trung thành/niềm tin) and good deeds (hành động tốt) are pleasing to God.”

It is equally clear that EU membership will not allow this and that Boris Johnson’s plans to make Britain a neoliberal (liên quan đến/thể hiện 1 dạng sửa đổi của chủ nghĩa tự do) Singapore of the North will only deliver dust and ashes for working people.

The trooper (ngựa của kỵ binh) pulled over (tấp vào bên đường) the truck (xe tải), but it was too late: The fire was spreading to the trailer (người tụt lại sau), and the rear (ở đằng sau) tires exploded, burning the break-fast staple (nguyên vật liệu). The driver, a Floridian, was unharmed. A Chicago-area company owned the truck. The news release did not say where the bagels were from or where they were going, but it’s safe to say that as we approach the holiest day of the Jewish year, some of them have become dust and ashes.

Hậu Giang

Bài trước: "Make the dust fly" nghĩa là gì?

"Breed apart" nghĩa là gì?

Nhìn bộ râu là biết không phải dạng vừa rồi đó! Photo by JJ Jordan on Unsplash

"Breed apart" nghĩa là nhóm người cao hơn rõ rệt về cấp bậc, địa vị hoặc khác lạ, đặc biệt hơn nhiều so với những nhóm khác.

Ví dụ
Phish fans are a breed apart from regular music lovers, with a loyal (trung thành) devotion (sự yêu mến) that leads them to see the band perform live sometimes dozens of times.

Ms Maitlis, 49, has been showered in praise from many colleagues, including former mentor (người cố vấn) Channel 4 News’ Jon Snow, who claimed she was “a breed apart” when she was his “fixer” out in Hong Kong in Nineties.

Kickers are always a breed apart, part class clown, part hero. Castillo is no different, putting up the best kicking percentage the Lions have seen since the legendary Paul McCallum in 2012, while also doing things like cooking up breakfast tacos (món bánh thịt chiên giòn) for the entire practice squad.

Thảo Nguyễn

Bài trước: "Race apart" nghĩa là gì?

"Tell them apart" nghĩa là gì?

Nhìn vô là thấy thằng bé khác nhất nhà rồi! Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

"Tell/know people/things apart" nghĩa là phân biệt, thừa nhận sự khác nhau giữa hai người/vật với nhau hoặc giữa cái này với những cái khác.

Ví dụ
The best way to tell them apart is to take a closer look at the symptoms (triệu chứng). A common cold usually leaves you feeling run down for a few days, whereas the flu has the potential to knock you out for a number of weeks.

"At the start of this journey I would have said the same thing ... I couldn't tell them apart," Peyroux said. "But you have to train the brain to look for the patterns, and I can now tell them apart because I've looked at thousands of photos."

They're the identical twin brothers who sent pulses racing on Love Island Australia this week. And while the female islanders were sent into a frenzy (sự điên cuồng, sự mê loạn) over Luke and Josh Packham's arrival on Tuesday, it appears fans are finding it difficult to tell them apart.

Thảo Nguyễn

Bài trước: "Put the hammer down" nghĩa là gì?

"Race apart" nghĩa là gì?

Đừng ai hòng chia rẽ chị em tui! Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

"Race apart" nghĩa là sự chia rẽ (giữa anh em, một giống nòi, một dân tộc).

Ví dụ
The way we go about the differences between us is not healthy; it’s socially, politically and psychologically (về tâm lý) damaging and it’s tearing the human race apart.

Right from the start I wanted the Targaryens, and by extension the Valryians from whom they were descended, to be a race apart, with distinctive (đặc biệt) features that set them apart from the rest of Westeros, and helped explain their obsession (tình trạng bị ám ảnh) with the purity (sự thuần khiết) of their blood.

Over centuries of slavery in America, systematic structures were erected (xây dựng, dựng nên) to present enslaved people (những người bị bắt làm nô lệ) as “the other”—a race apart and less than human—as a way to justify the institution and forestall (chặn trước) discussions of its inhumanity and the moral imperative to dismantle (xóa bỏ) it.

Thảo Nguyễn

Bài trước: "Hammer out" nghĩa là gì?

"Water over the dam" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by  Nicole Geri

"Water over the dam" = Nước chảy qua bể/qua cầu -> Mọi chuyện đã qua rồi/đã xảy ra rồi, không thể thay đổi hay cứu vãn nữa. Đặc biệt là những điều rắc rối và không may xảy đến.

Ví dụ
″(The incident) is water over the dam and we’re moving forward,” Maddox said by phone Monday. “We have a lot of good things happening at Blackburn.”

It’s been a controversial (gây tranh cải) couple of years for Chester Water. There was the upheaval (sự dấy lên, biến động) caused by a possible sale to a private entity. Then there was some rancorous (hay hiềm thù, ác ý) back and forth with the city of Chester over who might actually have the right to sell the company. For now, that all seems like water over the dam. We urge Chester City Council to approve the deal.

But that’s now water over the dam. Trump’s team thought its approach was working — that tariff (thuế xuất nhập khẩu) pressures plus negotiations (đàm phán) would get China to enact into its laws restrictions (ngăn cấm) on cybertheft (kẻ trộm trên mạng) of intellectual property (quyền sở hữu trí tuệ), forced technology transfers, certain subsidies (tiền trợ cấp) to Chinese companies, nonreciprocal trade rules (quy định thương mại không thuận nghịch), currency manipulation (sự thao túng tiền tệ) and barriers (rào cản) to China’s financial services markets, among other issues. Negotiators also discussed a detailed process for adjudicating disputes (phân xử, xét xử cuộc tranh chấp, mối bất hòa).

Bin Kuan

"Put the hammer down" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Adrien Ledoux on Unsplash

"Put the hammer down" nghĩa là ấn chân ga (xe ô tô) xuống hết mức có thể; tăng tốc hoặc đi xe ô tô với tốc độ tối đa.

Ví dụ
The Z4 can scoot, yes, but the additional tactile (về xúc giác) and audible (về âm thanh) reward for doing so in the Supra made me much more anxious to put the hammer down.

Last Saturday, the Blues visited the Bell Centre and participated in close-fought, back-and-forth contest — at least for two periods. Montreal stood with one of the league’s best team through 40 minutes, then put the hammer down for the final frame.

The offense (sự tấn công) remains a bit puzzling (gây hoang mang) and unable to put the hammer down on lesser opponents early in contests. We’ll see if they can avoid the same fate as the Dallas Cowboys suffered against the New York Jets on Monday night.

Thảo Nguyễn

Bài trước: "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" nghĩa là gì?

"Pay the water bill" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Juan Marin

"Pay the water bill" = Trả hóa đơn tiền nước -> (thông tục) đi tiểu trong nhà vệ sinh.

Ví dụ
Norwegians (người Na-uy) have been told to pay the water bill in the shower to save water and help the environment by an Oslo council official.

Not only may you have to pay the water bill frequently, sometimes you don’t have a lot of time to make it to the bathroom before an accident.

Using the bathroom when your bladder (bóng đái, bàng quang) isn’t totally full trains your bladder to send a signal that you need to pay the water bill when there’s only a small amount of urine in it.

Bin Kuan

"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Marco Verch

"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail" = nếu bạn là một cái búa thì nhìn đâu cũng thấy đinh cả -> cụm từ này nghĩa là khó có thể nhìn rõ vấn đề nếu dựa quá nhiều vào một công cụ, phương pháp hoặc quan niệm, nếp suy nghĩ nào đó.

Ví dụ
If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So goes the proverb (tục ngữ), attributed (được cho là) to Abraham Maslow, that explains why every major tech company seems to want to stream video games over the internet.

The "law of the instrument," sometimes referred to as "Maslow's hammer," is a theory of cognitive (liên quan đến nhận thức) bias (thiên hướng) that's summed up in this useful expression: "If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, and the Joker is a hammer. As a character he comes with a certain cultural understanding: he’s evil (tồi tệ, xấu xa). Will the average viewer take this story as a nuanced examination of how not to treat the less fortunate, or will they view the violence and hatred (căm ghét) as just another example of the Joker being evil?

Thảo Nguyễn

Bài trước: "Come under the hammer" nghĩa là gì?

"Hewers of wood and drawers of water" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Paolo Nicolello

"Hewers of wood and drawers of water" = Đốn củi xách nước -> Những người lao động vất vả cực nhọc; thân trâu ngựa.

Ví dụ
Hendrik Verwoerd, the architect of apartheid (nạn phân biệt chủng tộc ở Nam Phi), said blacks should be educated enough only to be “hewers of wood and drawers of water”.

A proposal (đề nghị, đề xuất) might recognise explicitly (rõ ràng, dứt khoát) the long-held concern that Australians might become merely “hewers of wood and drawers of water”, with the interesting jobs and the big value-add going to foreigners.

Barrelling down the freeway from Fredericton toward Nova Scotia it becomes clear why Canada was born as a nation of hewers of wood and drawers of water. The riot (cuộc bạo động, dấy loạn) of New Brunswick’s fall colours — leaves of amber (hổ phách), flaming burgundy (màu đỏ tía cháy rực) and copper (cảnh sát) — lined the route as Justin Trudeau made a whistle- (huýt sáo) stop tour of Atlantic Canada, trying to hold on to seats in Fredericton, rural Nova Scotia and Halifax that are under threat from the Conservatives, the NDP and even the Greens. When you win every seat in the region, the only realistic direction to go is down — and even the most optimistic (lạc quan) Grits admit they will lose a handful of ridings in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

Bin Kuan

"Cut water off" nghĩa là gì?

Khi chung cư bị cắt nước thì xuống biển tắm thôi. Photo by  Erik Dungan

"Cut water off" = Bị cắt nước -> Đè bẹp/phá ngang/giẫm nát ai đó.

Ví dụ
Abrams “has these billionaire (tỉ phú) socialists (người theo chủ nghĩa xã hội) pumping money (chất đầy tiền)” into her nonprofit (phi lợi nhuận) voting rights organizations, Jason Thompson, Republican National Committeeman from Georgia, told the same gathering. He told them to take action to cut her water off.

In the Sherman case, Selective Insurance cites Steve Sherman's claim that the town "feared the development of an undesirable ultra-Orthodox Jewish community and that those fears fueled the town's discriminatory conduct (sự quản lý phân biệt đối xử) and motive (động cơ) to continually deny" Sherman's subdivision applications (đơn xin phân khu vực nhỏ), and to change zoning (chia phân khu) laws to cut his water off.

One of his most aggressive efforts (nổ lực gây hấn, công kích) to cut my water off coming during the weeks after I finished a year of volunteer work in Israel and was living at home. I was in my bedroom with the door closed, sitting at a built-in desk where I collated (so sánh, đối chiếu, sắp xếp) sheets of heavy bond paper and stuffed them into envelopes (bỏ vào phong bì) I’d carefully addressed. These were typewritten cover letters and resumés intended for policy institutes (viện chính sách), research centers, and think tanks. I wanted to get an entry level research job or a paid internship (thực tập có lương).

Bin Kuan

"Slam the door in your face" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by: Garrett Sears on Unsplash

"Slam the door in one's face" = đóng sầm cửa trước mặt ai -> nghĩa là ngừng ủng hộ hoặc từ chối giao lưu, giao thiệp,cộng tác với ai (đột ngột và bất lịch sự)

Ví dụ
That isn’t a polite rebuff (cự quyệt). It’s a slam-the-door-in-your-face rejection of the world’s greatest sporting event. By the city that is home to U.S. Soccer, no less. And FIFA, much like the International Olympic Committee, has no one to blame but itself.

More than three decades ago, emergency rooms could kick you out if doctors didn’t think you could pay. You might be suffering from a stroke (cú đánh), a gunshot wound or a broken spine (xương sống), but if your insurance (bảo hiểm) wasn’t good enough, many hospitals could slam the door in your face.

Facebook, Twitter, and the rest, however, pretty much are the only game in town that offers a worldwide public megaphone, but their actions are far more egregious (quá nghiêm trọng). They welcome you into the fold, make you a part of the family, and then slam the door in your face without warning.

Ngọc Lân

"Carry fire in one hand and water in the other" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Aziz Acharki

"Carry fire in one hand and water in the other" = Tay này cầm lửa, tay kia xách nước -> Kẻ sống hai mặt/người hai lòng hoặc người nói một đằng làm một nẻo.

Ví dụ
They may be conniving (thâm hiểm, quỷ quyệt) and carry fire in one hand and water in the other, but they don't expect others to do their jobs for them, which is more than can be said for the Parks.

“Unionism (chủ nghĩa hợp nhất) is in a precarious (tạm thời, bấp bênh) position, it’s been found wanting. I think we’re on the road to a united Ireland,” said James Maxwell, 39, a business owner. “Boris Johnson was mealy mouthed (miệng phủ đầy bột, ăn nói quanh co). He carries fire in one hand and water in the other .”

In the weeks that followed, I remained shaken by the exchange (sự trao đổi), but I also became fascinated by one dimension (khía cạnh) of the whole experience. What, I kept wondering, does he tell or not tell his wife? When and how, I kept asking myself, did he learn to carry fire in one hand and water in the other , to cheat and to lie?

Bin Kuan

"Stock-in-trade" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by: Kyle Ryan on Unsplash

"Stock-in-trade" -> nghĩa là hàng hóa, thiết bị được các chuyên gia, công ty, ngành công nghiệp sử dụng hoặc giao dịch kinh doanh, nghĩa suy rộng ra là đặc điểm, tính cách hoặc hành động điển hình cho một người hoặc vật.

Ví dụ
The first half of the program, which marks (đánh dấu) the beginning of McGegan’s final season as music director, was devoted (cống hiến) to the music of Handel — still the group’s most durable stock-in-trade.

Unfounded (vô căn cứ) blaming (đổ lỗi) of Russia for her own woes (phiền muộn) is nothing new from Hillary Clinton, who still blames the Kremlin for denying her the presidency three years ago. If it wasn’t ‘Russian hackers’ leaking her emails, it was ‘Russian bots’ backing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary, or Vladimir Putin convincing the Green Party’s Jill Stein to mount a third-party challenge. Though none of these accusations (buộc tội) were founded in reality, Russia-bashing has become Clinton’s stock in trade.

Blessed with “a brain the size of a planet” but given mundane (trần tục) tasks or simply left unattended for millions of years, railing against crushing, outrageous futility (vô ích): such was Marvin’s stock in trade.

Ngọc Lân

"The rag trade" nghĩa là gì?

"The rag trade" có từ rag là giẻ rách, quần áo rách, quần áo bị sờn -> từ này nghĩa là ngành may mặc, ngành công nghiệp làm hoặc bán quần áo.

Ví dụ
Al was born in 1929 and grew up in Hampstead – he recalled swimming on the Heath as a child. His family had earned their livelihoods (sinh kế) in the rag trade and property (nhà đất).

Workshops and discussions (thảo luận) were held for the launch of Poplar Works, which opens in November with low-cost workspace to help small business in the rag trade.

When Linda Eastman and McCartney’s daughter, Stella McCartney, became a fashion designer, she followed family footsteps into the rag trade; her maternal (nhà ngoại) grandfather, Max J. Lindner, was founder of the Lindner Company, the largest women’s clothing store in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ngọc Lân

Monday, October 21, 2019

"Bread and water" nghĩa là gì?

Khao khát tìm được ánh sáng cuộc đời. Photo by Denis Oliveira

"Bread and water" = Bánh và nước -> Việc ăn uống kham khổ/bánh và nước là bữa ăn tối thiểu dành cho những tù nhân/đồ ăn cơ bản nhất.

Ví dụ
Friends, this is important because we, like ancient (cổ xưa) Israel, need a salvation (sự cứu rỗi linh hồn) that goes beyond bread and water; one that only God can provide.

On a recent evening, she sat with Ms. Molière, her daughter, in their house as it sank (chìm sâu) into the shadows of the night (bóng đêm). Ms. Molière began to cry softly. Seeing her tears, Ms. Jules began to cry as well. “It’s not only that we’re hungry for bread and water,” Ms. Molière said. “We’re hungry for the development of Haiti.” “Haiti is very fragile (yếu ớt, mỏng manh),” she said.

A pet bird has been held in a prison cell (xà lim) after its owner was allegedly (nghe nói, cái gọi, tạm gọi) caught shoplifting (việc trà trộn ăn cắp ở cửa hàng). The bird was locked in the cell in Utrecht, the Netherlands, after police realised they did not have a suitable cage (cái lồng) to put the animal in and were left perplexed (phức tạp, rắc rối) as to what to do with it. The pet, which has the appearance of a lovebird (vẹt xanh) or 'Agapornis', has since been provided with a meal of bread and water.

Bin Kuan

"Water my cheeks" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Cristian Newman

"Water (one's) cheeks" = Làm ướt đôi má ai -> Khóc/khóc sướt mướt.

Ví dụ
Reader, I am not proud of being over the age of 15 and watering my cheeks to the Red Hot Chili Peppers, but life has a funny way of coming full circle (vòng tròn, tuần hoàn).

The new movie is bold enough (đủ nổi bật, ấn tượng) to make us laugh and water our cheeks. "Jojo Rabbit" is so audacious (táo bạo), the director had to make a blockbuster (phim bom tấn), "Thor Ragnarok," before he got to do his passion project.

"It wasn't subtle sobs (tiếng nức nở phảng phất, huyền ảo); it was crying profusely (quá nhiều)," Duvall said. She said she doesn't know exactly what it was about the book that made her water her cheeks but she left the plane a different person. "All I know is that I got on that plane and the book took over."

Bin Kuan

"Offer an olive branch" nghĩa là gì?

Biểu tình tại Hồng Kong. Photo courtesy Lila Nathania 

"Offer an olive branch (to someone)" hoặc "hold out/ extend an olive branch" có từ "olive branch" (nhành ô-liu) được xem là biểu tượng của hòa bình, đình chiến, hòa giải. Cụm từ này có nghĩa là muốn giản hòa. 

Ví dụ 
North Bay council has extended an olive branch to developers in the hope it will spur residential development (thúc đẩy phát triển dân cư) over the next three years. 

A wild night in currency markets (thị trường tiền tệ) saw the United States dollar weaken as China appears prepared to offer Donald Trump a trade war olive branch in the form of a limited trade deal to buy more pork. 

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam had to abandon (từ bỏ) her policy speech because of jeering (nhạo báng) lawmakers on Wednesday but later offered no direct olive branch to pro-democracy protesters (người biểu tình ủng hộ dân chủ), hoping instead to ease resentment (oán giận) by building more public housing. 

Thu Phương

"Couldn't pour water out of a boot" nghĩa là gì?

Photo by Alex Jones

"Couldn't pour water out of a boot" = Không thể trút/đổ sạch nước trong chiếc giày bốt -> Vô cùng ngốc nghếch, ngụ ý thành ngữ này là nói ai đó ngay cả việc cơ bản và đơn giản nhất cũng không làm được, ngốc ơi là ngốc!

Ví dụ
As we say in Texas, you couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions printed on the heel (gót chân). You are a canker (kẻ ảnh hưởng thối nát), an open wound (xúc phạm đến, tổn thương, vết thương).

Schreiner Marine buddy Gus Forbus, who by then was in a hospital at Tinian in the Mariana Islands, heard that an officer who joined the unit late in the battle (cuộc chiến) ordered Schreiner to check on the lines. "The report I got on it was that they were putting in the lines for the night on the 20th, and he wasn't satisfied (thỏa mãn, hài lòng)," Forbus said. "He wanted Dave to check it out. He was an Annapolis man, but he couldn't pour water out of a boot."

I want this cookbook (sách hướng dẫn nấu ăn) extremely badly. Also, it has the best title of any cookbook since I made myself one called "PUT CHEESE IN MOUTH WHEN DRUNK®. "Each recipe (công thức làm món ăn) comes with preambles (lời nói đầu, lựa tựa của sách) like, "Unless you're so dumb (câm, không thông minh) you couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel, then you're shit out of luck," which is exactly as creative as it is strange.

Bin Kuan

"Lady garden" nghĩa là gì?

Là con gái phải...sạch. Photo courtesy Kevin Puertas 

"Lady garden" = khu vườn của quý cô -> là cách nói ẩn dụ về lông vùng kín của phụ nữ. 

Ví dụ 
In 2015, artist Petra Collins had her Instagram deleted after she posted a photo of herself in a bikini; her lady garden unabashedly emerging (vô duyên trồi lên) from the borders of her blue bikini bottoms. 

Your oestrogen levels are what keeps your vagina muscles healthy and also helps produce the discharge (chất tẩy) that not only cleans your lady garden, but also provides lubrication (chất bôi trơn) during sex. 

Sensing some fun was there to be had, Jack cheekily (láo nháo) asked: "Do you not tend your lady garden then?". Clearly not realising he was asking about something very personal, Lauren replied: "I just have it quite bare to be honest." 

Thu Phương 

Bài trước: "Common garden-variety" nghĩa là gì? 

"Watering hole" nghĩa là gì?

Thế giới động vật. Photo by  joel herzog

"Watering hole" = Hố nước -> Trũng nước hoặc suối nơi các động vật tụ tập để uống nước, đặc biệt ở những nơi khô hạn/nơi mà mọi người hay tụ tập và dành thời gian nhiều như quán bar, club hay quán rượu.

Ví dụ
A legendary (huyền thoại) Worcester institution (viện, cơ quan) and watering hole, Ralph's Chadwick Square Diner is celebrating 40 years this weekend.

Why drink at one watering hole, when you can head to two, three, six or more? That's always been the motivation behind everyone's favourite boozy (say sưa túy lúy) journey, aka a pub crawl. And, it's the exact same type of thinking behind the Urban Wine Walk. Taking another wander (người lang thang) around Sydney, it's the bar-hopping excuse every vino lover needs — if you need an excuse (viện cớ), that is.

So you are out cruising (đi kiếm khách, đi tiết kiệm xăng) in your car or hugging the turns on your bike...where do you like to stop and get something to eat? Do you have a favorite watering hole? Does your business welcome car folks (mọi người) and motorcycle enthusiasts (người say mê)? Send the name and address and a few details about the place to or mail to Donna Kessler, My Ride Grab a Bite, c/o Times Herald-Record, P.O. Box 2046, Middletown, 10940.

Bin Kuan

"Plow water" nghĩa là gì?

"Plow water" = Cày/xới nước -> Tốn thời gian làm điều vô ích/tốn công, làm điều phù phiếm.

Ví dụ
Comparing drivers from various eras (nhiều kỷ nguyên khác nhau) of motorsport is to plow water for many, but 1996 world champion and 22-time Grand Prix winner Damon Hill claims that Hamilton is the best driver to hail (hoan nghênh) from the UK.

Over the last few months, several engineers and scientists have come out with contradictory (mâu thuẫn) positions on the EmDrive. Some have claimed it's impossible, while others continue to plow water, justifying their work by saying the payoff (tiền trả) would be enormous (rất lớn).

The question now is what kind of long-term impact this will have on NBA operations in China. Some observers (người giám sát, trọng tài) have been quick to point out that the depth and breadth (sự rộng rãi) of the NBA’s popularity in China — NBA basketball and European soccer are by far the most popular foreign sports in the country, and have been for decades — means that Beijing’s censors (giám thị, người kiểm duyệt) will find that banning the NBA is a way to plow water.

Bin Kuan

"Common garden-variety" nghĩa là gì?

Photo courtesy Curt Johnson 

"(Common or) garden-variety" = giống loài vườn phổ biến -> (thường đứng trước danh từ và dùng ở dạng phủ định) tiêu chuẩn theo lẽ thường, thông thường, không có gì đặc biệt. 

Ví dụ 
The pictures Parnas and Fruman had with Trump weren’t just garden-variety campaign rally selfies. In May 2018, Parnas shared a photo with Trump from inside the White House. He mentioned having dinner with the president. 

According to Pepper, “The telecom industry (công nghiệp viễn thông) generally receives a more varied set of data types than many other companies do.” This data is not garden variety PII like contact information or financial information. 

President Roosevelt opened his fourth term campaign tonight with a hard hitting speech (bài phát biểu gay gắt) accusing the Republican opposition (phe đối lập của Đảng Cộng hòa) of attempting to claim credit for the New Deal, and termed it imitation (ngụy tạo) of “the most obvious common or garden variety of fraud (gian trá).” 

Thu Phương

"Pull the chestnuts out of the fire" nghĩa là gì?

Màn cứu nguy trông thấy. Photo by football wife from Pexels 

"Pull (one's) the chestnuts out of the fire" = kéo hạt dẻ ra khỏi đám lửa -> cứu ai đó ra khỏi tình huống khó khăn mà chính họ gây ra. Câu nói này xuất phát từ chuyện ngụ ngôn mèo và khỉ. Mèo muốn ăn hạt dẻ đang nướng trong đống lửa nhưng lại không muốn làm bỏng chân mình nên đã xúi khỉ làm thay mình. Tương tự câu tục ngữ bị ai xúi dại ăn cứt gà. 

Ví dụ 
Watching Trump on TV pouting (bĩu môi) and spouting (phun ra) his inanities (ngu ngốc) while Pence pulls his chestnuts out of the fire shoots down in flames the entire Trump persona that he is the “deal maker”. 

Congress (Quốc hội) leaders and particularly the rank and file are a demoralised (mất tinh thần) lot not knowing what the future holds for them. It is rather bleak (ảm đạm, lạnh lẽo) as the party lacks a leader capable of pulling the chestnuts out of the fire as it were. 

West Indian Andre Russell could probably have won the game against Australia if he had just defended (phòng ngự) Mitchell Starc’s ninth over instead of going for big hits and miscuing (làm hỏng) a catch to Maxwell. Starc’s five wickets (thanh chắn) pulled the chestnuts out of the fire for Australia. 

Thu Phương 

"Put out to pasture" nghĩa là gì?

Cũ quá rồi. Photo by Mark Vegera from Pexels 

"Put (someone) out to pasture" = đưa ai ra đồng -> bỏ rơi hoặc sa thải ai. 

Ví dụ 
This is a “barn (chuồng trâu) find” that should just be put out to pasture. 

Missouri Supreme Court (Tòa án tối cao) urged (kêu gọi) to put factory farm law out to pasture. 

At age 47, after 25 years of running agents (đặc vụ) in Eastern Europe, Nat is about to be put out to pasture. 

The system has a massive install base (cơ sở lắp đặt lớn) and still has at least a couple of years left in it before it's put out to pasture. 

Thu Phương