2018-08-23 10:04 供稿单位: 新航道
比如“paying through the nose”的原意真的是“用鼻子抵账”吗？
表示开玩笑为什么要用“pulling someone’s leg“（拉腿）来形容？
riding shotgun 真的跟猎枪有关
"Riding shotgun" is the ideal place to ride during on a road trip. But in the Old West, the person sitting in the passenger seat was required to do a whole lot more than find the perfect radio station.
在现代，riding shotgun 指的是汽车上的副驾驶座。在旧时的美国西部，副驾驶座上的人要做的可不仅仅是调到一个好电台那么简单。
tagecoach drivers in the Old West needed a person to literally "ride shotgun." The passenger would carry a shotgun in order to scare off robbers who might want to attack them, according to Reader's Digest.
highway robbery 真的是抢劫
Most people would agree that paying $10 for your favorite cup of coffee is highway robbery. But the original definition of highway robbery once meant literally robbing travelers on or near the highway. The first known usage of the phrase was in 1611.
多数人会认同一杯可口的咖啡要价10美元（68元人民币）是highway robbery（敲竹杠）。但是highway robbery原来的意思就是在公路上或公路附近抢劫旅客。这个短语的使用最早见于1611年。
painting the town red 源自醉鬼恶行
For you and your crew, "painting the town red" probably means getting glammed up for a fun night of drinks and dancing. However, the phrase originates from a night out that makes dancing on the bar seem tame.
对你和你的小伙伴来说，painting the town red 的意思是打扮得光鲜亮丽晚上出去喝酒、跳舞。但是，这个短语原来的意思可比在酒吧跳舞劲爆多了。
Back in 1837, the Marquis of Waterford went out for a night of drinking with some of his friends, according to Phrases.org. Afterward, the group went through the streets of a small English town destroying property. They broke windows, knocked over flower pots, and damaged door knockers. But things got really crazy when they got their hands on some red paint and literally painted the town red, including doors, a tollgate, and a swan statue.
pulling someone’s leg 并不总是玩笑
You probably think that pulling someone's leg is all in good fun. After all, what's the harm in a little joke, right? This commonly used phrase that today means playing an innocent joke meant something a lot more sinister years ago.
你大概以为 pulling someone's leg（开某人的玩笑）都很好玩。毕竟，开个小玩笑无伤大雅。这个常用短语在今天的意思是开个没有恶意的玩笑，但多年前的意思却要邪恶得多。
Thieves in 18th and 19th Century London would drag their victims to the ground by their legs in order to rob them, according to Phrases.org.
paying through the nose 北欧海盗真的做得出
You won't be happy if you think you're paying through the nose for something. Although you may feel like you're getting ripped off, at least you get to keep your face intact. The roots of this commonly used idiom come from a brutal tactic of The Dane Vikings of slitting someone's nose from tip to eyebrow if the person refused to pay their tax, according to Grammarist.
如果你觉得自己 paying through the nose for something（为某件东西花了很多钱），肯定高兴不起来。不过，就算被“宰”，至少你的脸是完好无损的。根据Grammarist网站记载，这个常用习语源于北欧海盗的一种残酷手段，如果有人拒绝交税，就将此人的鼻子从鼻头到眉间划开。