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Words and Their Stories: Back, Shoulders and Chest

A former street kid works in the fields at The Learning Farm

Photo from: the free dictionary

There are many American expressions that use parts of the body. These include the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and even the heart. Today we will tell you some expressions that use other body parts – the back, shoulders and chest.

美語中很多片語跟身體部位有關。本期電子報將介紹跟背(back), 肩膀(shoulders)及胸(chest)等有關的詞句。


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Words and Their Stories: Back, Shoulders and Chest

English idioms that are head and shoulders above the rest.

VOA news 22 January 2010


There are many American expressions that use parts of the body. These include the eyes, ears, nose, mouth and even the heart. Today we will tell you some expressions that use other body parts – the back, shoulders and chest.

When I am facing a lot of pressure at work, my back and neck will start to hurt. Sometimes, this tension is the result of too much work. I have too many things to do because my supervisor is on my back all the time. In other words, my employer is always telling me to do things.

Sometimes, I want my employer to get off my back! I want her to stop criticizing me and making too many demands on my time. I can not say this, however. I would never turn my back on her and refuse to help when there is a need. If I did refuse to help, my supervisor might say bad things about me behind my back. She might criticize me when I am not present. This would surely be a stab in the back. It is never kind to unfairly harm or say bad things about other people.

Sometimes, when I am very productive in my job, my employer gives me a pat on the back. She praises my work. She might even say “I will scratch your back if you will scratchmine.” This means she will do something for me, if I do something helpful for her in exchange. Such an offer usually comes straight from the shoulder. My supervisor has a very direct, open and honest way of speaking.

I know that my employer carries a lot on her shoulders. She is responsible for many things at the office. And because she is so important, she sometimes gets to rub shoulders with the top officials. She gets to spend time with some very important people.

I believe the top official values my superior. He never gives her the cold shoulder. He is never unfriendly to her. He always treats her like she is an important part of the organization.

I also value my supervisor. In fact, I think she is very effective in her job. Of course, I could yell my opinion at the top of my lungs, or as loudly as I possibly could. It might even feel good to get my emotions off my chest. It is always helpful to tell people how you feel so that your emotions do not trouble you.

But it is not necessary for me to praise my superior. Most of my co-workers feel the exact same way about her. So, I think I will just save my breath. I will keep silent because talking or repeating myself will not do any good.


[Exercise] Choose the most appropriate phrases from the article, and fill in the blanks. You may need to modify some phrases to fit in the sentences.

1.The girl was furious when she found out that her boyfriend had been seeing other girls ________.

2.The teacher ________ as an encouragement when she gave him back his paper with an A+.

3. The football fans started screaming ________ after the home team scored.

4."Okay, I know you’ll be mad, but I've just got to _________- I was the one who stole your money."

5. She's Hollywood's most popular party planner and regularly _______ with famous movie stars.

6. He had been _______ by people he thought were his friends. That’s why he was always suspicious and didn’t trust anyone.

7.When his ex-girlfriend asked to be back together, he gave her the ________.

8. I don’t believe a word you say, so _________.

9. I’ve done my best, so _________ and stop criticizing me!

10. My father left us when I was just a baby. But I can't ________ him now that he's old and sick.


Answers:

1. behind her back.

2. patted him on the back

3. at the top of their lungs

4. get it off my chest

5. rubs shoulders

6. stabbed in the back

7. cold shoulder

8. save your breath

9. get off my back

10. turn my back on

Source http://www1.voanews.com/learningenglish/home/words-stories/a-23-2010-01-22-voa1-84658992.html

 
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