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1. 一根筋儿 one track-minded


Stop reasoning with him. Don’t you know he is one track-minded? 


You feel chocked to work with those who are one track-minded.

A one track-minded person will not understand what you intend.

2.败家子 a black sheep


This black sheep almost ruined his father’s business.


Joe is the black sheep of his family. He splashed nearly a hundred thousand U. S.

dollar in a few year.

Dick is a black sheep, always bringing trouble to his family.

Jimmy is the black sheep of his family.Apart from playing hookey, he is also

shoplifing a lot.

3.他那号人 people of his sort, people of his kind


How could he think I would go back on my words? I am not his sort, who is fickle

and always blowing hot and cold.


I am not your sort, who is always keeping harping on things and trying to find

fault with others.


Why should you suspect her? She is not your sort, who is always doing things on the



I’m not your sort, who always wants to get the best of others.


Mary: I can’t believe I’m down and out. I have to pinch pennies. 

John: You can turn to me when the chips are down.

Mary: I know... but...

John: Come on, Mary. I know you can always get out from under. But I’m always glad

to help.

Mary: Thank you all the same, John. But I think I can work things out and stand on

my own feet again.

4. 难对付的人 a tartar / a hard nut to crack

Want him to follow your order? No way! He’s a tartar -- a hard nut to crack.


John: I’d like you to meet my friend, Linda. She’s a very nice girl to know. 

Mary: I ran into her the other day at the fruit market.

John: How did you like her?

Mary: She’s indeed swell. (她确实很棒) 

John: That’s why we hit it off.(hit it off: easy to get along)

Mary: But I don’t like he boyfriend. He really turns me off.

John: You mean Jack?

Mary: Yeah. He’s a tartar. Each time I met him he would jump down my throat. I can’

t understand why Linda should love a man like him.

John: That’s what things are like. A nice girl usually married herself off to a

man whom other people dislike . I hope you wouldn’t marry a tartar like Jack.

5.大人物 a bigwig/ a bigshot

Mr. Li is one of the bigwigs in this district. Nobody dares to take his offense.

6. 令人扫兴的人 a wet blanket

She’s a real a wet blanket. She started quarreling with Li Ling when everyone of

us was in high spirits.

7.马屁精 an apple-polisher


She’s a real apple-polisher for the way she’s crawling around the boss and making

eyes at him.

8.乡巴佬 a hayseed 

She insisted that she would not marry herself off to a hayseed, no matter how rich

he was.

9.当二把手 play second fiddle 

I feel it worth playing second fiddle to Mr. Wang. He’s so capable.

10.嘴甜的人 be honey-lipped 


She’s so honey-lipped that she knows how to tailor her words to please the ears of

different people.


11. 老古董 a stick-in-the-mud 

You may regard my husband as a stick-in-the-mud, but on my part I like his

personality of that kind.

12. 扫帚星 a jinx 

She’s said to be a jinx, who would bring bad luck to whoever she marries.

13. 外粗内秀的人 a rough diamond

She’s a rough diamond. Although she seems to be careless, she does everything tip-


14.海量 have a hollow leg


Want to drink him under the table? Well... you can never do. He’s got a hollow

leg, you know. 

15. 不分上下 be neck and neck 

The two teams have been playing for two hours, and yet, they are still neck and

neck in their scores.

16. 绞尽脑汁 to rack one’s brain  

He had racked his brain, but hadn’t been able to work out the answer to the


17. 真了不起 really something


He overwelmed so many of his opponents alone. He’s really something.

18.昙花一现 a flash in the pan


That singer was only a flash in the pan. He disappeared into the air after having

made one or two records.


Tom: People said that the singer was a knowout. She was pretty and her performance

brought the house down.

Sue: But the hit was only a flash in the pan. Her fame as a good singer didn’t

last long. 

Tom: Why was that? 

Sue: There are many one-day stars like her. They all disppear into thin air.

Tom: But that shouldn’t be the case with her. She seems to have all the making for

a star. 

Sue:That’s the way of life. 

19.一窍不通 not know beans about something

How can you let him into the business of selling life insurance? He doesn’t know

beans about insurance business at all.



This is his first visit in China. He doesn’t know beans about Chinese culture and

their way of life.

20.寡不敌众 be outnumbered


The girl was brave enough, but as being ournumbered, she was finally knocked into

the middle of next week by the gang.

21. 单枪匹马 play a lone hand

When investing in a business, he always likes to play a lone hand.

22. 吃得开 have a big drag with 

You may ask him to help. He has a big drag with those guys.

23. 出师不利 get off on the wrong foot

 His idea was good, but he got off on the wrong foot when he started doing it.


We seemed to have got off on the wrong foot when we started to market out new

products, due to our ignorance of the actual market needs.

24. 还嫩点儿 still wet behind the ears


Attempt to do me in? You are still wet behind the ears.

25.You are really impossible. 你真让人受不了。

26. 当家 wear the pants in the family


It’s obvious that it is your wife who wears the pants in your family.


I’ve no say on this matter. You’ve have to ask my wife. She wears the pants in my



I don’t want to wear the pants in this family. The authority is yours on this



In China, those who wear the pants in the family are mostly women.

27. 痛失良机 Let something slip through one’s fingers.

你真蠢! 这样一个发大财的机会千载难逢,你怎能眼睁睁地让它跑掉呢?

You can’t be more stupid! How could you let such a golden opportunity to make big

money slip through your fingers? It was an opportunity that comes once in a blue moon.

28. 有资格 be in a position


On such an important issue, we’re not in a position to give the final decision. 

29.头脑有点不正常 have a few buttons missing 

Anyone who says that must have a few buttons missing.

30. 站不住脚 not hold water

Whatever you may think, such a theory of yours does not hold water.

31. 唆使 put somebody up to


There must be be someone who had put him up to that.


Do you know who had put him up to that deal?

Why should you ask me to hold the bag? Wasn’t it you who had put me up to that? 

32.心有余而力不足 The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

33.盲从 follow like sheep

They actually know nothing about what fashion is. They are only following others

like sheep.

34. 听其自然 let things slide


With things as such, we’ll have to let things slide.