Tim’s Blog – Rats and Cows 子 (ねずみ) と 丑 (うし)

Hello Everyone, my next classes on Apr 23rd and 24th are about the Chinese horoscope and superstitions. Since we are going to be talking a little bit about the animals that comprise the Chinese horoscope, I thought I could share with you some very frequently used idioms about some of them.

皆さんこんにちは、4月23日と24日の私のレッスンでは干支 (えと) と迷信を扱います。干支を成す動物達について少しばかり話すことになっていますので、そういう動物達に関する、たいへんよく使われる慣用句をいくつか一緒に見てみるのもいいかなと思います。

rat on someone: to report someone's bad behaviour to someone in authority; to tattle on someone.

Ex: His accomplice ratted on him to save his skin.

(人) について「ねずみ」る:人の悪行を職権を有する者に報告する、誰かの告げ口をする。


smell a rat: to suspect that something is wrong; to sense that someone has caused something wrong.

Ex: I can’t believe this was an accident. I smell a rat.



gym rat:  a person who spends a lot of time at the gym.

Ex: Johnny never leaves the gym. He’s such a gym rat!



a sacred cow: a belief or system that is treated with much respect and is not usually criticized.

Ex: The NHS has been treated as a sacred cow for too long. Reform is needed urgently.



a cash cow: a business or a part of a business that always makes a lot of profit.

Ex: It is the financial services that are the company’s biggest cash cow.



until the cows come home: for a very long time.

Ex: We could talk about this problem until the cows come home, but it wouldn't solve anything.