Now, the VOA Special
and Their Stories".
There are many American
expressions about insects – like bees, for example. Bees are known as very hard
workers. They always appear to be busy, moving around in their homes, or hives.
So you might say you were "as busy as a
bee" if you spent your weekend cleaning your house.
abejas; known as: conocidas como; appear to be: parecen estar;
hives: colmenas; you might say: podrías decir; as busy as a bee:
ocupadísimo (literal = tan ocupado como una abeja); spent: pasaste;
In fact, you might say
your house was a "beehive of activity"
if your whole family was helping you clean. You also might say you "made
a beeline" for something if you went there right away. When we go to see
a movie, my friend always "makes a
beeline" for the place where they sell popcorn.
de hecho, en realidad; beehive of activity: una casa con mucha actividad
(gente trabajando adentro); your whole family: toda tu familia; make a
beeline: ir derecho hacia; makes a beeline for: marcha directo hacia;
Here is an expression
about bees that is not used much any more, but we like it anyway. We think it
was first used in the 1920s. If something was the best of its kind, you might
say it was "the bee's knees". Now,
we admit that we do not know how this expression developed. In fact, we do not
even know if bees have knees!
de todas maneras; in the 1920s: en la década de los años 20 (desde 1920
hasta 1929); the best of its kind: lo mejor en su categoría; the bee's
knees: el súmmum, lo máximo (literalmente = las rodillas de la abeja); we
do not even know: ni siquiera sabemos;
If your friend cannot stop
talking about something because she thinks it is important, you might say she
has "a bee in her bonnet". If
someone asks you a personal question, you might say "that
is none of your beeswax". This means none of your business.
talking about: no para de hablar sobre; have a bee in one's bonnet:
estar obcecado con algo, tener algo metido entre ceja y ceja (literal = tener
una abeja en la gorra o boneta); that is none of your beeswax: eso no te
incumbe, eso no es asunto tuyo (literal = eso no es de tu cera de abeja);
Speaking of personal
questions, there is an expression people sometimes use when their children ask "where
do babies come from?" Parents who discuss sex and reproduction say this is
talking about "the birds and the bees".
the birds and the bees: decir las cosas tal y como son (sin vueltas);
Hornets are bee-like
insects that sometimes attack people. If you are really angry, you might say you
are "mad as a hornet". And if you
"stir up a hornet's nest", you
create trouble or problems.
avispón; bee-like: parecidos a las abejas; attack: atacan; mad
as a hornet: sumamente enojado/a, muy alterado/a; if you stir up a
hornet's mest: si tú alborotas, armas un gran revuelo (literal = si
revuelves el avispero);
Butterflies are beautiful
insects, but you would not want to have "butterflies
in your stomach". That means to be nervous about having to do something,
like speaking in front of a crowd. You would also not want to have "ants
in your pants" -- that is, to be restless and unable to sit still.
butterflies in one's stomach: estar hecho/a un manojo de nervios (literal =
tener mariposas en el estómago); a crowd: una multitud; to have ants
in one's pants: estar inquieto/a, tener hormigas en el c---o (literal =
tener hormigas en los calzones); restless: inquieto/a; to sit still:
permanecer quieto sentado;
Here are some expressions
about plain old bugs, another word for insects. If a friend keeps asking you to
do something you do not want to do, you might ask him to leave you alone or "stop
bugging me". A friend also might tell you again and again to do something.
If so, you might say he "put a bug in
bugs: bichos comunes y corrientes; stop bugging me: deja de
fastidiarme (literal = deja de picarme); again and again: una y otra vez;
to put a bug in one's ear: suscitar sospechas ("si tanto insiste, algún
interés personal tendrá") (literal = poner un bicho en el oído);
If you were reading a book
in your warm bed on a cold winter's day, you might say you were "snug
as a bug in a rug". And if you wish someone good night, you might say, "sleep
tight -- don't let the bedbugs bite".
abrigada cama; snug as a bug in a rug: supercómodo y abrigado (literal =
cómodo y abrigado como un bicho en la alfombra o tapete); sleep tight:
dulces sueños, que descanses bien; don't let the bed bugs bite: no dejes
que te coman los bichos.
This VOA Special English
program was written by Shelley Gollust. I'm Faith Lapidus.