英文

名人教英文:As much use as a chocolate teapot 了無用處

【明報專訊】Derek: So how did your Spanish holiday go?

德里克:你們去西班牙度假,好玩麼?

Bianca: Well, the holiday was great, but getting back was a nightmare.

比安卡:好得很,但回程可是一場噩夢。

Derek: How was that?

德里克:為什麼?

Bianca: We'd heard rumours that a COVID lockdown was going to be brought in here so we weren't sure whether we could even be allowed back into the country.

比安卡:我們聽到傳言,說這裏會因肺炎瘟疫而封關。所以,也不知道會不會獲准回來。

Derek: So what did you do?

德里克:那麼,你們怎麼辦?

Bianca: Well first we contacted our consulate to get up-to-date official information and advice, but honestly they were as much use as a chocolate teapot. They didn't seem to know anything useful at all.

比安卡:我們首先聯絡當地領事館,想得到最新的官方消息與意見,但老實說他們就如煎過三遍的藥,了無用處,似乎什麼都不知道,幫不上忙。

Derek: Gosh, that's really poor. So what happened?

德里克:啊,真不濟,那你們怎樣呢?

Bianca: Well we had to sleep at the airport overnight and just managed to get on the last flight to arrive before the lockdown started.

比安卡:我們得在機場過夜,剛好搭上封關前最後一班飛機回來。

As much use as a chocolate teapot 直譯是「與巧克力茶壺一樣有用」:巧克力製成的茶壺,當然不可用以盛茶,所以這成語是說某人或事物了無用處。留意 teapot 一字,有時會改作 fireguard(火爐的圍欄)或 kettle(燒熱水用的水壺),例如:① He found the new maid as much use as a chocolate kettle(他發覺那新來的女傭了無用處)。② These scissors are as much use as a chocolate teapot: they won't cut anything(這把剪刀什麼都剪不斷,了無用處)。

■作者簡介︰專研中英文,著有時事評論、英語學習、散文等書籍。

■作者︰古德明

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