Listen 听一听

Exercise 练一练

1. To blow your top means:

a) to suddenly become excited

b) to slowly become excited

c) to suddenly become angry

d) to slowly become angry

2. What does Nina think of when she/he hears the expression blow your top?

3. Which other English expression means 'it makes me very angry'?

Script 文本阅读

You’re listening to British Council’s English Online and I’m Nina. Today on Language Snacks we take a look at the expression blow your top. Let’s listen to the dialogue.
您现在收听的是英国领事馆英语在线栏目,我是尼娜。今天的语言小点心节目我们来学一下blow up your top 这个短语,一起来听下面的对话。

A: Oh no! Quick, get a cloth!

B: What's the matter?

A: I've spilt my coffee all over Mark's papers!

B: Here you are. Oh dear, I'm afraid these papers are in a bad way. Will Mark be angry?

A: He's going to blow his top! He told me not to touch anything on his desk!

If you blow your top, you lose your temper, or suddenly become very angry. When I hear this expression, I think of a volcano erupting, suddenly shooting fire and smoke up into the air. However, I think the more common image is of boiling water blowing the top off a cooking pan. In both cases, the idea of heat and boiling is connected with the feeling of anger.
如果你blow up your top,意思就是怒气冲天,或者突然大发雷霆。当我听到这个短语的时候,我脑子里想到的就是火山喷发,突然火光迸发,浓烟滚滚,还有一种更为常见的场景,那就是热锅里水开了汩汩地冒出来热气把锅盖都顶开了。这两个例子中,热气和滚水用来形容生气的样子。

This connection is also true in other English expressions. For example, if something 'makes your blood boil', it makes you very angry. You could say, it makes you blow your top! Interestingly, a friend of mine from Turkey recently told me that the expression has a different meaning in Turkish, where if something 'makes your blood boil', it makes you excited.
这种比喻在其他英语谚语中也有。比如,某事makes your blood boil,意思是这件事让你很生气。我们也可以说,这件事blow your top。有趣的是,我的一位土耳其朋友最近跟我说起来这句俗语在土耳其语中的意思不一样,"makes your blood boil"意思是让你感到兴奋、激动。

And that’s it for now – join us again for some more Language Snacks.

You’ve been listening to English Online – the podcast for English learners in China.

Key 参考答案

1. c

2. a volcano

3. 'it makes my blood boil!'