Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
Expressions about water are almost as common as water itself. But many of the expressions using water have unpleasant meanings.
The expression "to be in hot water" is one of them. It is a very old expression. "Hot water" was used five hundred years ago to mean being in trouble. One story says it got that meaning from the custom of extremely throwing hot water down on enemies attacking a castle.
“to be in hot water”（遇到麻烦；陷入困境）就是其中之一。这是一个很古老的表达。早在500年前，"Hot water"就用于表示遇到麻烦。有一种说法称，这种表达起源于这样一个传统：当敌人袭击一座城堡时，城堡中的人就会将滚烫的开水泼向敌人。
That no longer happens. But we still get in "hot water." When we are in "hot water," we are in trouble. It can be any kind of trouble--serious, and not so serious. A person who breaks a law can be in hot water with the police. A young boy can be in hot water with his mother, if he comes into the house with dirty shoes.
那种情况已不再发生。但我们仍会遇到麻烦。当说我们in hot water，也就是说我们遇到麻烦。这个短语可以表示任何严重或不严重的麻烦。触犯了法律人就会惹上警察。孩子穿着脏鞋在屋里乱走就会惹上他妈。
Being in "deep water" is almost the same as being in hot water. When you are in "deep water," you are in a difficult position. Imagine a person who cannot swim being thrown in water over his head.
“in deep water”和“in hot water"”含义几乎一样。当说你in deep water，也就是说你陷入困境中。想象一下，一个不会游泳的人被扔到深过头顶的水中会是怎么样？
You are in deep water when you are facing a problem that you do not have the ability to solve. You can be in deep water, for example, if you invest in stocks without knowing anything about the stock market.
当你面对自己无力解决的问题时，你就是处于水深火热之中（in deep water）。比如，如果你对股市一无所知时投资股票，你就会陷入麻烦（in deep water）。
To keep your head above water is a colorful expression that means staying out of debt. A company seeks to keep its head above water during economic hard times. A man who loses his job tries to keep his head above water until he finds a new job.
“To keep your head above water”是一个有趣味的表达，意思是避免负债。公司在经济困难时期寻求避免负债。失业男子在找到新工作前会避免负债。
Water over the dam is another expression about a past event. It is something that is finished. It cannot be changed. The expression comes from the idea that water that has flowed over a dam cannot be brought back again.
“Water over the dam”（覆水难收；无法挽回的事情；既成事实，木已成舟）是另一个和过去发生的事有关的表达。短语指已发生，无法改变的事情。这个表达源自这样一个观点：从大坝溢出的水再也无法回流。
When a friend is troubled by a mistake she has made, you might tell her to forget about it. You say it is water over the dam.
Another common expression, "to hold water," is about the strength or weakness of an idea or opinion that you may be arguing about. It probably comes from a way of testing the condition of a container. If it can hold water, it is strong and has no holes in it. If your agrument can hold water, it is strong and does not have any holes. If it does not hold water, then it is weak and not worth debating.
另一个常用表达to hold water（论点周密，没漏洞，站得住脚）是关于你所争论的想法或观点的优点或缺点。这个表达可能是源自测试容器的状态的一种方式。如果这个容器装上水后不漏，那这个容器就没有漏洞。如果你的论点站得住脚，那它就无懈可击。如果站不住脚，那就不值得辩论了。
Throwing cold water also is an expression that deals with ideas or proposals. It means to not like an idea. For example, you want to buy a new car because the old one has some problems. But your wife "throws cold water" on the idea, because she says a new car costs too much.
“Throwing cold water”（泼冷水）是一个和想法或建议有关的表达。意思是不喜欢某个想法。例如，因为旧车有一些毛病，你想买辆新车。但你的妻子对你这个想法泼冷水，因为她说，新车太贵了。
This VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories, was written by Marilyn Christiano. I'm Rich Kleinfeldt.