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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-04-13,Words and Their Stories

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        Now, words and their stories, a VOA special English program about American expressions. I'm Rich Kleindeldt with the expressions made using the word hold.
        "Can't hold a candle to" is a popular expression. It is from the time before electricity when people used candles for light. Someone who lived in the big house would have a servant light his way by holding a candle. The expression meant that the person who can not hold the candle to you is not fit even to be your servant. Now it means such a person can not compare or compete .
        In the following song, singer Galier Parton tells her new love that her old flames for old lovers can not compare with him.
        MUSIC: Old flames can't hold a candle to you. No one can light up the night  like you do.
        Another expression is hold your tongue. It means to be still and not talk . Hold your tongue is not something you would tell a friend. But a parent or teacher might use the expression to quiet a noisy child.
        Hold out is another expression ,one hears often in sports reports and labour news. It means to refuse to play or work. Professional football and baseball players hold out if their team refuses to pay them what they think they are worth.  Memembers of Labour unions hold out and refuse to work until they get the work agreement they want.
       The expression hold up has several different meanings. One is robbery. A man with a gun may say "This is  a hold up,give me your money". Another meaning is to delay. A driver later for work may tell his boss "I was held up by heavy traffic".  Someone who was robbed on the way to work might say :"Sorry ,boss, I was held up by a hold up". Still another meaning of the expression is for a story to be considered true after an investigation. The same driver late for work could say "My boss did not believe a hold up held me up ,but the police confirmed what I said ,so my story held up."
        Hold on is another expression .It often means wait or stop. As you leave for school  your brother may say "hold on ,you forgot your book".
        Our final expression is hold the line,that means to keep a  problem or situation from getting worse to hold steady. For example ,the president may say he will hold the line on taxes, he means there will be on increase in taxes. Now I must hold the line on this program ,I had no more time left today.
         This VOA special English program words and stories was written by Frank Bierslly , I'm Rich Kleindeldt.
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