Sunday, 1 January 2012

Objective Proficiency p 93. Vocabulary

Ex 4
  • Streak: /striːk/ a part of a person's character, especially an unpleasant part. Sp. vena. E.g. a ruthless/ vicious/ mean streak. A streak of cruelty.
  • Ruthless: /ˈruːθləs/ hard and cruel; determined to get what you want and not caring if you hurt other people. Sp. despiadado. E.g. a ruthless dictator.
  • Vicious: /ˈvɪʃəs/ violent and cruel. Brutal. Sp. despiadado. E.g. a vicious attack. A vicious criminal. She has a vicious temper. 
  • Revel in something: to enjoy something very much. Sp. disfrutar enormemente. E.g. She was clearly revelling in all the attention. He revelled in the freedom he was allowed. Some people seem to revel in annoying others. She revelled in defying the critics.
  • Fluffy: soft and light. E.g. a fluffy toy (Sp. un juguete de peluche).
  • Turn up: to arrive. Sp. presentarse. E.g. We arranged to meet at 7.30, but she never turned up. 
  • Slushy: said about stories, films/movies or feelings that are considered to be silly and without value because they are too emotional and romantic. Sp. sentimentaloide, sensiblero. E.g. slushy romantic fiction. 
  • Display: an occasion when you show a particular quality, feeling or ability by the way that you behave. Sp. demostración. E.g. a display of affection/strength/wealth.
  • Pop the question: (informal) to ask somebody to marry you.
  • Suffocating: /ˈsʌfəkeɪtɪŋ/  restricting what somebody/something can do. Sp. asfixiante, agobiante. Some marriages can sometimes feel suffocating. As a public figure, she had to endure suffocating publicity.
Idiom spot
  • Tie the knot: (informal) to get married.
  • Cast my net elsewhere: look around for someone else. 
  • A bolt from the blue: an event or a piece of news which is sudden and unexpected; a complete surprise. Sp. salir de la nada. E.g. Her dismissal came as a bolt from the blue. How did you take this bolt from the blue? 
  • Have time on your hands/  have time to kill: (informal) to have nothing to do or not be busy. 
  • Call the tune: (informal) to be the person who controls a situation.
  • Carry a torch for somebody: to be in love with somebody, especially somebody who does not love you in return. 
  • Roll up your sleeves: to prepare to work or fight. Behave very practically /ˈpræktɪkli/
  • At death's door: (often humorous) so ill/sick that you may die. E.g. I suppose you won't be coming to the party if you're at death's door! 
  • Give somebody the cold shoulder: (informal) to treat somebody in an unfriendly way- ignoring them.
  • Get/take a grip (on yourself): to improve your behaviour or control your emotions after being afraid, upset or angry. Take charge, get in control. Sp. Controlar. E.g. I have to take a grip on myself, he told himself firmly. (informal) Get a grip! (= make an effort to control your emotions). 
  • Have your hands tied: to be unable to do what you want to do because of rules, promises, etc. E.g. I really wish I could help but my hands are tied. 
  • Lose your grip (on something): to become unable to understand or control a situation. E.g. Sometimes I feel I'm losing my grip.
  • Cunning: clever and skilful. Ingenious. Sp. ingenioso. E.g. It was a cunning piece of detective work. 
  • Have/keep something up your sleeve: to keep a plan or an idea secret until you need to use it. E.g. Actually I do have a few ideas up my sleeve.
  • Clutch: to hold somebody/something tightly. Sp. tener firmemente agarrado. E.g. She stood there, the flowers still clutched in her hand. I clutched on to the chair for support. 
  • Clutch/grasp at straws: to try all possible means to find a solution or some hope in a difficult or unpleasant situation, even though this seems very unlikely. E.g. I know I'm just clutching at straws here, but is it possible that the doctors are wrong? 
  • Strike a bargain/deal: to make an agreement with somebody in which both sides have an advantage. 
  • Nettle: (also stinging nettle) a wild plant with leaves that have pointed edges, are covered in fine hairs and sting (sting, stung, stung: Sp. picar) if you touch them. Sp. Ortiga.
  • Grasp the nettle: (British English) to deal with a difficult situation firmly and without hesitating. Sp. coger el toro por los cuernos. E.g. The government now has the opportunity to grasp the nettle of prison reform. 
  • Come/get to grips with something: to begin to understand and deal with something difficult. E.g. I'm slowly getting to grips with the language. They have so far failed to come to grips with the ecological problems. 
  • Play into somebody's hands: to do exactly what an enemy, opponent, etc. wants so that they gain the advantage in a particular situation. E.g. If we get the police involved, we'll be playing right into the protesters' hands.
  • Blatantly: / ˈbleɪtəntli/ done in an obvious and open way without caring if people are shocked. Sp. abiertamente, descaradamente. 
  • Up for grabs: (informal) available for anyone who is interested. E.g. There are £25000 worth of prizes up for grabs in our competition! The job is up for grabs (Sp. el trabajo está a disposición de quien lo quiera)
Ex 5
  • Blurt something (out)| blurt that…| blurt what, how, etc…| /blɜːt/ to say something suddenly and without thinking carefully enough. Sp. soltar algo. E.g. She blurted it out before I could stop her.‘She's pregnant,’ Jack blurted. Blurt out a problem/ a secret. 
  • Bottle something up: to not allow other people to see that you are unhappy, angry, etc, especially when this happens over a long period of time. Sp. reprimir. E.g. Try not to bottle up your emotions. Bottle up a problem/ emotions. 
  • Choke something back: to try hard to prevent your feelings from showing. Sp. contener. E.g. to choke back tears/ emotions/ anger/ sobs (sollozos)
  • Fend off: to protect yourself from difficult questions, criticisms, etc, especially by avoiding them. Sp. esquivar. E.g. She managed to fend off questions about new tax increases. The Prime Minister fended off three challenges to her leadership.Fend off criticism/ a problem/ blows (golpes)/ accusations.
  • Keep up: to continue something at the same, usually high, level. Sp. mantener. E.g. The enemy kept up the bombardment day and night. We're having difficulty keeping up our mortgage payments. Well done! Keep up the good work/Keep it up! Keep up appearances (Sp. mantener las apariencias). Even though they had lost their fortune, the Joneses wanted to keep up appearances.
  • Shoot sth down: to be very critical of somebody's ideas, opinions, etc. Sp. rebatir. His latest theory has been shot down in flames. Shoot down an argument/ accusations. 
  • Sweep something aside: to ignore something completely. Sp. rechazar. E.g. All their advice was swept aside. Sweep aside an argument /accusations/ criticism.
  • Tease sth out: to spend time trying to find out information or the meaning of something, especially when this is complicated or difficult. Sp. extraer, sonsacar, desentrañar. E.g. The teacher helped them tease out the meaning of the poem. Tease out a problem/ a secret. It took me a while to tease the truth out of him.
  • Tone something down: to make a speech, an opinion, etc. less extreme or offensive. Sp. suavizar. E.g. The language of the article will have to be toned down for the mass market. Tone down criticism/ accusations. 
  • Whip somebody/something up:  to deliberately try and make people excited or feel strongly about something. To encourage strong emotions or behaviour in people. Rouse /raʊz/. Sp. Avivar. E.g. The advertisements were designed to whip up public opinion. He was a speaker who could really whip up a crowd. Newspaper articles have whipped up fears of the new tax policies. Whip up rage/ emotions.

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