Have something under your belt

 Belt是腰帶,以前談過一句與belt有關的英文諺語「tighten one’s belt」,意指勒緊褲頭,節衣縮食,減省開支。今次說的是另一個與belt有關的諺語「have something under one’s belt」。這一句諺語的意思比較正面,不是減少,而是增加了,充實了。

 諺語的來源相信亦和吃有關。把東西吃下肚子,差不多就是腰帶的位置,腰腹脹鼓鼓,很充實。所以這諺語表面的意思是要吃喝,吃飽。例如:

 I need to have something under my belt now. I have been so busy that I haven’t eaten for the whole day.

 我現在很需要吃東西。我忙了一整天,一直沒有吃東西。

引申已達成事項

 現在已經比較少人用這短語表示吃喝東西。不過,引申開來,吃下的東西,腰帶下的東西,亦代表了一些達成了的事情,或完成了的目標。

 The team has had already 20 wins under their belts. They will probably be the champion of the league game this season.

 這支隊伍至今擁有二十場勝仗,他們很有機會在今季聯賽中奪冠。

 For the great effort he spent in preparing for the exam, he got 4 distinctions under his belt.

 他勤力溫習應付考試,結果考了四優的佳績。

指掌握某些長處

 一些達成了的成就,增加了自己的籌碼或勝算,可能對將來有用、有幫助。故此,腰帶下的東西,亦表示今天學習了一些知識技能,掌握一些長處,可以供日後使用。舉例而言:

 She was a better candidate for the post because she had had a few years’ experience under her belt.

 她是比較適合這份工的應徵者,因為她擁有多年經驗成為她的優勢。

 現今社會競爭激烈,要增加競爭力,就要身懷多張刀,或說增加腰帶下的東西,多些充實自己。

 To be more competitive, you need to have more qualifications under your belt.

 要增強競爭力,你必須多考一些資格,作為自己的本錢。

 You should make use of your vacation to learn something useful. It is always a good thing to have more skills under your belt.

 你應該善用假期多學一些有用的東西。身懷越多技能作為籌碼總是有利的。

 不論甚麼,只要學有所成,達成一些目標,就等如身懷一種本領,這就是「have something under your belt」充實自己的意義。

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