鼻を通して払う? 手と足を払う???


'Pay Through the Nose' ???

’Cost an Arm and a Leg’???



今日のVOA,Words and Their Stories です。 ♬ (^^♪





なぜ私たちは高価なものに「Pay Through the Nose」するのか?


Why Do We 'Pay Through the Nose' for Costly Things?






このような状況を表現するために、体の部分を使った2つの表現をよく使います。それぞれの表現には動詞があります。しかし、そのうちの一つはより能動的な表現です。それは、to pay through the nose 大金を払う・ぼられるです。

もう一つの表現は、to cost an arm and a legとても高価なもの・大変なお金・費用がかかる。ここでは、動詞 "cost "はより受動的です。


どちらの言い方も、何かのために多くの-実際には、あまりにも多くの-お金を支払うことを意味しています。例えば、最新のコンピューターに不当に高い値段を支払った場合、paid through the noseことになります。また、その新しいコンピュータにはcost an arm and a legと言うこともできます。








わあ、あなたの車 好き!年式は?


1968?! paid through the nose 大金を払って修理したんでしょうね。

実は、ほとんどの作業は自分でやったの。 だから大金を節約できたわ。

部品は?古い車の部品はcost an arm and a leg高くつくわよね。

車には元の部品がほとんどあったの。 姉が余分なマスタングの部品を持っていたから、それを私にくれたのよ。お金の節約にもなったわ!

あなたはとてもラッキーだわ。 大抵の人はこの手の車に大金を払うわよ。

そうね。 私は1968年式のマスタングに付いてくるような 高額な値札は払わなかったわ。 でも、運はほんの一部なの。 この車には本当に一生懸命作業したのよ!


今、2つの “body part” 表現がどのように使えるか聞いたでしょう。


"to cost an arm and a leg "という言葉は、戦争から帰ってきた兵士たちが使っていたのかもしれません。腕や足を失った人たちは、非常に高い代償を払ったと言われています。

To pay through the nose というのは、税金を払うことから来ているのかもしれません。ある文化では、徴税人が町や村に何人住んでいるかを知るために、人々の鼻を数えていたと言われています。この言葉の語源については、言葉の歴史家の間でも議論されています。


覚えておいてください......英語教材の中には、手も足も出ないような値段のものもあります。しかし、VOA Learning Englishは違います。私たちのストーリーやビデオは無料です。わざわざお金を払って英語を学ぶ必要はないのです。




Why Do We 'Pay Through the Nose' for Costly Things?



FILE - Visitors stand near the 1939 Auto Union D-type on display at the Retromobile vintage cars show in Paris, Friday Feb. 16, 2007. The car, one of the two still in existence, could have become the most expensive car ever but the auction has been postponed. (A


And now, Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.

On this program we teach common words and expressions in American English.

Some things in life are free. Other things cost a little money. And many other things cost us a lot. On today’s program we will talk about that last group.

Things that cost a lot are expensive. We often do not mind paying a lot for high quality goods or services. Some things are just worth it. But a few things have unreasonably high price tags. I am sure we have all paid way too much for something at some point in our lives.

To describe situations like these, we often use two expressions involving body parts. Each of these expressions has a verb. But one of them is more active. It is to pay through the nose.

The other expression is to cost an arm and a leg. Here, the verb “cost” is more passive.

Both sayings mean to pay a lot – in fact, too much money – for something. For example, if you paid an unreasonably high price for the latest computer, you paid through the nose. You can also say the new computer cost an arm and a leg.

For our next example, let’s get on a plane and go on a trip!

Traveling is often expensive, especially if you do not plan ahead. When booking a flight at the last minute, it can cost you an arm and a leg. And if you stay in the best hotels in big cities like London, Rome, or Tokyo, you will most likely pay through the nose.

Now, let’s hear another example.

Wow, I love your car! What year is it?

It is a 1968 Ford Mustang.

1968?! I bet you paid through the nose to get it fixed up.

Actually, I did most of the work myself. So, that saved me a ton of money.

What about finding parts? Old car parts can cost an arm and a leg.

The car had most of its original parts. And my sister had some extra Mustang parts. So, she gave them to me. That saved money, too!

You are so lucky. Most people pay a lot for a car like this.

True. I didn’t pay the high price tag that usually comes with a 1968 Mustang. But luck only played a small part. I worked really hard on this car!

You just heard how the two “body part” expressions can be used.

But where did these expressions come from? Well, word historians are not so sure.

The saying “to cost an arm and a leg” may have come from soldiers returning from war. Those missing arms or legs were said to have paid a very high price.

To pay through the nose may come from paying taxes. In some cultures, tax collectors were said to count people’s noses to get an idea of how many people lived in a town or village. Again, this word origin is debated among word historians.

Well, that brings us to the end of this Words and Their Stories!

Remember … some English teaching products can cost you an arm and a leg. But not VOA Learning English. Our stories and videos are free. There’s no need to pay through the nose to learn English with us!




Words in This Story


price tag – n. a piece of paper or plastic that is attached to a product and that has the product's price written or printed on it : the amount of money that something costs

passive – adj. showing that the subject of a sentence is acted on or affected by the verb

ahead – adv. in, into, or for the future

origin – n. rise, beginning, or derivation from a source




Why Do We 'Pay Through the Nose' for Costly Things?