《A few colorful English expressions》
（文╱Robert Tolmasoff）English is full of colorful expressions and idioms. These expressions are common in business and social settings, and can be difficult for second language learners to understand and use. Below are a few of the common colorful expressions, along with a quick explanation.
1. To kick the can down the road. If you “kick the can down the road” you delay action on a problem. For example, if you know that there is a problem that needs to be dealt with, and don’t really deal with the real problem, you kick the can down the road.
Example: We can’t just continue to kick the can down the road. We need to deal with this problem now.
2. A cash cow. The expression “cash cow” refers to a product that generates a lot of the company’s revenue or profit.
Example: That product has been our cash cow for the last ten years.
3. A backseat driver. A backseat driver refers to a person who is a passenger in a car and gives the driver unwanted driving advice. See the example below.
Example: He is the worst backseat driver! He kept telling me how to drive all the time.
4. To drag one’s feet. If you “drag your feet” you delay action on something that you have been asked to do and either cannot or don’t want to do.
Example: They continue to drag their feet when we ask for a detailed proposal.
5. Out of touch. If someone is “out of touch” that means they are unaware or uninformed about something. “Out of touch” can also mean that you have not had contact with someone for a long time.
Example: The management team is really out of touch on what is really happening in the market.
Example: John and I have been out of touch for several years.
Robert Tolmasoff is a trainer, editor, and author based in Taipei. His clients include international companies as well as individuals looking to sharpen their communications skills. Robert’s last two books, 上班族完美英文e-mail輕鬆寫 and 1000 Essential Business English Terms, are available in books stores and from McGraw-Hill Taiwan. Have ideas for future columns or questions? Email Robert at firstname.lastname@example.org
(PHOTO via Alec Couros CC License ）