Until the cows come home – Когда рак на горе свистнет – идиома


Как часто нам не хочется что-то делать, а хочется отложить это на «потом, если захочешь». Похоже таки действительно такое желание возникает достаточно часто, иначе как объяснить огромное количество фразеологизмов в русском языке с таким значением: «когда рак на горе свистнет», «после дождичка в четверг», «после второго пришествия» и т.д. Но и в английском много идиом с подобным значением: «when hell freezes over», «on a cold day in July», «when pigs fly», «Until the cows come home», что говорит о том, что лень – понятие интернациональное. Как еще можно использовать идиому Until the cows come home можно узнать, прочитав о приключениях Neil и Li в России  за городом.

(Neil has spent Sunday with Li in the countryside. Now they are going back to town.)
Neil: It's been a great Sunday in the countryside, Li. I'm a city boy – I'm not used to this much walking and fresh air. It was good though, but now it's getting late.
Li: Yes, it is, Neil. But now we are going to catch a bus to town and you'll be back in your normal environment.
Neil: Well, where is this bus?! You said you knew this area. We've been here on this dirt road for a while and no buses have passed by. No vehicles at all, actually.
Li: Don't worry, Neil. The bus will come.
Neil: Li, look! There is a note here on the wall of this old bus shelter!
Li: Oh, I didn't notice it. What does it say?
Neil: It says buses are subject to delays! We'll be waiting for a bus until the cows come home!
Li: Those cows?! I think they are already home, Neil. The cows live in that field. It's us who need to go home. You might be feeling a bit light-headed as you are not used to so much fresh air.
Neil: Li, we are not actually waiting for the cows to go anywhere. In English, to wait 'until the cows come home' means to wait for a very long time.
Li: Ah, so nothing to do with the cows?
Neil: Not at all. Let's hear some examples of how to use 'until the cows come home', today's expression in The English We Speak.

  • I'm off work tomorrow so tonight we can party until the cows come home!
  • Alan is very stubborn. His wife can try to persuade him until the cows come home but he won't change his mind.

Li: Oh. That's a new expression for me. And you learned something too, Neil.
Neil: What's that, Li?
Li: Look over there!
(The bus is approaching.)
Neil: That's our bus! Here, here! We're over here!
Li: Don't worry, it's coming.
Neil: Well, you learned a new expression and I learned to be more patient.
Li: One day, even a city boy like you will get used to the calming and relaxing atmosphere of the countryside.
Neil: Yes. The cows look happy, don't they? Munching away on the grass...
Li: Yes, indeed. Let's go. Bye.
Neil: Bye.

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