Ungkapan-ungkapan dalam Bahasa Inggris yang Sering Kali Membingungkan


Salah satu tantangan dalam memahami teks berbahasa Inggris adalah kosa kata-nya. Sebagaimana yang kita ketahui kosa kata bahasa Inggris sangat luas, jauh lebih luas dari kosa kata bahasa Indonesia, sehingga kadang-kadang sulit mencari kata-kata yang sepadan. Itulah sebabnya kita sering mengamalami kesulitan ketika menjawab pertanyaan tentang arti sebuah kata dalam bahasa Inggris.

Masalahnya menjadi lebih serius apabila kita ingin menerjemahkan teks tersebut ke dalam bahasa Indonesia, karena di samping sulitnya mencari makna kata yang sepadan, teks bahasa Inggris, terutama yang ditulis oleh penutur asli bahasa Inggris, sering kali berisi ungkapan-ungkapan yang tidak bisa diterjemahkan kata demi kata. Ungkapan-ungkapan tersebut, baik yang berbentuk kalimat maupun frasa, mempunyai makna tertentu yang harus diketahui dengan tepat. Jika ungkapan-ungkapan tersebut diterjemahkan kata demi kata, maka maknanya akan meleset, atau salah sama sekali, atau justru menunjukkan makna yang bertentangan. Untuk mengetahui maknanya tentu saja kita harus merujuk ke kamus yang lengkap.

Di bawah ini adalah beberapa contoh ungkapan (idiomatic expressions) yang pernah saya temui ketika membaca teks bahasa Inggris:

To err on the side of caution: berhati-hati dalam mengambil keputusan supaya tidak menimbulkan resiko yang tidak diinginkan contoh: I decided to err on the side of caution and spend less than my full allowance.

To feed the cold and starve the fever: menghangatkan diri untuk menghindari penyakit flu

Pass the buck: menimpakan kesalahan pada orang lain, melimpahkan tanggung jawab pada orang lain, contoh: Don't try to pass the buck! It's your fault, and everybody knows it. Some people try to pass the buck whenever they can.

Pulling frequent all-nighters: belajar kebut semalam

On edge: gelisah

Up and at ’em: menyibukkan diri

Love something as much as the next gal: sangat menyukai, contoh: I love Chuck Norris as much as the next gal

Falling into work out rut: terjebak dalam kebiasaan latihan (olahraga) yang itu-itu saja 

Sent to the glue factory: pada dasarnya ungkapan ini bermakna sesuatu yang tidak lagi dipakai. Pada jaman dahulu, kuda-kuda tua dibantai, dan bangkainya dikirim ke pabrik lem, karena itulah lagi gunanya kuda-kuda itu.

Up in arms: murka, marah

Get a grip on one/sth: menguasai atau bisa mengendalikan seseorang atau sesuatu

Deer in the headlight: kaget dan tak bisa bergerak; ketakutan

Give a run for someone’s money: merasa tidak sia-sia mengeluarkan uang karena mendapatkan sesuatu yang memang benar-benar  pantas dihargai dengan uang tersebut

Rest assured=you can be sure: yakinlah

Live within your means: menghindari berutang dengan membelanjakan uang tidak lebih besar dari penghasilan

Take a cue: mengambil pelajaran

Had one’s wit about one: tetap tenang, menguasai diri, fokus, dan awas

Got one’s head screwed on: bisa menimbang dengan bijaksana, contoh: If you have your head screwed on right, you don't complain when you have to work overtime.

Right off the bat; langsung, segera,

Make good on promise: Menepati janji. Contoh: She never made good on promise to compensate me.

Have a black thumb; Bertangan panas, tidak bisa bercocok tanam. Contoh: I have killed all the plants in my house. I must have a black thumb.

Have a green thumb; bertangan dingin; lawan have a black thumb

Pull thorugh: Selamat dari kesulitan, sembuh dari penyakit: He has a severe pneumonia, but I am sure he will pull through

To wrap one's head around: Memahami atau mengerti; this is exceedingly difficult stuff to wrap one's head around: Ini masalah yang sangat sulit dipahami.

Come out in the wash: Masalah yang akan terselesaikan; kesulitan yang akan sirna: Don't worry about the fight you got into--it'll all come out in the wash

In the dust: far behind ketinggalan:  a marketing strategy that left our competitors in the dust.

Run-of-the-mill: produk dasar, belum diberi pernak-pernik tambahan, tidak spesial, rata-rata: There's nothing special about these singers--they're just run of the mill

Pour cold water on: mengecilkan hati, mematahkan semangat: Cutting my year-end bonus poured cold water on my loyalty to the company

Field day: masa kejayaan: The media had a field day with the sensational story.

Beer-Swilling: peminum bir berat; He is a beer-swilling guy

Out of whack: not working well or not in good condition
Lifting boxes in and out of the truck threw his back out of whack.

Pussy magnet: istilah slang orang Inggris yang berarti sesuatu yang menarik bagi wanita: I told you I was a pussy magnet

Get laid; to get laid means to have sex

Teething problem: masalah yang muncul pada awal sebuah kegiatan

Revolve around: berkisar tentang: Our day revolve around our work

Flat-out: sama sekali; belaka: a flat-out deception: penipuan belaka

Spot on: Bener banget; "well-done", "perfect," atau "right on": The food may not always be so good, but the brew in the pubs are spot on every time.

Lay terms; bukan istilah medis; bahasa yang mudah dimengerti oleh orang kebanyakan, tanpa perlu pengetahuan mendalam.

Icing on the cake: tambahan yang bagus bagi sesuatu yang sudah bagus

No strings attached: tidak ada persyaratan khusus; The donation has no strings attached, so the charity can use the money for whatever purpose it chooses.

Jump on the bandwagon: ikut-ikutan (bergabung) biasanya karena melihat yang lain sudah berhasil.

Nothing short of spectacular: keadaan hampir sempurna yang bisa dicapai manusia.

Quick and dirty: cara mudah untuk mengimplementasikan sesuatu

Swear by: percaya sepenuhnya pada: He swears by his personal physician

Good sport: Bisa menerirma kekalahan dengan baik; tidak marah ketika diolok-olok: Bob is usually a good sport, but this time he didn't seem to apreciate your joke.

Down the road: in the future/down the line: I was asked to gather statistical data that could be useful down the road.

Full of hot air: pembual; tukang ngecap: Oh, shut up Mary. You are full of hot air.

I'll cut you a deal: Saya akan memberi Anda potongan harga.


You can take it to the bank: Dijamin kebenarannya: Believe me. What I am telling you is the truth. You can take it to the bank.

Rolled the dice: risk; endager (membahayakan): Dostors warn that you are really rolling the dice with this drug 

Poke fun: Subject to laughter or ridicule; bahan olok-olok: The students poked fun at the inexperienced teacher.

In a nutshell: Secara singkat: Just tell me the story in a nutshell.

Give sombody a heads-up: To give someone information or a warning: I wanted to give you a heads-up that I'llbe sending you a revised form for your approval.

Shoot the breeze: Membual: Some, seemingly without much else to do, stuck around to shoot the breeze.

As these things go: for something like this; The problem is considered small as these things go.

Scour the fine print: look carefully at every detail; You have to scour the fine print to find it

Steer clear: Menjauhi; I would steer clear of Joe if I were you. 

Take something with a grain salt: Tidak buru-buru menganggap sesuatu sebagai benar: I've read the article, which I take with a grain of salt. 

beside oneself: in an extreme state of some emotion: sangat emosional, hilang kontrol; I was beside myself with anger 

Earn your stripes: Membuktikan kebolehan: She earned her stripes as a junior reporter before becoming education correspondent.

off guard: Tidak waspada; lengah: Caught in an off-guard moment

at one's wit's end: Habis pikiran; tak bisa melakukan apa-apa lagi; I have a problem that has me at wit's end, and I am hoping you can help 

be walking/treading on a eggshells; trying very hard not to upset someone: I was like walking on eggshells with my father. The smallest thing would make him angry. 

zero in (on someone or something):membidik langsung: The television camera zeroed in on the little boy scratching his head; zero in (on something): mengarahkan perhatian hanya pada sesuatu yang tertentu: My son's teacher was able to zero in and deals with his problems; She needs to really zero in on what's important instead of going off on a lot of tangents. 

confide in: curhat; She confides in no one but her husband 

fall far short of: kurang; tidak cukup:  You fall far short of reaching your full potential (You do not use your full potential) 

kick back; 1. kumpul-kumpul; kongkow-kongkow: I'll call up a few guys and a few girls over to my house; we'll have a kick back.2. uang suap


talk someone off the ledge: mollify: menenangkan seseorang: She wanted to quit bu I talked her off the ledge, mostly by apologizing to her.

hit home; refer to or be relevant or familiar to; tepat sasaran: "I hope this message hits home." 

in stitches: laughing so much that it is difficult to control yourself; the movie will keep you in stitches from the beginning to the end.  

white-knuckle: mencengkeram; menggenggam sesuatu kuat-kuat dan lama hingga tangan berdarah: He was whithe-knuckling the steering wheel.

family jewels: buah pelir; penis; I kicked his family jewels

get one's back: melindungi seseorang dari belakang ketika dia sedang dalam situasi sulit; Go. I'll get your back. 

pitch a fit: marah; ngamuk; Boy, you should have seen Dennis pitch a fit when we told him the price of his repair.  

to make ends meet: mencari uang yang cukup untuk memenuhi kebutuhan hidup: I have to work at two jobs to make ends meet.

to come to terms: mulai menerima sebuah keputusan atau situasi yang sulit: She's never really come to terms with her son's death

at a moment's notice: tanpa pemberitahuan; secara tiba-tiba: They are always asking us to produce reports at a moment's notice. 

to confuse matters: ingat jangan keliru: to confuse matters, adjectives can also end in "-ly" 

it's a stretch to say: hal ini tidak berarti bahwa....: it's a stretch to say that you can workout just once and  see the same health benefits as hitting the gym daily.

it stands to reason: maka bisa dipastikan; masuk akal: it stands to reason that most people will not by a new car if they don't think they can pay for it 

of sorts: sejenis, semacam: He managed to make a curtain of sorts out of an old sheet. 

against the grain: melawan arus, bertentangan dengan kecenderungan: it goes against the grain to tell outright lies 

go out on a limb: menantang bahaya atau situasi sulit dengan tidak ditemani atau didukung siapa-siapa: 'She's prepared to go out on a limb and do something different.' 

take something in one's stride: menerima keadaan sebagai apa adanya: She faced a serious problem, but she was able to take it in her stride.

come to terms with something: mulai menerima dan menjalani sesuatu yang sulit atau tidak menyenangkan: She's never really come to terms with her son's death

buy into: percaya, khususnya secara sepenuhnya atau tanpa krtitik: couldn't buy into that brand of conservatism. 
 

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