Hello and welcome to Words and Their Stories from VOA Learning English.On this program we explore common words and expressions in American English.
In the United States April 1 is a day when you need to be a little careful.
It is April Fool’s Day so someone might play a practical joke on you—a harmless trick for fun.
We did a program on fool expressions a couple of years ago.We explained how to use foolhardy and foolproof.We talked about the idiom “A fool and his money are soon parted.”But we left out some things.So, here we are again talking about fools!
Probably the most common definition of “fool” is someone who is silly and, well, foolish.It is very easy to trick a fool.
“To fool” can also mean to pretend.For example, “The child said he was sick but he was only fooling.He was in perfect health.”
If you say, “I was only fooling” that means you are not serious.You are kidding.So, if you say something to someone as a joke but they take you seriously, you can say to them, “I was only fooling.”Here, you could also say, “I was only kidding.”
如果你说，“I was only fooling”。那就意味着你不是认真的，你只是在开玩笑。所以，如果你对别人说了玩笑话，对方却当真了，你就可以对他们说“I was only fooling。”或者“I was only kidding.”
We often pair “fool” with the verbs “play” and “act” to form the expressions play the fool and act the fool.They both describe someone who is easily tricked or deceived.Or sometimes, we play the fool because we fall deeply in love and cannot think clearly.
我们经常把“fool”这个词和动词“play”“act”放在一起，形成play the fool和act the fool这两个表达。它们都可以形容某人很容易上当或很好骗，当我们坠入爱河，无法冷静地思考时，也可以说we play the fool.
Sometimes we use it to describe someone who is not easy to fool.For example, if your friend John is really smart and not easily tricked, you could say that he’s not one to play the fool.If that is too wordy, you can simply say he is no fool.
有时，我们也可以用play the fool来描述不容易被骗的人。比如说，如果你的朋友约翰很聪明，不容易上当，你就可以说“他可是火眼金睛，骗不起呢。”如果你嫌太冗长，那么，你也可以简单地说“他可不是傻瓜。”
If you make a fool of yourself, you do something that makes you look foolish or silly.
如果you make a fool of yourself，就是你做了一些让你看上去很傻很蠢的事情。
For example, imagine you are at a party.Suddenly your best friend sees a young woman who he really likes.He wants to get her attention.So, he starts dancing. But, no one else is dancing.In fact, there is no music playing.You calmly go up to him and say, “You might want to stop. You are making a fool of yourself.”
But making a fool of yourself is better than making a fool of someone else.That is just mean.If a person tries to make a fool of you by yelling at you in public, just walk away.He will end up making a fool of himself.
Now, if you are fooling yourself you are unwilling to accept the facts of a situation.In other words, you are in denial.If you think that you can learn perfect English in a very short time without studying or practicing, you are really fooling yourself.
Now, when we pair the word “fool” with “around,” we get an expression that has several meanings.
One is to spend time without any purpose.If you have the day off from work, you might decide to fool around all day.
一个意思指没有目的地消磨时光。如果你有一天不用上班，你可能会决定fool around all day
Another meaning is to behave playfully.The two friends were fooling around near the train tracks when they heard a call for help!
But be careful. “Fool around” also means light-hearted sexual activity.For example, the husband and wife were fooling around in the kitchen when their friends and family walked in for dinner. Awkward!
但是要千万小心。“Fool around”也指随意放松的性行为。比如，当一对夫妻在厨房里fooling around的时候，他们的朋友和家人走进来找晚饭吃。场面相当尴尬呀！
In these three examples, you could also say mess around.It has the same meaning and we use it in the same situations.
在这三个例子中，你也可以说mess around。它同fool around有着相同的含义，我们可以在同样的场景下使用。
Finally, we often use the word “fool” in warnings to others.For example, “Don’t fool around with that! You will break it.” Or, “Stop fooling around.”And the ever popular, “This is no time to fool around.”
I’m Anna Matteo. And that’s end of this program.And this will be the last Words and Their Stories … ever.
I’m just fooling. We’ll back next week with a new show. No fooling!