Fly in the ointment

A fly in the ointment 意為「美中不足之處;令人掃興的人或事」。這個成語最有可能源自舊約聖經的傳道書 (Ecclesiastes)。在 1611 年翻譯和出版的《欽定版聖經》(Authorized Version) - 又稱《詹姆士王譯本》(King James Version) 或《詹姆士王聖經》(King James Bible) - 傳道書第十章第 1 節中,有一段文字這樣敘述:”Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.” (死蒼蠅使做香[料者]的膏油散發臭氣;同樣,一點愚昧也能敗壞智慧和尊榮 - 中文版翻譯)。

英文少說也有上百個常用的成語可追溯到《欽定版聖經》。有趣的是,英語直到 1700 年代初期才首次使用 a fly in the ointment 這個口語常用的成語,是出現在英國哲學家約翰‧諾里斯 (John Norris) 所著的《A Practical Treatise Concerning Humility》一書中。


  • The only fly in the ointment is that Tom can’t attend my birthday party. (唯一美中不足的是,湯姆不能參加我的生日派對)
  • What remains a fly in the ointment is the fact that CEO has not approved the recruitment plan. (執行長沒有批准這項招募計畫仍是美中不足之處)
  • I enjoyed the speech, but the fly in the ointment was not being able to find my purse afterward. (我喜歡這場演講,但令人掃興的是,之後找不到我的錢包)
  • It sounds like a good idea, but there must be a fly in the ointment somewhere. (這聽起來是個好點子,但一定有某個地方美中不足)