社會出人頭地的精英是 the cream of society，本年度最佳電影是 the cream of the crop of this year’s movies。
一群人的個中翹楚，the best in the field，可以有不同的表達方式 。星級人馬 ：the star player or performer 。出類拔萃的尖子 ：the best of the bunch , the pick of the bunch。一個時代最傑出的人物：the best and the brightest。
一本書的精華, 一齣電影最精釆的片段, 一個人事業的高峰，都有不同的說法：the best part of a book ; the highlight of a film; the highpoint of a person’s career。
The top 最好的 is the most skilful, most successful, and most famous 例如 : Tiger Wood is definitely the world’s top golfer / The winning prize is to have your hair done at a top New York salon。
ultimate (the very best of their type)：例如 ultimate goal/aim/objective/target 終極目標 ;
optimum (the best for a particular purpose)： optimum growth 最佳增長, optimum conditions 最好的 條件；
unsurpassed (nothing else has ever been better)：unsurpassed knowledge 卓絕無匹的知識；definitive (considered the best piece of a book or work ) e.g. a definitive statement 最後的聲明 , the definitive version 最正式的文本。
TOP as VERB 作動詞，有兩個極常見的慣用語：
1. top up 裝滿；注滿 fill a glass or a container which has been partially emptied. 例如 The waiter has been very busy constantly topping up our glasses。
2. top out 工程平頂儀式 perform a ceremony to mark the completion of a building e.g. with speeches, drinks etc 例如When we top out the hockey arena ,there will be beer for everyone who has worked on the site。
如果我們說 the top and bottom of something , that means the general result or meaning of a situation, expressed in a few words 簡而言之。
如果我們說 from top to bottom 從頭到尾, you do it very thoroughly 好似 The whole house needs cleaning from top to bottom 整間房子需要從頭到尾清潔一番；但是 from top to toe 則指全身從頭到腳 e.g. They were covered in mud from top to toe。
社會、組織、或機構的上層或 底層, 我們說 the top or the bottom of the heap 或者 the top or the bottom of the pile，相等於說 the highest or the lowest in society or an organization or company. 例句：Immigrants were often at the bottom of the pile.
BOTTOM/ FOOT/ FOUNDATION/ BASE 各詞均指底部或最下部。
All these are words for the lowest part of something. Note the usage of natural English：
We say the footnotes are given at the bottom of each page/ she is at the foot of the stairs/ foundations of the new school are laid/ the lamp has a heavy base.
窮究事實真相，解決難題疑團，you say “get to the bottom of something”。 假如你未有想到更好的方法或用途，只有採用這個不算太好的辦法去做，你可以說 “scrape the bottom of the barrel” because there is nothing better available。 To get to the bottom of something 即是尋根究底，挖出禍根 to find out the real cause of something。An old English nautical phrase which has passed into common parlance. It’s origin lies with the ship’s cook, who would literally have to ‘scrape the bottom of the barrel’ to make his supplies last to the end of a voyage. Nowadays, the phrase is often used to refer to a desperate last resort.
1. fathomless 深不可測 extremely deep 例如 a bottomless hole, a bottomless sea,
2. unlimited 無窮無盡 seems to have no end or limit 例如 the bottomless well of information available through the Internet; the government has not a bottomless pit of money to spend on public services。
BOTTOM UP/ BOTTOM OUT/ TOP DOWN/ BOTTOM LINE
Bottom up=start with practical details and then move on to more general principles 例如 a bottom-up approach to tackle the problems 以及a bottom-up approach of reading an article。Bottom-up approach 是從下而上的，從點到面的計劃；從細節着眼開始，進展到宏觀大局，這樣子處理問題的方法；例如策劃的途徑和閱讀的手法。反之，top-down approach means starting with a general idea to which details are added later 例如一項計劃從總體到具體的處理方法：從上而下，先掌握大局和方向，才關照細目的手法。A top-down management style 自上而下的管理方式starts from involving the people who have higher positions in an organization。Top down listening strategy是訓練ESL學生聆聽能力的好方法，着重發聲者說話內容的主要名詞和動詞，掌握要點和關鏈字這種聽力學習策略。
市場價格、惡劣局勢停止進一步惡化，已經降至最低點，可以說 bottom out = things are to stop getting worst, such as price, a bad situation, etc. : The recession is finally beginning to show signs of bottoming out經濟衰退，終於出現了走出谷底的迹象。
底線，要點，基本論點，都可以用 bottom line。美式評論員特別喜歡用 the bottom line 形容the essential point in a discussion。The bottom line is we have to make a decision today 底線是：我們今天必須作出决定。 In radio you have to keep the listener listening. That’s the bottom line 做電台節目主持人，首要考慮是令聽眾不轉台，喜歡聽下去。