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VOA词汇掌故:Dime 形容经济形势不好的几个美国俚语

andyg 于2018-03-14发布 l 已有人浏览
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今天的VOA词汇掌故学习几个形容经济不景气的美国俚语:To feel the pinch是指在财务方面遭受非常沉重的压力;throw in the towel人数等。
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20040821 硬币.jpg
Dime
形容经济形势不好的几个美国俚语
I'm Susan Clark with the Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
这里是VOA慢速英语《词汇掌故》节目,我是苏珊·克拉克。
In the 1930s, a song "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime" was very popular in the United States. It was the time of the Big Depression. The song had meaning for many people who had lost their jobs.
20世纪30年代,一首叫《兄弟,能否借我一毛钱》的歌在美国非常流行。当时正值大萧条时期,这首歌对当时很多失业的人来说意义非凡。
A dime is a piece of money whose value is one tenth of a dollar. Today a dime does not buy much. But it was different in the 1930s. A dime sometimes meant the difference between eating and starving. The American economy today is much better. Yet many workers are concerned about losing their jobs as companies reorganize. Americans have special ways of talking about economic troubles. People in business may say they feel the pinch. Or they may say they are up against it. Or if things are really bad, they may say they have to throw in the towel.
一角硬币是一种价值10美分的货币。今天,一角硬币买不到什么东西。但20世纪30年代时情况却大不相同,一角硬币有时就意味着饥饱之别。美国如今的经济比那时强多了。然而还是有很多工人担心在公司重组中失业。美国人用特别的方式来谈论经济困境。商界人士可能会说手头拮据(feel the pinch),或者他们可能说他们处境困难(up against it)。如果情况确实很糟糕,他们可能会说,他们不得不认输(throw in the towel)。
A pinch is painful pressure. To feel the pinch is to suffer painful pressure involving money. The expression "feel the pinch" has been used since 16 century. The famous English writer William Shakespeare wrote something very close to this in his great play "King Lear". King Lear says he would accept necessity's sharp pinch. He means he would have to do without many of the things he always had.
“A pinch”是指一种非常痛的挤压。To feel the pinch是指在财务方面遭受非常沉重的压力。“feel the pinch”这个短语从16世纪一直沿用至今。英国著名作家威廉·莎士比亚(William Shakespeare)在他的巨作《李尔王》中写下了一些与这个短语很接近的内容。李尔王说,他将同意必需品的大幅削减。他的意思是,他将不得不接受失去很多曾一直拥有的东西。
Much later the Times of London newspaper used the express about bad economic times during the 1860s. It said "so much money having been spent, all classes felt the pinch." Worse than feeling the pinch is being up against it. The saying means "to be in a lot of trouble". Word expert James Rogers says the word "it" in the saying can mean any and all difficulties. He says the saying became popular in the United States and Canada in the late 19 century. Writer George Ade used it book called "Artie". He wrote, "I saw I was up against it".
多年以后,伦敦的《泰晤士报》也用这个短语描述了19世纪60年代的经济困难时期。该报纸这么写到,“这么多钱已经花没了...社会各阶层都手头拮据。”比手头拮据更糟糕的是处境困难。意思是陷入一堆麻烦中。词汇专家詹姆斯·罗杰斯(James Rogers)表示,这句短语中It可以用来表示任何困难。他说,19世纪末期这种说法开始在美国和加拿大流行。作家乔治·阿德(George Ade)在《Artie》一书中用到这句短语。他在书中写到,“我看到自己处境困难。”
Sometimes a business that is up against it will have to throw in the towel. This means "to accept defeat or surrender". Throwing in the towel may mean that a company will have to declare bankruptcy. The company will have to take legal steps to let people know it has no money to pay its debts.
有时一家处境困难的企业将不得不throw in the towel,意思是认输或放弃。认输意味着该公司不得不宣布破产。该公司将必须采取合法步骤,告知人们它无力偿付债务。
Word expert Charles Funk says in 1874 publication called "the slang dictionary" explains "throwing in the towel". It says the words probably came from the sport of boxing or price fighting. The book says the saying began because a competitor's face was cleaned with a cloth towel or other material. When a boxer's towel was thrown, it meant he was admitting defeat. Most businesses do not throw in the towel. They just reorganize so they can compete better.
词汇专家查尔斯·芬克(Charles Funk)说,一本1874年出版的俚语词典解释了throw in the towel这句短语。这本词典说,这句短语可能起源于拳击比赛,拳击手用毛巾或其它东西擦脸。当一名拳击手的毛巾被扔进来,就意味着他认输了。大多数企业没有认输。它们只是重组以使他们能够更好地竞争。
This Words and Their Stories was written by Jerry Watson. I am Susan Clark.
本期《词汇掌故由杰瑞·华生撰稿,我是苏珊·克拉克。
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