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[[资源推荐]] [转]英语词语溯源之笨手笨脚

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发表于 2007-8-4 04:01:38 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
最近在沪江跟着学习英语,发现有些好的资源就推荐过来了,今天推荐的是一个词汇类的,希望对大家有帮助

【节目介绍】
  你想了解开拓时期在美国语言中留下的痕迹吗?你想知道水门事件的始末吗?日常生活中一些不起眼的词,包括猫、狗、马、牛和凡士林、小费、顶住,也会演绎出让人意料不到的含义和用法来。
  为了表达原文的意图(如词语的历史渊源)和照顾上下文的行文,往往采取“直译”的办法,必要时在括弧内提供参考译法。例如,all thumbs译为“全是拇指”,而在括弧里提供“笨手笨脚”,“手脚不听使唤”等参考译法。有些读音也是“音译”。在不涉及上述情况时,编者一般尽量从汉语习惯出发,采取“意译”的办法。即使有时不能完全意译,也尽量采取直译、意译相结合的做法,略增减一二个字,使其意义明显。
  材料来源于本人上过的词源学课程。


【本期内容】

 ALL THUMBS-全是拇指(笨手笨脚)
 
 The human thumb made man. Its development was as important an event in man’s growth as his success in learning to walk upright.
 拇指造就了人类。在人类的演变过程中,拇指的进化和学会直立行走是同等重要的大事。
 The thumb shaped the human hand. Without it, man might not have survived. Luckily, the hand developed only one thumb. Two thumbs on the hand would be like having two or more cooks in a small kitchen. They would get in each other’s way. As one English writer said 500 years ago, “Ah, each finger today is a thumb, I think.”
 拇指形成了人类的手。没有拇指,人类或许不能生存下来。幸好,一只手上只长了一个拇指。如果长了两个,就会像一间小厨房里挤了两个以上的厨师那样相互碍事。将近五百年前,一位英国作家曾经说过,“啊,看来今天每个手指都成了拇指(‘手脚不听使唤’)!”
 That is how we still describe a man who cannot get anything right. We say he is “all thumbs.”
 我们现在仍用这话来形容不会干事的人。我们说他“全是拇指”(“笨手笨脚”)。
 There are days when this happens to all of us, days when everything we do seems to go wrong. We cannot even get the right shoe on. The typist cannot hit the right key. The carpenter’s hammer misses the nail and hits his finger. Nothing can be done but throw up one’s hands and moan, “God. I am all thumbs today!”
 我们大家都有过这种经历。有时不管做什么,都总是出错,简直连鞋都穿反了。打字员按错字键。木匠的榔头砸不准钉子,倒砸着自己的手。什么事也干不成,只好举起双手哀叹:“上帝啊,我今天全是拇指了(‘手脚不听使唤’)!”
 Clearly, the hand can have just one master—the thumb. It gives the hand a freedom and control of movement that are beautiful to see. This can be seen in old sculptures and stone carvings. And it can be seen in the flowing and controlled hand movements of Polynesian and Asian dancers.
 很清楚,人手只能有一个主宰-拇指。它使得手的动作灵活自如,显得十分优美。这见之于古老的雕塑和石刻,也可以在波利尼西亚和亚洲舞蹈家轻盈而含蓄的手的动作中看到。
 We have a special phrase to express this mastery of the thumb. When one is ruled by another, completely controlled by him, we say the person is “under the other’s thumb.” A sick man, for example, often finds himself “under his doctor’s thumb.” Tenants have often complained about being “under the thumb of the landlord.”
 我们有一个成语专门用来表示拇指这一主宰地位。当一方支配另一方,完全为其左右时,我们就说他“被对方捺在拇指下了”。例如,一个病人往往会发现自己“处在医生的拇指(‘掌握’)下”。房客常抱怨他们“被捺在房东的拇指之下”。
 There was a time, very long ago, when such tenants might in anger “bite their thumbs” at the landlord. Such a gesture was an insult that could not be accepted lightly.
 有过一个时期(那是很久以前的事了),这些房客可能会在盛怒之下对房东“咬拇指”。这个动作是一种极大的侮辱,谁见了也不能轻易罢休。
 People no longer do this. But they do something as childish and as offensive and ugly. They “thumb their noses” at somebody they want to defy or insult.
 人们不再做这种动作了,却做另一种同样幼稚、无礼和难看的动作。他们如想向人挑衅或想侮辱人,便冲着人“用拇指按鼻子”。
 No doubt, there are wiser uses for the thumb. You might one day find yourself stuck on the road, far from help, because you are out of gasoline. You look down the lonely road, hoping a car will soon come along, so that you can “thumb a ride.” At last you hear a car coming and you get ready to “wave your thumb” at the driver. Good luck, let’s hope he is not afraid of hitchhikers.
 无疑,拇指有比这更为明智的用途。也许有一天你会发现自己的汽车没油了,呆在路上进退不得,四处荒无人烟。你眼巴巴地望着那空寂无人的道路,盼着有辆汽车出现,好“竖起拇指来要求搭车”。你终于听到有车来了,你做好准备向开车的人“摇晃拇指”打招呼。祝你走运,但愿他不害怕路人搭车。
 For a long time, the thumb has been used as a sign of rejection. And we have a special phrase for it—“thumbs down.” The sign is as clear as it is cruel.
 很久以来,拇指是用来表示否定的。为此,我们有一个专门的词语—“拇指朝下”。这个动作既明确又残酷。
 The phrase is often used when a man cannot get the support he seeks. A candidate for political office, for example, may have lost the support of those who voted for him in the past. They have now “turned thumbs down on him.”
 在一个人得不到他所寻求的支持时常常使用这个成语。例如,谋求公职的竞选人可能会失掉原有的支持。过去投他票的人现在反对他了。
 The expression comes from ancient Rome when gladiators fought for their lives in the public arena. The crowd decided if the fighter was to live or die. A defeated gladiator would lower his arms as a sign of surrender. If the crowd turned up their thumbs he would be given his life. But if it “turned thumbs down” he would be killed.
 “拇指朝下”这一习语源于古罗马。那时,斗士们要在公共竞技场拼死搏斗。观众决定斗士的生死。败阵斗士垂下双臂表示投降。如果观众翘起拇指,就饶了他的命。如果他们“拇指朝下”,他就会当场被杀死。
 In closing, let us ask if you are one of those who can make things grow. If so, then we say that you have a “green thumb.
 最后,我们要问一下,你是不是一个会种植东西的人。如果是的话,我们就会说你有园艺技能。


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