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英文每个月份的来历:四月为什么叫做April?

2019-07-25 14:08

来源:Dictionary.com

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  Mark Twain once wrote: "This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other three hundred and sixty-four." Twain's referring to the first day of April or, as it's often known, April Fools' Day. While the first day of the fourth month of the year is sure to bring plenty of shenanigans (will you be the perpetrator or the victim?), what isn't so certain is where the month's name originated.

  马克·吐温曾经写道:“四月一日,是让我们想起其余的364天自己是什么样子的日子。”这句话说的就是四月的第一天,也就是我们所熟知的“愚人节”。虽然四月的第一天一定会有很多恶作剧(不知道你是整蛊者还是受害者?),但四月为什么叫做April却不是那么明确。

  How did April get its name?

  四月为什么叫做April?

  April goes way back. Before January and February were added to the end of the year by King Numa Pompilius around 700 BC, April was already the second month of the Roman calendar year (March was the first). Around 450 BC, April was rearranged into the fourth slot, and was assigned 29 days. With the introduction of the Gregorian calendar by Pope Gregory XIIII in 1582, an extra day was added, and even though it took Mother Goose awhile to standardize the rhyme, we've been able to count on "30 days hath April" ever since.

  回溯四月。大约在公元前700年,国王努马•庞皮利乌斯将一月和二月添加到一年的最后,在这之前,四月就已经是罗马年历的第二个月了(第一个月是三月)。公元前450年前后,四月被安排到第四个月份,同时被安排了29天。随着教皇格里高利十四世1582年引入格里高利历,四月才又增加了一天。尽管《鹅妈妈童谣》花了一段时间来规范押韵,我们之后也才能得以“四月都三十”来记诵月份。

  But being confident about the origin of a word that's been around since before 700 BC isn't so simple. There are a few common theories behind April's naming. One is that the name is rooted in the Latin Aprilis which is derived from the Latin aperire meaning "to open" – which could be a reference to the opening or blossoming of flowers and trees, a common occurrence throughout the month of April in the northern hemisphere. Another theory holds that since months are often named for gods and goddess, and since Aphrilis is derived from the Greek "Aphrodite," one can conclude that the month was named for the Greek goddess of love (the goddess that the Romans called Venus)! Even now, April is a popular name.

  但是搞清楚这个公元前700年前词汇的来源并非易事。对于四月命名的来源,众说纷纭。其一是四月(April)取自拉丁词语"Aprilis","Aprilis"的词源为"aperire",意为“开”,代表着北半球四月花草树木的开放。还有一个说法就是“月份神源论”,既然很多月份都以神祇命名,既然Aphrilis来源于阿弗洛狄忒,那么就有人说这一月份是随着希腊爱情女神(在罗马神话中就是女神维纳斯)而命名的。到现在April也还是个很受欢迎的名字!

  And as if it weren't enough to have it's own mystery, April also adds to another origination story. Around the 5th century AD, the Anglo-Saxons referred to April as Oster-monath or Eostre-monath, a reference to the goddess Eostre, whose feast was celebrated during the month. The Venerable Bede, a monk from the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter, believed this gave root to the word Easter – which is most often observed during the month of April.

  但似乎这些说法都无法给予四月神秘感,因此关于四月还有一个起源故事。公元5世纪左右,安格鲁撒克逊人将四月视为俄斯特月或厄俄斯特月,这源于女神厄俄斯特(Eostre),人们在四月为其举办节日以示庆祝。来自诺森伯兰圣彼得修道院的尊者比德认为,复活节(Easter)也来源于女神厄俄斯特。这一节日也是四月最常见的节日。

  April's derivation will remain a story full of maybes, but we don't see this month going anywhere soon. What do you think linguists will be discussing when April is 3000 years old?

  四月的起源故事还有很多种可能,但关于此并不会有很快的进展。你认为四月诞生3000年后,语言学家会如何讨论这一问题呢?

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