新东方网>英语>英语学习>英语阅读>英美文化>正文

英文每个月份的来历:五月May的故事

2019-07-25 14:10

来源:Dictionary.com

作者:

最新双语文章>>点击查看
时事 百科 科技 美食 心理 身体奥秘

  If you frequent our posts, you may detect a common theme: behind the everyday nature of common words, surprising meaning and history often lurk. Case in point: this very month of May.

  如果你经常看我们的文章,你会发现一个共同的主题,在每个日常词汇的背后,往往藏着令人惊讶的含义和历史。比如五月(May)这个月份。

  The fifth month of the Gregorian calendar, May, is named after a goddess named Maia. But which goddess named Maia? There are actually two. The Greek goddess Maia was one of the Pleiades, the companions of Artemis. This Maia was the mother of Hermes, the messenger of the Gods. But the Romans had yet another goddess named Maia, who just happened to share a name with the Greek goddess. The Roman Maia was named for the Latin word for large, maius, and she was associated with growth and the spring. As the Romans adopted many elements of Greek culture, the two goddesses became conflated and gave their name to the fifth month.

  五月(May)是公历第五个月,是以一位名叫迈亚(Maia)的女神命名的。但这个迈亚是谁呢?实际上有两个名叫迈亚的女神。希腊女神迈亚是阿特拉斯的七个女儿普勒阿得斯(Pleiades)七仙女之一,阿尔忒弥斯(Artemis)的同伴。这个迈亚是赫耳墨斯(Hermes)的母亲,上帝的信使。而在罗马神话里,还有一个迈亚女神,恰巧和这个希腊女神同名。罗马的Maia很可能由拉丁语maius演变而来,是“生长”和“春日”的意思。由于罗马人吸取了很多希腊文化的元素,这两位女神便合并成一位,并将其姓名赋予五月之上。

  赫尔墨斯和他的母亲迈亚女神,古希腊公元前500年的双耳瓶上人物画

  However, there is another suggestion that the month is not named for these intertwined goddesses at all. The Latin poet Ovid claimed that the month may have been named after the Latin word maiores, “elders,” to juxtapose it to the month of June, which was named after iuniores, the Latin word for youth.

  然而还有一种说法,说五月份并不是以这两个女神命名的。古罗马诗人奥维德(Ovid)说,这个月可能是以拉丁文“maiores”——“长者”而命名的,这和六月(June)相并列,因为六月的词源是拉丁词语“iuniores”,意为“青年”。

  The month of May entered English from the Old French in the 1000s. In Old English, the month of May and “mother may I” could not be confused because there was another name for the month of May. Sadly, we lost the Old English word for the fifth month of the year: þrimilce. It literally meant “three milkings” because it was the only month of the year when cows could be milked three times per day. May’s confusion with may (the verb) is a small linguistic coincidence, not a meaningful overlap. The verb may came from the Old English word magan meaning “to be able.”

  五月在11世纪古代法语演变为英语。在古英语中,五月的May和平时用语“母亲我可以(may)……吗?”中的may毫不混淆,因为五月还有另外一个用词。但遗憾的是,我们现在已经遗失了这个用来描述第五个月份的古英语词汇——þrimilce。它的字面意思是“挤三次奶”,因为五月是唯一一个一年中奶牛可以一天挤三次奶的月份。五月的May和动词may的混淆只是语言学上的一个小的巧合,含义上毫无关联。动词may来源于古英语词汇“magan”,意思是“可以,能够”。

  What do you think of the two Maias? Could you go back to using the Old English word instead?

  你觉得这两个迈亚(Maia)如何?你还会回溯过去,使用古英语来表达月份吗?

官方微信:新东方英语 (微信号:xdfyyw

听说读写译学习方法、英美剧最新资讯,请扫二维码,关注我们! 

猜你喜欢

  • 听力
  • 口语
  • 阅读
  • 娱乐
  • 词汇
  • 写作

            新东方英语辅导专区

            班级名称 上课地点 上课时间 费用 详细

            焦点推荐

            精品直播

            版权及免责声明

            凡本网注明"稿件来源:新东方"的所有文字、图片和音视频稿件,版权均属新东方教育科技集团(含本网和新东方网) 所有,任何媒体、网站或个人未经本网协议授权不得转载、链接、转贴或以其他任何方式复制、发表。已经本网协议授权的媒体、网站,在下载使用时必须注明"稿件来源:新东方",违者本网将依法追究法律责任。

            本网未注明"稿件来源:新东方"的文/图等稿件均为转载稿,本网转载仅基于传递更多信息之目的,并不意味着赞同转载稿的观点或证实其内容的真实性。如其他媒体、网站或个人从本网下载使用,必须保留本网注明的"稿件来源",并自负版权等法律责任。如擅自篡改为"稿件来源:新东方",本网将依法追究法律责任。

            如本网转载稿涉及版权等问题,请作者见稿后在两周内速来电与新东方网联系,电话:010-60908555。

            热搜关键词