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这几个词都是怎么来的?看到鸵鸟的来源我笑了!

2019-12-27 10:50

来源:沪江

作者:

  As a hodgepodge of German, French, Latin, Greek, and otherlanguages, English is always full of surprises.

  作为德语、法语、拉丁语、希腊语和其他语言的大杂烩,英语总是充满惊喜。

  It has funny-sounding words like cattywampus, sure. But, there are also lots words with wacky beginnings. Take fizzle,"to make a hissing or sputtering sound, especially one that dies out weakly." You know what the word originally meant? "To pass gas,"probably in that manner where you're trying to stifle it. (Don't pretend you don't know what we mean.)

  当然有像cattywampus( adj. 奸邪的, 恶意的)这样听起来很滑稽的单词。但是,也有很多单词的开头很奇怪。以fizzle为例,“发出嘶嘶声或溅射声,尤指声音微弱地消失。”你知道这个词最初的意思吗? 是“放屁”,可能就是你想要”把它扼杀在摇篮“里时行为。(不要假装你不知道我们的意思。)

  As a bonus, these delightful little origin stories are great for showing off your vocab knowledge at your next family get-together. English isn't just fun. It's also funny!

  作为额外奖励,这些有趣的小故事还能让你在下次的家庭聚会上炫耀你的词汇。英语不仅会引发爆笑而已,也很有趣!

  Walrus 海象

  The walrus is an undeniably funny-looking animal. It's got a droopy, hangdog kind of face, grumpy-old-man whiskers, and two ludicrous-looking tusks. (No offense to any walruses who may be reading this.)

  海象无疑是一种长相滑稽的动物。它有一张耷拉着的,有点像狗的脸,像坏脾气的老头子那样的络腮胡子,还有两只看上去滑稽可笑的长牙。(无意冒犯正在阅读本文的海象。)

  So, it seems fitting that walrus also has a funny origin story: it may literally mean "whale-horse." Well, maybe.

  所以,海象似乎也有一个有趣的起源故事:它的字面意思可能是“鲸鱼马”。嗯,也许吧。

  The origins of the word walrus are debated. In fact, the writer of the famous Lord of the Rings books, J. R. R. Tolkien, came up with no fewer than six different possible origins of the word.

  人们对“海象”一词的起源争论不休。事实上,著名的《指环王》的作者约翰·罗纳德·瑞尔·托尔金提出了不下六种关于该单词起源的可能性。

  Anyway, even if it's not strictly true, the story goes that walrus comes from Dutch. Walvis means "whale"and ros means "horse." Put it together and a walrus is a"whale-horse." Which, if you look at this absurd animal, seems like afitting name for it.

  不管怎样,即使这不是严格的事实,这个故事认为海象来自荷兰。“Walvis”的意思是“鲸鱼”, 而ros 的意思是“马”。把两个单词放在一起,海象就是“鲸鱼马”。如果你看看这个动物滑稽的长相,你也会觉得“鲸鱼马”太适合它了。

  Ostrich 鸵鸟

  Another funny-looking animal with a funny origin story is the ostrich. When you look at an ostrich, with its teeny-tiny head, big, long legs, and large, fluffy body, the first thing that comes to mind is the tiny, adorable sparrow, right? Wait, what?

  另一种长相滑稽,起源故事也很有趣的动物是鸵鸟。你看看鸵鸟,小脑袋,大长腿,身体肥硕,羽毛蓬松。这些词首先会想到的是可爱的小麻雀,对吧?等等,你说啥?

  Well, that's what the ancient Greeks thought, apparently. The word ostrich ultimately comes from the Greek word strouthion, which comes from their expression for "big sparrow." That's right, it seems the Greeks thought the ostrich was just a really big, weird sparrow.

  很显然,古希腊人就是这么想的。“鸵鸟”这个词最终来源于希腊语“strouthion”,“strouthion”是“大麻雀”的意思。没错,希腊人似乎认为鸵鸟就是一种又大又奇怪的麻雀。

  Hilariously, the ancient Greeks also called the ostrich “strouthokamelos”, which means "camel-sparrow," because the bird has a long neck like a camel. We almost wish that name had stuck instead.

  更让人发笑的是,古希腊人还把鸵鸟叫做strouthokamelos,意思是“骆驼雀”,因为这种鸟有像骆驼一样的长脖子。两下相比,“骆驼雀”才应该被保留嘛。

  phony 假的

  Phony is a word that means "fake" or "made up." But we aren't making up this unusual origin story for the word. Although the exact origins of phony are unknown, it's likely the word comes from an old con known as the fawney rig. Fawney is from an Irish word for "finger ring," and rig, an old term for a"trick" or "swindle."

  Phony这个词的意思是“假的”或“编造的”。但我们并没有编造这个词的起源故事。虽然不知道单词Phony的确切来源,但它很可能来自一个名为“fawney rig”的古老骗局。Fawney是一个爱尔兰单词,意思是“戒指”,rig是一个旧词,意思是“诡计”或“诈骗”。

  Here's how it worked: the swindler would "accidentally" drop a piece of cheap jewelry in front of their mark, or target. Then, they would pick it up while expressing relief that they hadn't lost such a valuable ring, pretending it was worth a lot (as if made of gold). If they were lucky, they'd sell it to the mark for much more than it was worth.

  这是它的解释:骗子会“不小心”把一件便宜的珠宝掉在他们的目标前面。然后,他们会把它捡起来,同时表示庆幸自己没有丢失这么贵重的戒指,假装它很值钱(好像是金子做的)。如果他们运气好的话,他们会以远远高于实际价值的价格把它卖出去。

  By the 20th century, the spelling of the word was eventually modified from fawney to phony and came to refer to anything fake or counterfeit.

  到了20世纪,这个词的拼写最终从fawney变成了phony,用来指代任何虚假的或伪造的东西。

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