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在中文报章杂志上,常看到一些英语俚语(口语)的中文翻译。诸如「黑羊」、「踢水桶」、「阿奇里斯
之踝」等等。其实这些译文都是来自英语「black sheep」、「kick the bucket」和「Achille's heel」。
若是这些译文不附加原文予以解释,恐怕「迷惑」的读者,不在少数。这不是影响了语文的沟通目的吗?为此,介绍一些这类的英语俚语(在此称之为「特别字眼」),也许对某些读者会有点助益!
(来源:英语博客 http://space.englishcn.com)

(1) empty suit:

指不重要的人或假冒者 ( an unimportant person or a phony) 多半用在商业上,当名词用。

(这本是business term,指虽然穿著整齐全套的 business suit,却不能干、没有能力,不受尊敬的人。)

例如:

An empty suit generally gets no attention from the public.

(一位虚伪不实的人,通常不会受到大众的注意。)

Mr. Lee acts like a big shot, but he is just an empty suit.

(李先生装著像位大人物,但他只是不重要的人。)

虽然这句话,多半只用单数,但有时也用复数:

The company is filled with a lot of empty suits.

(这公司有许多虚伪不重要的人)

(2) fair-haired boy:

指得宠的人,也就是宠儿,多半指男人(a fa-vorite person usually referring to a man)

(通常用单数,当名词用)

例如:

Mr. Cheney has become a fair-haired boy to the presi-dent.

( Cheney 先生变成总统的宠儿。)

Not being a fair-haired boy, Mr. Wong never gets pay-raises and promotions.

(王先生不得宠,从未得到加薪和升级。)

有时也可用复数:

Mr. Bush selected two former fair-haired boys for his cabinet.

(Bush 先生为他的内阁选用两位过去的宠儿。)

Fair-haired boys tend to receive special treatment by their bosses.

(得宠的人,较会受到他们上司的特别待遇。)

(但没有 fair-haired girl 的说法)

(3) fishing expedition:

为了搜罗新闻材料而进行盘问或调查(Try to ask questions to get more useful information)

(这句话本是 legal term,当名词用,多半用单数)

例如:

The judge said the prosecutor was on a fishing expedi-tion and stopped him.

(法官说原告为搜罗罪证而进行调查,要他停止。)

The police are on a fishing expedition in order to solve(或 resolve)the murder case.

(警察进行调查盘问,以便侦破谋杀案。)

(注:solve 和 resolve 都有「解决」的意思,但通常solve用在「问题上」,resolve 用在「争执」上。solve the problem 而 resolve the conflict)

The reporter went on a fishing expedition about the president's involvement in the Iraq War.

(记者搜罗有关总统卷入伊拉克战争的新闻资料。)

偶尔也有人用复数:

Several fishing expeditions have been made before he decides to run for office.

(在他决定竞选之前,他做了数次的收集资料调查。)

(4) filthy rich:

意思是很富有,很有钱。(very wealthy)

(未必是不义之财或肮脏钱)

多半当形容词用。例如:

With a beautiful mansion and an expensive car, Mr. B must be filthy rich.

( B先生住著富丽堂皇的大厦,开著昂贵的汽车,他一定很有钱。)

Despite being filthy rich, Mr. C is still leading his life in a frugal way.

(尽管 C 先生很富有,他仍然过著简朴的生活。)

A filthy rich person tends to have a superiority complex toward others.

(有钱者对他人有优越感的倾向。)

Filthy rich people are not necessarily well-respected unless they possess noble characters.

(有钱人未必受人尊敬,除非有高尚的品格。)

(注:但没有 cleanly rich 的说法)

(5) fairy godmother:

指及时慷慨提供帮助的人(someone who unex-pectedly gives generous assistance)

(多半指有钱的女人)

(这是来自 fairy tale, 指女人有 magical power;因为童话故事里没有男人,故不说 fairy godfather。当名词用。可参考 http://www.eslbay.com 里面的“Idioms”)

例如:

Mr. A has a fairy godmother who gave him fifty thou-sand dollars.

(一位有钱的女人,帮助A先生五万元。)

After lifelong savings, Mrs. B donated all her money to a charity organization like a fairy godmother.

(B 太太将一生的积蓄全部捐给慈善机构。)

有时也用复数:

Only business women can act as fairy godmothers.

(只有商场上的女人才能提供金钱帮助他人。)

In Chinese society very few fairy godmothers can be discovered.

(在中国社会里,很少有钱的女人慷慨捐助。)


6)eye opener:

指令人瞠目的事物或使人恍然大悟的发现。也就是惊人的新发现或启示(shocking news or revela-tion)

(当名词用;通常只用单数)

例如:

Your wonderful article on marriage was certainly an eye opener to many youngsters.

(你那篇有关婚姻的好文章,使许多年轻人获得启示。)

Mr. Wong's speech about U.S./ China policy seemed to be an eye opener.

(王先生的中美政策讲演使人恍然大悟。)

The popular World Journal in North America is an eye opener for many Chinese immigrants.

(大名鼎鼎的世界日报是北美许多中国移民惊喜的新发现。)

Some American customs and ways of thinking can be an eye opener to many Chinese people.

(美国一些的风俗习惯和想法,让许多老中感到惊奇。)

 
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