暖冬cool夏 (热门博主)
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读报刊杂志学英语 (三)—典故、比喻、 固定表达和成语

(2021-11-24 23:06:43) 下一个



Posh:  elegant, fashion or upper class  豪华, 高级, 时尚

据说, 这是"port out, starboard home"第一个字母的缩写.  A popular folk etymology holds that the term is an acronym for "port out, starboard home", describing the cooler, north-facing cabins taken by the most aristocratic or rich passengers travelling from Britain to India and back. However, there is no evidence for this claim. (Wikipedia)


Critics lambasted Mr Suga for attending a dinner with eight guests in a posh steakhouse just when the government was calling for citizens to avoid dining in big groups. (The Economist, Jan 30, 2021)

From Haiti to Somalia, Congo to Afghanistan, Peacelanders live in compounds in posh neighbourhoods, roll around in four-by-fours, get drunk with other foreigners and often distrust locals. (The Economist, April 24, 2021)

Thousands of protesters thronged the streets on July 11th.Some stoned the policed and looted posh shops.(The Economist May 1st-7th, 2021)

From Chrysler Building and Sears Tower to the Bank of China’s iconic Hong Kong headquarters, companies have always erected monuments to their success. Technology firms have reasons beyond self-aggrandisement to cover posh quarters. (The Economist July 3rd – 9th, 2021)

After seeing how hard it was to get his own 80-year-old father admitted to hospital, Vishal Singh, who owns a chain of private schools, set up a free, fully equipped covid-19 care center for other residents of his own posh gated community. (The Economist May 1st-7th, 2021)


Banner year: an exceptionally good year, a year of exceptional production好年,丰收年, 成功之年

例: American elite law firms are having a banner year. (The Economist July 17th, 2021)

Bumper year: 丰年 bumper一词指 a brimming cup or glass满溢, 丰盈

例: As food prices soar, big agriculture is having a bumper year.

Bankers are confident their bumper profits will last. Investors are less sure. (The Economist July 17th, 2021)

Most bosses were aware that any boon from bumper trading earnings was likely to be undone by loan losses as millions of workers were laid off. (The Economist July 17th, 2021)

Plum job:  If a job is regarded as a plum one then it is considered very desirous. Why "plum"? Plum in the 17th century was slang for £1000, a very large sum indeed in those times. This use was then applied to some political jobs, thought by the man in the street to involve little work for a lot of money. From there the word entered wider use for an easy, choice job. (source: https://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/6/messages/711.html) 让人羡慕的轻松、钱多的好工作

例: He gives his family plum jobs in the White House.

Pole position: the most favorable position at the start of an automobile race, typically on the inside of the front row of competitors…This position is typically given to the vehicle and driver with the best qualifying time in the trials before the race (the leader in the starting grid). (from Wikipedia); a leading or dominant position. 这个表达源自于赛马/车比赛时插着的杆子, 靠内侧的前排位置被认为是有利位置. 可以指”领先, 重要位置”

例: The winner of that vote will be in pole position to succeed her in the chancellery. (The Economist Oct31st-Nov 6th,2020)

Pipe dream: an unattainable or fanciful hope or plan. 痴人说梦,不可及的梦想或计划

例: Yet a worldwide carbon market is a pipe dream. Carbon tariffs are a fallback measure. (The Economist May 1st-7th, 2021)

Petri dish: a small shallow dish of thin glass or plastic with a loose cover used especially for cultures in bacteriology 生物实验室的培养皿; 孕育之地,萌发之地something (such as a place or situation) that fosters development or innovation

例: Overcrowded, unregulated settlements risk becoming a Petri dish for new variants of covid-19. The Economist (June 19th, 2021)

A red herring:  a dried smoked herring, which is turned red by the smoke; something, especially a clue that is or is intended to be misleading or distracting. 这个用法很常见。 字面意思是一条红色鲱鱼, 鲱鱼本身并非红色, 熏干以后变成红色的。现在通常指”转移注意力, 误导人的事情(或想法、话题)”

例: Ms Blatt says worries about such “schoolhouse tyranny” are a red herring: principals cannot punish students just because they are offended by what they have to say. (The Economist May 1st, 2021)

Beady eye: marked by or having small, glittering eyes, especially eyes that seem to gleam with malice, avarice, or lechery; staring with suspicion, skepticism, etc; keenly observant, typically in a sinister or hostile way. 字面意思就是像珠子一样小小发亮的眼睛, 通常是贬义的, 带着贪婪,邪恶的发亮的眼睛, 也可以指怀疑的眼睛; 或是一双窥视, 紧盯的眼睛.

例: These subtle corporate conquerors could still be stymied—by the heavy hand of China’s Communist rulers or America and its allies, which are bound to keep an ever beadier eye on Chinese commercial incursions. (The Economist July 17th, 2021)

And with it, the curse of “presenteeism”—the idea that, unless you are constantly visible, you are not working. Self-isolating workers have shown they will happily get on with their work, even when not under the beady eye of their boss. (The Economist January 16-22nd, 2021)

Congregating in one place was believed to spur productivity, innovation, camaraderie. It enabled bosses to keep a beady eye on their underlings. (The Economist July 3rd – 9th, 2021)

Cut one’s teeth: acquire initial practice or experience of a particular sphere of activity or with a particular organization.第一次尝试, 初次涉足

例: He cut his teeth as an activist in the May Fourth Movement of 1919, a wave of unrest triggered by the Western powers’ decision to hand Germany’s Chinese colonial territory to Japan after the First World War. (The Economist June 26th, 2021)

In its first year it cut its teeth on an investigation into the shooting down of a Malaysia Airlines flight, MH17, over eastern Ukraine. The Economist (August 7th, 2021)

Eye-watering: causing the eyes to water (chili) , especially of a figure or amount) extremely high or large, painful or extremely surprising

mouth-watering 嘴巴流口水可以是褒义词, 指”诱人的, 让人流口水的东西”,  但是让眼睛流水(泪) (比如因为辣椒水刺激) 却可以是触目惊心、 瞠目结舌的大数字/数量

例: Brazil, which borrowed an eye-watering 13.4% of GDP last year, has extended its emergency cash transfers. (The Economist August 21st, 2021)

To look a gift horse in the mouth: find fault with something that has been received as a gift or favor意为对所收的礼物或恩惠挑剔, 吹毛求疵。

例:So long as venture capital is bankrolling lossmaking startups while they offer subsided services or develop clever new products, consumers have no reason to look the gift horned horse in the mouth. (The Economist July 24th, 2021)

Innovation experts advise against looking a gift horse in the mouth. (The Economist Jun 5th, 2021)

最后再列一个时常出现在The Economist 杂志中的一个表达法:

Beggar belief: to defy or go beyond what is believable.  这是英国英语的表达法, 意思是”令人难以置信”, beggar在此是动词, 意思 to exceed the limits of

例: It beggars belief that in the biggest health crisis in living memory, the G20 leaders held just one emergency meeting, in March, while the G7 replaced a summit with a one-hour video call. (The Economist The World 2021)

It would have beggared belief that the same force would, in 1949, topple a regime that had begun the war with an army of more than 4m troops, equipped by the Americans. The Economist (June 26th, 2021)


今夜窗外狂风大作,Santa Ana wind又在呼啸着肆虐着。明天又将是个80F的干燥热风天。

这就感恩节了。今年的感恩节感觉来得太快,好像日子浑浑噩噩就到了年底了。本来每年都会买一只火鸡,然后庖丁解牛地分成鸡胸脯, 鸡大腿鸡翅膀,再用花椒葱姜等大料卤了,好吃也能吃一阵。今天下午犹豫了半天,最后拿着Amazon fresh寄来的coupon ,跑去店里一看,火鸡太大了,大的能有20多磅,正好给了自己不买的理由,也让自己今年偷个懒。家里就两个人,一切从简。


另外之前跟小小和声的《一个小心愿》也一起放在这里,小小也是个极其认真的人。感谢你们,没有你们,我没有这么大的兴致和热情:))。人有时候就是需要推力。最后,As always,再次感恩网友们,我们又一起走过了一年!!



对了,昨天下午邻居A送来了一个大水果tart(还专程开车去买,Porto's bakery), 吃了好几块了才想起来拍照。我实在不敢多吃,怕血糖高。邻居A真是大好人啊,感恩有这样的邻居!







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阅读 ()评论 (41)
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '心中之城' 的评论 : 心城啊,我的感恩节都过成劳动节了,今天下午又在打扫卫生呢,做不完的家事。心城多好了,开开心心过节,吃火鸡吃火锅,如此posh, 吃的我eye watering:)) 等着下一个圣诞节了! 谢谢心城的临帖,新周快乐!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '舒啸' 的评论 : 舒兄好! 谢谢舒兄的背景介绍,我读这个用法上网查时看到一张图,一匹马呲牙咧嘴,就是舒兄这里说的,既然是礼物是恩惠就没得好抱怨的:) 感谢舒兄的细心阅读和补充! 新周快乐!
心中之城 回复 悄悄话 请暖冬去俺家吃火鸡,顺便鉴定一下是否称得上 Posh, 你有没有 Month-watering。 谢谢暖冬的英文单词分享,到哪里都可以活学活用。哈哈!
舒啸 回复 悄悄话 谢谢暖冬分享英语知识和美妙歌声。学习、欣赏。

“To look a gift horse in the mouth”的背景很有趣:相马时可以通过查看马的牙齿来确定其年龄。买马自然要看牙齿。但是,如果得到的马是个礼物,则当感激,不要再去看看马是不是老了。:-)
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '云霞姐姐' 的评论 : 谢谢云儿来看我。我不懂制作的,都是你们在忙在辛苦,我平时也是凭兴致乱唱的,云儿有经验也懂,谢谢你的指正。祝云儿节日快乐,吃好睡好心情好!
云霞姐姐 回复 悄悄话 今天来看暖冬,《一个小心愿》也是我特别喜欢的歌,暖冬与小小唱得亲切,自然,就是在制作时,有一个人声音大点,一个小点,要调整一下,伴奏加强一点,我的经验。分享。
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '云淡风更轻' 的评论 : 谢谢云淡,有一阵不见你,问候你节日快乐! 这个不要紧,家的事情更重要。
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '山韭菜' 的评论 : 谢谢山韭菜阅读,节日快乐!
云淡风更轻 回复 悄悄话 问好暖冬!感恩佳节祝你全家平安健康快乐!等我忙完了再来学习暖冬的精彩总结!
山韭菜 回复 悄悄话 非常实用的英语!有这样的好邻居,真是暖冬的福气!祝感恩节快乐!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 'laopika' 的评论 : Pika好! 这个英语够用就好,我这是在咬文嚼字的,个人兴趣而已。谢谢Pika临帖点赞,节日快乐!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '迪儿' 的评论 : 谢谢迪儿临帖听歌。刚刚去mall里扫了两双Nike的鞋子,太多人了,太不值得了。我是老爸老妈说要鞋子,准备寄回家的。mall里 parking要等,进商店要等,checkout要等,天气还那么热。其实火鸡卤起来挺好吃,你这样也好,省心了。现在年纪大了,就是图方便简单。迪儿节日快乐!
laopika 回复 悄悄话 英语太豪华, 高级, 时尚,俺这个小学生只能望洋兴叹:),但歌曲很有节日气氛,几个人合声唱不容易,赞!
迪儿 回复 悄悄话 冬妹妹节日快乐。好羡慕你们,有这么健康有活力的爱好。两首歌都很好听。
我家人都不爱火鸡,很多年了,我一直买火鸡胸脯肉应景,干巴巴的不好吃。今年,居然在Costco看到感恩节餐盘,里面有腌好的一块火鸡,土豆泥,和String Bean。我买了一份,照着说明烤了,火鸡多汁人味,拥有了感恩节气氛最浓郁的一个夜晚,感恩!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '7grizzly' 的评论 : Hi, my friend. Thanks for the compliment. I am definitely a better reader of The Economist now than I was a year ago.
As a matter of fact, I do like vocabulary. When I was a teacher, teaching my students vocabulary the word origins, prefixes or suffixes was my favorite:)) I am glad you like them. More to come then:))
English is such an interesting language. The more you know, the more you want to know.:)) Thanks, my friend, for your comment and input. Have a great long weekend!
7grizzly 回复 悄悄话 Excellent selection of words and phrases that satisfies the vocabulary appetite
of a word lover. And it looks like you, my friend, is well on your way to become
an editor for The Economist :-)

Thanks for the verbal treats! "plum job" sounds tasty and refreshing and,
although I have read all the words starting with 'b,' I'm very happy to re-learn
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '小声音' 的评论 : 小小好! 你自己人在外,这么忙碌,不用惦记着我了,你也是个周到仔细的人,我就不再去你那里留言了。我就是一只三脚猫,以前不好好读书,现在想着补:))
这首和小小和声的歌也是托小小的福,我本性怕麻烦的:)) 感恩有你,一路相伴,也从你身上学到一种敬业精神。希望小小一家今天团聚,开开心心过节。不多写了,一切都在不言中。感恩节快乐!
小声音 回复 悄悄话 佩服暖冬孜孜不倦的学习精神,暖冬英文已经很棒了,还这么认真的学习提高,自己太惭愧啦,一知半解就不求上进了。
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '菲儿天地' 的评论 : 菲儿好! 你是大忙人,在现实生活中要忙家里教会,virtual世界里也很忙,却处处想到他人,惦记我,再次一并感谢! 城里不能没有菲儿!
这个beggar belief确实出现频率很高,菲儿读The Economist,自然是常常看见。
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '南山松' 的评论 : 松松好! 你就是这么仔细周全,总是默默想到我。谢谢你,感恩认识了你! 祝松松全家感恩节快乐!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 'xiaxi' 的评论 : 遐西家也没有聚齐啊,孩子大了,聚少离多是常态啊,他们回家的日子就是我们的节日。我们一样好好过节吧。谢谢遐西,感恩节快乐!
菲儿天地 回复 悄悄话 学无止境,刚刚准备好晚上的东西,到暖冬这里来学习,进步,非常有意思的好分享,Beggar belief我也经常在经济杂志上读到。


南山松 回复 悄悄话 继续跟着暖暖学英语:)
xiaxi 回复 悄悄话 暖冬的读报学英语是一道温暖的风景线!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '边走边看66' 的评论 : 边边好! 边边最近博客常常关着呢,少在这上面花时间也是对的,只要不完全关闭:)
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '秋水天长' 的评论 : 秋水好! 嗯嗯,精神食粮不能少:) 那天跟某人开玩笑说,我平生最爱的是两样:吃和睡,跟猪似的:))这首和声不好唱呢,用的是黑鸭子伴奏带,节奏跟我原来一个人唱不同,加上没有字幕,完全要靠感觉和全神贯注才不能错过,加上录的时候自己都听不清伴奏带,手机录的效果又不好,心里还想以后再也不参加这样的合唱了:))
忘了告诉秋水了。女儿在的最后一星期外出,我把我的《船歌》从手机里调出来在车里放,让她听完了,又找出你那首让她听,结果她听了第一句,第一反映竟然问是不是Teresa Teng(邓丽君)唱的,最后还说你比我唱得好。我就不多说了,多夸了。想说的是,其实唱歌录歌最大的听众是我们自己,我有时会一遍遍听自己唱的歌,自恋呢:)) 感恩遇见了秋水,让我再次掀起唱歌的热情,也学了不少新歌。最近兴致寥寥了。让我们互相打气,继续前行!
边走边看66 回复 悄悄话 艾玛,暖冬姐,你这英语专业的还真不一样呢,有钻研的精神 :)
秋水天长 回复 悄悄话 过节还学习啊~~~谢谢暖冬老师的谆谆教导,啃完火鸡我再孜孜不倦啃英语:)

暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '波城冬日' 的评论 : 谢谢波波的惦记和问候! 你女儿应该回家了吧,祝你们一家感恩节团聚快乐多多! 感恩认识了波波!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '大漠长河' 的评论 : 大漠好! 大漠来,暖姐特别高兴,知道大漠喜欢清静,所以我尽量不去打扰,就在这里一并祝大漠感恩节快乐,健康平安,好人好梦!
认识大漠是偶然,但是大漠的才情却让暖姐几乎读遍了你博客里的每一首诗,感动着你的温情和才气,故此也感恩认识了你! 日子过得飞快,转眼又一年,值此祝大漠开心每一天! 谢谢大漠来看我!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 'Once-always' 的评论 : Oncemm好! 昨晚后来整理完,编辑好,后来就睡不着了,两点多吃了半颗安眠药,早上起晚了。年纪大了,不能晚上写东西了:)
Oncemm这段写得真好,你是用心在写的。还记得那一年二三月与你的初相识,一晃过去了这么多年。我说过,认识你让我的生活视野开阔,uplift me,精神上的提升。感恩的话不多说了,让我们彼此珍惜时光,珍惜这样的网情网缘,直到有一天真正老去。。。祝Oncemm感恩节快乐健康,天天开心!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 'BeijingGirl1' 的评论 : 京妞好! 京妞的这句与时共进说的极好,语言真是有时代性的,不停地更新增加,比如中文里的"躺平","内卷",比如英文里你这里的Z-gen,谢谢京妞的阅读和总结。谢谢你一路的支持,祝京妞感恩节快乐!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '麦姐' 的评论 : 谢谢麦子前来听歌鼓掌,这首和声我的声音不太明显,但是和声就是需要这样的和谐。麦子那里不过感恩节,那也祝麦子平常的日子里一样开开心心,健健康康!
暖冬cool夏 回复 悄悄话 回复 '淡然' 的评论 : 给淡然上茶,上好的红茶,暖胃的:) 我是趁昨天工作忙完了有点空,一咬牙把它整理出来,否则一拖又是不少时日。谢谢淡然的惦记和问候,两个人的世界哪里会浪漫,除了平淡还是平淡的。你们一家一定聚齐了过感恩节的,祝你们一家感恩节团聚其乐融融! 感恩节快乐!
波城冬日 回复 悄悄话 问好暖冬, 感恩节快乐!
大漠长河 回复 悄悄话 多谢暖姐分享如此营养又健康的大餐,还外加两道暖心的甜点!披着窗外洒进的晨光,边听歌边学习,很满足的感觉。感恩节快乐!
Once-always 回复 悄悄话 没想到一大早暖mm就给感恩节大餐!坐在暖mm的push城堡里,学及时英语,庆祝banner/bumper year,然后又读到暖mm的感恩节赋词和听到暖mm甜甜蜜蜜的两首歌!这个感恩节,还没闻到火鸡香飘,就已感觉十分的完美了!
BeijingGirl1 回复 悄悄话 总结得真好。 语言也在与时俱进, 尤其是加上网络用语后。 很多说法被更新颖得词/词组/短语代替。 我最近面试新人(Z-Gens), 感触良多, 以后有时间也写写。
歌很好听。 也很同意你的总结和评定。 感恩节快乐。
麦姐 回复 悄悄话 睡觉前坐板凳听歌,两首歌都好听,使劲鼓掌。先祝暖冬阖家节日快乐,等脑子清醒的时候再来学英语。:)
淡然 回复 悄悄话 今天过节,不学习了,虽然暖冬的读报学英语一直是我喜欢的。坐在沙发上听歌,太美妙了!祝暖冬和你家领导感恩节快乐,俩人世界更容易浪漫哦!
淡然 回复 悄悄话 感恩节来问好,竟然坐上了暖冬家的沙发!