English Collection

日頃目に付いた覚えたい英単語、慣用句などの表現についてのメモです。

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2015年02月09日 | 英語の本を読む

White Fangは闘犬として百戦練磨、狼と戦っても負けません。しかし、今度の相手bull-dogのCherokeeはちょっと様子が違う様です。
Each time that his teeth struck they sank easily into the yielding flesh, while the animal did not seem able to defend itself. Another disconcerting thing was that it made no outcry, such as he had been accustomed to with the other dogs he had fought. Beyond a grown or a grunt, the dog took its punishment silently. And never did it flag in its pursuit of him.
上の引用個所に出てきた "flag" の意味は何でしょう? 辞書を見ます。
・Oxford Dictionary: become tired, weaker, or less enthusiastic: if you begin to flag, there is an excellent cafe to revive you
・Vocabulary.com: Stopping for a snack may help when your energy or attention begin to flag, meaning you are getting tired or losing your focus.
Flag describes a person’s waning energy level after a sustained effort. For example, you may begin to flag after a long afternoon sightseeing in a strange city. It can also be used to describe diminishing success, such as a movie career that seems to flag after the actor stops landing big roles, flag can also refer to something that seems to drop off, like gym attendance that flags -- along with those New Year's resolutions.
この意味の語源をONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARYで見ると次の説明がありました。
1540s, "flap about loosely," probably a later variant of Middle English flakken, flacken "to flap, flutter" (late 14c.), which probably is from Old Norse flaka "to flicker, flutter, hang losse," perhaps imitative of something flapping lazily in the wind. Sense of "go limp, droop, become languid" is first recorded 1610s.
なるほど、風がなくて垂れ下がった旗を思い浮かべれば良いのですね。

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