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。

under her breath

2014年06月13日 | インポート

Tom Clancy's Net Force、昨日の続きの個所です。
"You're early," she shouted at him. "Go away and come back in fifteen minutes."
"It's OK," Roddy said. "I'll just wander around."
"Fine," Maj said, and added under her breath as she sat back down again, "Go ahead, freeze your butt off, I don't care."
"under her breath" はイデオムでしょう。辞書を見ます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: In a very quiet voice; almost inaudibly:: ‘he swore violently under his breath
・Dictionary.com: below / under one's breath, in a low voice or whisper; sotto voce: He protested under his breath because he was afraid to speak up.
"sotto voce" はイタリア語ですが、日本語の「そっと言う」の連想で覚えやすいですね。

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slaking my thirst with beer

2013年08月29日 | インポート
"The Briefcase" の主人公はお酒好きなのでお酒を飲む場面がよく出てきますが、これはツキコが酒飲みになる前の話です。
In my twenties, I had traveled to France with a girlfriend of mine, and we had gone into a cafe to get something to drink I just wanted plain, regular water, but when I ordered "Water," they brought out mineral water. I was so parched and hoping to quench my thirst, but the moment I swallowed it down, I choked and nearly threw up. Yet I was so thirsty. And here was water, right in front of me. Yet this water--with bubbles springing up from the carbonation--was a bitter mouthful. Even had I wanted to drink it, my throat would reject it. But since I didn't know enough French to say, "I would prefer still water rather than water with gas," I forced my friend to share with me the lemonade that she had ordered. It was terribly sweet--awful, really. That was before I was in the habit of slaking my thirst with beer instead of water.
最後の文に出てきた "I was in the habit of slaking my thirst with beer instead of water." の "slaking" は知らない単語ですが、文脈からするとここでは「喉の渇きを潤す」意味だと推測できます。辞書で確認します。
・Collins Dictionary: (literary) to satisfy (thirst, desire, etc): I stopped months ago, and these days I slake my thirst with mineral water and ease anxiety with a mug of sweet and milky cocoa.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: satisfy, quench: slake your thirst: will slake your curiosity
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to satisfy a feeling of being thirsty or of wanting something: After our long game of tennis, we slaked our thirst with a beer.: I don't think Dick will ever manage to slake his lust for power.
"slake" が潤すのは喉の渇きだけとは限られていませんが、喉の渇きを潤す時によく使われるようです。ビールを飲む度にこの "slake" を思い浮かべましょう。
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Love

2013年08月11日 | インポート
A man was wandering around in a field, thinking about how good his wife had been to him and how fortunate he was to have her.
He asked God, "Why did you make her so kind-hearted?"
The Lord responded, "So you could love her, my son."
"Why did you make her so good-looking?"
"So you could love her, my son."
"Why did you make her such a good cook?"
"So you could love her, my son."
The man thought about this. Then he said, "I don't mean to seem ungrateful or anything but why did you make her so stupid?"
"So she could love you, my son."
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peccadillo

2013年07月15日 | インポート
Japan's Cultural Code Words, 「タレント」の項の英語タイトル "People with Talent" の一部を引用します。
At first, the use of the word tarento was confined to radio and television performers, but it was soon applied to novice entertainers in other fields as well. Shintaro Ishiahra, now known as one of Japan's most hawkish post-World War II politicians, was to broaden the scope of its usage. In the 1950s, whe he was still in his twenties, Ishihara began publishing steamy novels about the sexual and other peccadilloes of Japanese youth, and became rich and famous by the time he was 30.
"peccadilloes" はロンドンのPiccadilly Circusを連想させますが、関連があるのでしょうか?
・Collins Dictionary: a petty sin or trifling fault: The Ambassador didn't seem to view the matter very seriously, called it a peccadillo.
・Cambridge English Dictionary: a small fault or a not very bad action: a youthful peccadillo: He dismissed what had happened as a mere peccadillo.
・Vocabulary.com: A peccadillo is a minor offense or sin. Parents recognize that their kids have a few peccadilloes: they don't always remember to say please and thank you, don't put their dirty clothes in the hamper, and worst of all, they keeping (sic.) finding the chocolate stash!
Peccadillo is based on the Spanish word peccado, meaning "sin," with a diminutive added, making peccadillo a small sin. How big a sin is a peccadillo? Well, that depends on who you ask. The person committing the offense is likely to try to pass off any number of transgressions and mistakes as peccadilloes. If you apologize and are forgiven, it's probably a peccadillo. If your transgression could get you fired, it's probably not!
なるほど、スペイン語由来の言葉ですね。しかし、ロンドンのPiccadillyとの関連が分からないので更に調べるとWikipediaにPiccadillyの説明がありました。以下はWikipediaからの抜粋です。
The name Piccadilly may have arisen from a tailor named Robert Baker, who owned a shop on the Strand, in the late 16th century and early 17th century. He amassed a large fortune by making and selling piccadills (also called picadils or pickadils?stiff collars with scalloped edges and a broad lace or perforated border), that were then in fashion. With his great fortune he purchased a large tract of what was then open country to the west of London, and in about 1612 he built a large house there. The mansion soon became known as Piccadilly Hall.
ところで、前都知事の石原氏が尖閣島を都が購入すると言った事は決して "peccadillo" ではなかったと思います。選挙で政治家を選ぶのは難しい事ですが、タレント候補には特に要注意です。
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IT

2012年12月15日 | インポート
Flowers for Algernon主人公、Charlieは昔の子供の頃をよく思い出します。
Then I saw a picture that I remembered in my mind when I was a kid and the children in the block let me play with them, hide-and-go-seek and I was IT. After I counted up to ten over and over on my fingers I went to look for the others. I kept looking until it got cold and dark and I had to go home.
上に出てきた "IT" は隠れん坊の鬼を指している事は容易に想像できますが、子供の頃英米にいた訳ではないので、この意味で使われる "IT/it" に会うのは初めてです。辞書にこの意味があるか確認します。
・Collins Dictionary: (in children's games) the player whose turn it is to try to touch another
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: the player in a game who performs the principal action of the game (as trying to find others in hide-and-seek)
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unbidden

2012年08月03日 | インポート
今日取り上げる単語 "unbidden" もThe Case against Perfectionに何度も出てきます。
We choose our friends and spouses at least partly on the basis of qualities we find attractive. But we do not choose our children. Their qualities are unpredictable, and even the most conscientious parents cannot be held wholly responsible for the kind of child they have. That is why parenthood, more than other human relationships, teaches what the theologian William F. May calls an "openness to the unbidden."
友人や配偶者と違って子供を選ぶ事はできないと言っているので "unbidden" は望んでいなかった子供の様に思えますがどうでしょう。 "unbidden" が出てくる個所をもう一つ引用します。 
The problem lies in the hubris of the designing parents, in their drive to master the mystery of birth. Even if this disposition does not make parents tyrants to their children, it disfigures the relation between parent and child, and deprives the parent of the humility and enlarge human sympathies that an openness to the unbidden can cultivate.
推測は当たっているようですが、辞書で "unbidden" の意味を確認します。
・American Heritage Dictionary: Not invited, asked, or requested; unasked: unbidden guests; comments unbid and unwelcome.
・Cambridge Idioms Dictionary: not invited or wanted: At night images would come unbidden into her mind.
望んでいなかった子供と言うのは、ここでは、子供の知能、体力などの能力が望んでいるレベルではなかったと言う意味で使っているようです。
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入院しちゃった うつウーマン

2012年04月16日 | インポート
知人の、と言ってもこの2年程会っていませんし、今は米国に住んでいるはずですが、一応本職はイラストレーターのAmyさんが描いた漫画「入院しちゃった うつウーマン」が出版されたそうです。 Amyさんが病気になったのではなく、作者は安部結貴さんでその話を漫画にしたのが大葉リビ(Amyさんの漫画家名)。 このコンビの前作「わたしは働く、うつウーマン」(安部結貴作/大葉リビ漫画)は私も買って、二年程前の当時、Amyさんは日本にいたので本にサインをもらいました。
作者の安部結貴さんが「入院しちゃった うつウーマン」を紹介する動画と漫画の一部は下記のURLで見ることができます。
www.shogakukan.co.jp/books/detail/_isbn_9784093882361
AmyさんはNHKの会話テキストのイラストを描いたり、長尾和夫氏と共著で英会話の本をだすなど多才な方で、漢字の読み書きも完璧なうらやましい程のバイリンガルです。
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nudge

2012年04月06日 | インポート
昨日の早朝出勤前の花見に行って来ました。8年程前からこの時期に千鳥が淵、北の丸公園とついでに靖国神社に花見に行っています。土日や夜は非常に混む場所なので出勤前の花見がベストな時間です。
さて、NUDGE by Richard H.Thaler and Cass R. Susteinを読んでいます。タイトルに使われている "NUDGE" に「(注意を引くために)肘で軽く突く」意味があるのは知っていますが、この本の始めの個所にこの"NUDGE" についての説明がありました。
To nudge is 'to push mildly or poke gently in the ribs, especially with the elbow.' One who nudges in that manner - 'to alert, remind, or mildly warn another'...
そして、この本の最初の章、Introductionに "nudge" の例を幾つも挙げています。前回取り上げた "spillage" の話に出てきた "fly-in-urinal" も "nudge" の一例です。次ぎの文もこの本の "nudge" の意味を説明しています。
A nudge, as we will use the term, is any aspect of the choice architecture that alters people's behavior in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives.
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have the bit between one's teeth/take the bit between one's teeth

2012年03月27日 | インポート

世界卓球の試合が始まったので、録画を見終わると夜の12時を過ぎてしまいます。
さて、昨日取り上げた単語 "pulverize" を調べた辞書の説明にあった次の文章に慣用句らしき表現がありました。
Brunner had heard of the things, used in the Gulf War to pulverize the Iraqi trenches, but the Dutchman had the bit between his teeth.
"have the bit between one's teeth" は歯に何かが詰まった感じですが、辞書に "have the bit between one's teeth" あるいは "have the bit between one's teeth" で次ぎの説明がありました。
・TheFreeDictionary: have/take the bit in one's teeth: To be uncontrollable; cast off restraint.
・Random House Dictionary: take the bit in / between one's teeth, to cast off control; willfully go one's own way: He took the bit in his teeth and acted against his parents' wishes.
・Collins English Dictionary: a.to undertake a task with determination; b.to rebel against control
楊枝を使うときにこの表現を思い出すことにしましょう。

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barefaced lie

2012年03月17日 | インポート
The Virgin and the Gipsyを読んでいます。それにしても牧師の家だというのに母親代わりのGranny及びAunt Cissieと姉妹の二人の関係は余り良くありません。
"At least," said Granny, "we don't come of half-depraved stock."
There was a second's electric pause. Then Lucille sprang from her low seat, with sparks flying from her.
"You shut up!" she shouted, in a blast full upon the mottled majesty of the old lady.
The old woman's breast began to heave with heaven knows what emotions. The pause this time, as after the thunderbolt, was icy.
Then Aunt Cissie, livid, sprang upon Lucille, pushing her like a fury.
"Go to your room!" she cried hoarsely. "Go to your room!"
(中略)
'Of course not. I only said we're not depraved, just because we happen to be superstitious about breaking mirros.'
Yvette could hardly believe her ears. Had she heard right? Was it possible! Or was Granny, at her age, just telling a barefaced lie?
Yvette knew that the old woman was telling a cool, barefaced lie. But already, so quickly, Granny believed her own statement.
"barefaced lie" とはどんな嘘を指すのでしょうか?
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: having or showing a lack of scruples: a barefaced lie
・Macmillan Dictionary: used for emphasizing that someone who does something bad is not ashamed or does not try to do it secretly: a barefaced lie
・Cambridge English Dictionary: not trying to hide your bad behaviour: That's a barefaced lie!
多くの辞書に "barefaced" の例として上記の様に "barefaced lie" を載せていました。
見え透いたずうずうしい嘘と言うことでしょうか。
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