English Collection


fence straddling

2016年03月30日 | 英語の本を読む

さて、John Grishamの少年法律家Theodore Booneシリーズの三冊目に読むのは、このシリーズの最初の本でTheodore Boone kid lawyerです。少年が住んでいる町では殺人事件の裁判の話題は学校のホームルームの話題でもあります。
“Who was the better lawyer?” Mr. Mount asked.
At least ten answered at once and there was an even split between Jack Hogan and Clifford Nance.
Mr. Mount prodded them with questions like: “Which lawyer did you believe? Which would you trust? Which did the jury tend to follow?”
The food arrived and the conversation dropped dramatically.
“A show of hands,” Mr. Mount said. “And you must vote. No fence straddling. Raise your hand if you think Mr. Duffy is guilty.”
He counted ten hands. “Okay, not guilty.”
He counted five hands. “Theo, I said you must vote.”
"fence straddling" の表現は初めて見ますが、文脈から容易に意味は分かります。昔ローリング・ストーンズが "I'm just sitting on the fence." と歌っていたので覚えた "sitting on the fence" と同じ意味ですね。辞書で確認します。
・McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: Fig. to support both sides of an issue. (As if one were partly on either side of a fence.) The mayor is straddling the fence on this issue, hoping the public will forget it. The legislator wanted to straddle the fence until the last minute, and that alone cost her a lot of votes.
・The American Heritage Idioms Dictionary("on the fence, be" 項に飛び): Also, straddle the fence. Be undecided, not committed, as in I don't know if I'll move there; I'm still on the fence, or He's straddling the fence about the merger. This picturesque expression, with its implication that one can jump to either side, at first was applied mainly to political commitments.


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