English Collection


Where did my intelligence come from?

2011年10月29日 | 英語学習

・One day, Johnny said to his dad, "Daddy, my teacher told us today that being smart is something you get from your parents."
He then asked, "So where did my intelligence come from?"
His dad replied, "Well son, you must have gotten it from your mother, because I still have mine."

Another son-and-father conversation
・A father was telling his son that he needed to be more like his playmate who consistently gets high grades at school.
Father: You should be more like John. He'd doing well at school and his grades are always high.
Son: But Dad, that's not fair. John's father is smarter.


soup up

2011年10月29日 | 英語学習
The rule for an IKEA hack is simple: at least one IKEA item must be modified or repurposed in the finished product.
This includes personalising and repurposing original IKEA products towards customised end products or furnishings adapted to suit the user's needs - often souped up versions displaying dashes of inspirational creativity and unexpected twists.
"souped up" は以前に取り上げた "juice up" (Ref. blog.alc.co.jp/blog/3302827/archive/2009/3/6 ) を連想させます。 辞書を見ます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to increase the power or efficiency of: soup up an engine: Origin of SOUP UP: soup (drug injected into a racehorse to improve its performance)
・McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: soup something up: to increase the power of something. He souped his car up so it will do nearly 120 miles per hour. If only I could soup up this computer to run just a little faster.
"juice up" と同じような意味でした。 競馬の事は疎いのですが、 "soup up" は今は競馬でも非合法と思いますが。

flurry of

2011年10月28日 | 英語学習

These encouraging developments, however, have come amid a flurry of setbacks. In 2004, through the efforts of Project Seahorse, all known seahorse species were listed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) which stipulates that only seahorses that have grown to 10 centimeters (large enough to have reproduction) can be traded across international borders.
"flurry of" は雪が舞い散る様な意味があると思いましたが、ここでは別の意味になる表現なので辞書を見ます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: a: a brief period of commotion or excitement b: a sudden occurrence of many things at once: a flurry of insults: a flurry of activity on the floor of the stock market as soon as the news spread
・American Heritage Dictionary: 1. A sudden burst or commotion; a stir: a flurry of interest in the new product; a flurry


dorsal fin

2011年10月27日 | 英語学習
Fish Reader's Digest 9月号にタツノオトシゴ(seahorse)を研究しているカナダ人の記事に覚えたい単語がありました。
Taxonomy - the classification of plants and animals - is tedious work. It takes patience and a keen eye. Peering through a microscope hour after hour at the museum in Paris, Lourie counted the tail and trunk rings of each specimen, some of which were damaged or poorly labelled, She noted colour, length of snout, number of dorsal and pectral fin rays and the shape of the coronet, the crownlike spines on the seahorse's heae.
"dorsal and pectral fin rays" ですが、"pectral fin" は前に "pecs and abs" を取り上げた時に覚えた "pectral" なので分かります。すろと、"dorsal fin" は背ビレか腹ビレの何れかだと思いますがどちらでしょう? 辞書を見ます。
・Macmillan Dictionary: belonging to or on or near the back or upper surface of an animal or organ or part ("The dorsal fin is the vertical fin on the back of a fish and certain marine mammals")
"dorsal fin" は背ビレでした。 ちなみに腹ビレは何て言うのかも調べると、"pelvic fin" であり、日本語の腹とは位置の認識が違いますね。英絵辞典The Visual Dictionary( www.infovisual.info/02/032_en.html)を見ると一目瞭然です。

take matters into one's own hands

2011年10月26日 | 英語学習

これもReader's Digest 9月号の8th Annual Humour Issueにあった表現です。
As a burglar tried to enter the home of a woman, she took matters into her own hands. Getting on all fours, she barked and scratched ferverishly at the door. The thief was last seen running from the porch.
"took matters into her own hands" の個所は慣用句の様です。 辞書を見ます。
・Cambridge Idioms Dictionariy: to deal with a problem yourself because the people who should have dealt with it have failed to do so: The police haven't done anything about the vandalism, so local residents have taken matters into their own hands.: When the police failed to catch her son's murderer, she decided to take matters into her own hands.


pony up

2011年10月25日 | 英語学習
Reader's Digest 9月号は8th Annual Humour Issueと言うことで、ジョークや面白い話の特集がありましたが、これはジョークではなく、実話の様で、その中に覚えたい表現がありました。
An Australian man was ordered to pony up $500 in court costs after he lost his lawsuit against his ex-wife. He'd taken her to court hoping the judge would order her to remove this bumper sticker from her car: "Men are idiots. I divorced the king!"
ここに出てくる "pony up" は文脈からすると「支払う」の意味だと思いますが、何故この様な意味があるのか不思議です。まずは意味を確認します。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to pay (money) especially in settlement of an account
・Dictionary.com: Informal . to pay (money), as in settling an account: Next week you'll have to pony up the balance of the loan.
・American Heritage Dictionary: Pay money that is owed or due, as in Come on, it's time you ponied up this month's rent . The allusion in this expression is unclear.
語源はOnline Etymologyに次ぎの説明がありました。
1824, in pony up "to pay," said to be from slang use of L. legem pone to mean "money" (first recorded 16c.), because this was the title of the Psalm for March 25, a Quarter Day and the first payday of the year (the Psalm's first line is Legem pone michi domine viam iustificacionum "Teach me, O Lord,


2011年10月24日 | 英語学習
さて、Reader's Digest 9月号のBack to Natureと題された記事は、ライト兄弟が飛行機を開発するのに鳥を参考にしたり、スイス人技術者が "picked burrs off his clothing" した時にVelcroが誕生した様に、自然を観察する事で生まれた技術の特集でした。 
Can sharks reduce hospital infections?
Fouling - the slimy growth that collects on ships' hulls - is an expensive nuisance to shipowners and is often remedied with potentially harmful copper-based paints.
Brennan noticed that the microscopic toothlike pattern of their scales prevents algae and barnacles from sticking to their bodies. Using that insight, he created Sharklet, a pattern that mimics shark scales and reduces fouling by 85 percent, as compared with smooth suraces. But there's more! Dangerous bacteria can't adhere to Sharklet either.
"fouling" は初めて見る単語です。記事の冒頭に意味の説明がありますが、一応辞書での説明も見ます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: deposit, incrustation (fouling on a ship's bottom)
・Wiktionary: (uncountable) The adhesion of a foreign material onto a surface, especially so as to reduce its functionality
・Dictionary.com: an encrusted deposit, especially on a submerged object, as the hull of a ship.
RDの記事では使われていませんでしたが、"fouling" を防ぐ材料、方法は "anti-fouling" と言えます。
The best protection against a build-up of weed is a good healthy coat of anti-fouling or bottom paint.


2011年10月23日 | 英語学習
A baby mosquito had just returned after his first flight Daddy mosquito asked, "So, son, how did it feel?"
The baby mosquito replied, "Wow, Dad, it was wonderful. Everyone was clapping for me!"


2011年10月22日 | 英語学習
Reader's Digest 9月号のThe Whole Family Guide To A Healthy Heartと題された記事から引用します。
By the time Neelam Jain's heart condition was finally diagnosed, she was in bad shape. She had one thing going for her, though: Because she'd kept herself active, her body had been silently compensating for the gradual obstruction of her blood vessels by shunting blood to smaller veins.
shunt" は、私が働いている会社の取り扱い商品の一つに "current shunt"(電流分流器/分路器)があるので三年前に知った単語です。電気の専門用語と思っていたのですが、同じ様な意味で医学でも使われているのですね。 辞書での説明を見ます。
・V2 Vocabulary Building Dictionary:
Definition: (n.) 1. the act of pushing to the side or diverting to an alternate course; 2. a bypass or diversion of bodily fluid (in medicine); (v.) 1. to divert or transfer (as in trains on a track); 2. to avoid responsibility by shifting it to someone else; 3. to move somebody or something from one place to another
Tips: Shunt means "to cast aside or move something to an alternate course." Shunt is often used when referring to railroad switches or in medicine, when a passage that diverts the flow of blood or other bodily fluid form one channel to another is created in surgery. In the definition of moving someone or something, shunt is used in the context of convenience or necessity, rather than kindness. Shunt can also be used to denote the diversion of an electrical current.
由来をOnline Etymologyで見ると:
early 13c., perhaps from shunen "to shun ". Adopted by railways 1842 as a verb, 1862 as a noun, and by technicians in the sense of "electrical conductor" from 1863. Medical use dates from 1923.


2011年10月21日 | 英語学習
The Japan Times Online, Oct.8にあったキャプションです。
Angry boy, 13, a chemistry buff, gasses his class
"buff" の意味にマニアとか~狂の意味がある事は知っていますが、日本の中学生で化学マニアは余りいないので、この場合は単に化学好き程度だろうと思うので記事を読むと、
Teachers said the boy, a first-year student, has a keen interest in chemistry, adding they have often seen him reading books on the subject.
やはりマニアと言うより、化学好き、化学に熱心な生徒と解釈した方が適当の様です。今日この "buff" を取り上げたのは、 "buff" がこの意味を持つ様になった面白い由来をしったからです。
Online Etymology: 1570s, buffe leather, from M.Fr. buffle "buffalo" (15c., via It. from L. bufalus; see buffalo). The color term comes from the hue of buffalo hides (later ox hides); association of "hide" and "skin" led c.1600 to in the buff, and use of buff or suede to polish metal led to sense of verb "to polish with a buff" (1885). Related: Buffed; buffing. Buff-colored uniforms of N.Y.C. volunteer firefighters since 1820s led to meaning "enthusiast" (1903).
"buff" の別の意味(a medium to dark tan color/an implement consisting of soft material mounted on a block; used for polishing (as in manicuring)/bare skin; naked/a soft thick undyed leather from the skins of e.g. buffalo or oxen)も全て元はバッファローから来ていたのでした。 納得です。