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。

vertigo

2012年06月30日 | 英語学習

Comedy in a Minor Keyを読んでいます。ドイツ語からの翻訳本のせいか余り難しい単語はでてきませんが、今日取り上げる単語は難しそうな単語です。
The whole time he was hidden in her house she thought she understood better and better - understood both him and the other thing that stood behind him, invisible, which he embodied - until at last, alone in his room, she got to what was behind his secret too. But now it seemed different to her, as though she herself had entered into this secret in a new way. And she remembered having seen, every once in a while, a flitting in his eyes as though dogs were hounding him. When she walked up to the closed window and looked steeply down into the little back garden, she was overcome by a kind of vertigo. She leaned her forehead against the glass to feel some support. It started in her eyes, a strange, particular turning and pulling that gradually sucked her whole body into the whirlpool as though she were losing consciousness, while at the same time fear rose within her.
"vertigo" を辞書で調べます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: a : a sensation of motion in which the individual or the individual's surroundings seem to whirl dizzily b : a dizzy confused state of mind
・Cambridge English Dictionary: a feeling of spinning round and being unable to balance, caused by looking down from a height: She can't stand heights and has always suffered from vertigo.
・Vocabulary.com: If you're standing still but the room is inexplicably spinning, you might want to let someone know you're suffering from vertigo - the sensation of dizziness or whirling.
Vocabulary.comは大抵の場合更に詳しい説明があり、この単語も例外ではありません。
Contrary to popular belief, vertigo is not exactly the same thing as acrophobia, the fear of heights. However, acrophobia can result in the symptoms associated with vertigo. Interestingly, when legendary director Alfred Hitchcock created a film about a detective with an intense fear of heights, he named the film Vertigo, not Acrophobia; perhaps he thought Vertigo was catchier.
Example of vertigo:
Large doses produce vertigo, nausea and paralysis; but in smaller quantities, administered by skilful hands, it has a sedative action on the nerves.

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Workers' comp

2012年06月29日 | 英語学習
The Japan Times Online, June 17, 2012の記事タイトルです。
Workers' comp for mental illness hit record high in '11
この "comp" は略語の気がしますが、意味は何でしょう。 記事を読みます。
The number of applications approved to compensate employees for work-related mental illnesses climbed to an all-time high of 325 in fiscal 2011, the health ministry said.
この最初の文だけで "comp" が "compensation" の意味だと分かります。 記事を読み続けると "compensation" も出てきます。
Ministry officials attributed the increase to a growing awareness among workers that they can apply for mental illness-related compensation, but noted that 20 cases linked to the March 2011 disasters were also a factor.
"compensation" の意味の "comp" は "workers' comp" の他にも "worker's comp"、 "worders comp" の形で辞書に載っていました。 辞書による "workers' comp" の説明を引用します。
・The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary: Payments required by law to be made to an employee who is injured or disabled in connection with work.
・West's Encyclopedia of American Law: A system whereby an employer must pay, or provide insurance to pay, the lost wages and medical expenses of an employee who is injured on the job.
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harvest

2012年06月28日 | 英語学習

The Japan Times Online, June 16, 2012の記事タイトルに "Organs of brain-dead boy are <B>harvested</B>" とありました。 日本では初めての子供の臓器移植のニュースは聞いていたので意味は次ぎの記事の最初の文章を読む前に分かります。
Three surgical teams extract multiple organs from a boy who was declared brain-dead at Toyama University Hospital and his heart is successfully transplanted into a young girl in Osaka.
"<B>harvest</B>" のこの様な用法が辞書に載っているか確認します。
・Vocabulary.com: remove from a culture or a living or dead body, as for the purposes of transplantation: “The Chinese are said to <B>harvest</B> organs from executed criminals”
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to take cells or other body parts from someone for medical use: The donor organ is <B>harvested</B> at the accident scene and rushed to a hospital.; There is a lot of controversy surrounding the <B>harvesting</B> of stem cells.
確かに医療のために人間の臓器は細胞などを取り出す事を "<B>harvest</B>" と言えるのですね。 日本語の収穫する・捕獲するの意味を持つ "<B>harvest</B>" が臓器の取り出しにも使えるのは気持ちが悪い気がします。

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half-moon

2012年06月27日 | 英語学習

Comedy in a Minor Keyを読んでいます。この小説も場面が現在と過去にころころ変わります、映画でも現在と過去と場面が変わるのは分かりにくいのでこの手法は私は余り好きではありません。映画の場合は背景が変わるのでだいたい直ぐに気がつきますが、小説の場合は何か変だなとは思いつつも時間軸がづれた事に中々気が付かないのでなおさら困ります。
今日取り上げる表現は難しい単語でも慣用句でもなく、読んでいれば意味も直ぐに分かるのですが、こんな使い方もあるのだと興味を感じました。
Finally she had a saving inspiration. Right next to the kitchen was a toilet, with a door opening onto the hall just to the right of the kitchen door. The hall itself was a good fifteen feet long and the fishmonger stood at the other end, with the big woven basket under his arm, getting ready to leave. Marie decisively opened the bathroom door and directed Nico with a hand gesture out of the kitchen and into the bathroom, whose wide-open door blocked almost the whole width of the hall, covering Nico's escape. The half-moon on the door turned to 'Occupied'. 'Come on in!' Marie called to the fishmonger.
"The half-moon on the door" までだと "half-moon" が何だか分かりません。しかし、その後に "turned to 'Occupied'" とあるので、なるほど、トイレを内側からロックするとそのトイレが占有されているかどうか外側から分かる表示の事だと納得です。 そしてその装置の形状が "half-moon" だと言う事でしょう。 辞書で "half-moon" 見ると:
・Macmillan Dictionary: something in the shape of a half-moon
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: something shaped like a crescent
とありました。

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Comedy in a Minor Key

2012年06月26日 | 英語学習

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? は会話の内容がとてもシーリアスで何故か自分にも思い当たる個所が幾つもあり、楽しむどころか忘れたい気分です。 そんな訳で次に読む本は楽しい話をと思って選んだのが "Comedy in a Minor Key" です。 作者のHans Keilsonはドイツ人で、この小説は私の生まれた年の1947年に出版されたのですが、英語に翻訳されたのはつい最近の2010年とありました。 題名に "Comedy" が付いているので喜劇的な話かと早とちりしたのですが、第二次世界大戦時にユダヤ人を匿っていた話で、どうもこの話も深刻な内容の様です。
ユダヤ人のNicoを匿うのはWimとMarieの若い夫婦。Nicoは香水のセールスマンだった様です。
まだほんの始めの個所を読んだだけですが、英語自体は翻訳のせいか難しい英単語は余り出てきません。
でも時々興味深い表現が出てきます。 Nicoの次ぎの台詞にはなるほどと思いました。
“Just a drop behind the ear, Marie. Perfume is the visiting card of the lady!”
英語を話す機会はほとんどないのですが、"Perfume is the visiting card of the lady!" の様な台詞が口からぽろっと出てくれば何だかネイティブの会話の様ですね。

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horseshoe in the glove

2012年06月25日 | 英語学習
先週の土曜日に取り上げたReader's Digest 5月号の記事にあった文: "The dice are loaded, there's a horseshoe in the glove" の "horseshoe in the glove" の表現について調べました。 辞書には "horseshoe in the glove" なる慣用句、あるいは例文は見あたりませんでしたが、"horseshoe" は単に馬蹄の意味だけではない事が分かりました。
・Collins Dictionary: a piece of iron shaped like a U with the ends curving inwards that is nailed to the underside of the hoof of a horse to protect the soft part of the foot from hard surfaces: commonly thought to be a token of good luck
・Wordnik: An old and very popular superstition, almost universally prevalent among peasantry, ascribes to the horseshoe (especially to one which has been found in the road by chance) the power of barring
the passage of witches. For this purpose the shoe is nailed to the door or the threshold.
そして辞書で "horseshoe in the glove" を載せている例は見つかりませんでしたが、Googleで調べるとこの表現はかなり一般的に使われていることが分かります。 "Horseshoe In The Glove" と言う歌もあり、その歌詞に "Looking forward to tomorrow it's the Horseshoe in the Glove" なる表現がありました。
結論としてRDの記事の "The dice are loaded, there's a horseshoe in the glove" 全体の意味は、"horseshoe in the glove" として "gravity-fed hose" があったので、その家族の運命は死ぬような目には会わない事になっていた、"the dice are loaded"、 と解釈します。
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Merely players

2012年06月24日 | 英語学習
One afternoon, Matt's dad picks him up from school. Knowing that the parts for the school play were chosen that day, he asks his son if he got a role. Matt announces: "Yes, I play a man who's been married for 20 years."
"That's great, son," says his dad. "Next time they might give you a speaking part."

P. S. I've been married for 38 years! No wonder, I've been getting reticent.
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the dice is loaded

2012年06月23日 | 英語学習
Reader's Digest 5月号に家が山火事に囲まれたがなんとか助かった家族の記事がありました。記事の題と副題は次ぎのようになっていました。
"WE'RE DEAD" Stay and fight, or abondon your home? As one family struggles to decide, the flames sweep in.
日本は降雨量が多いので大きな山火事はありませんが、米国やオーストラリアでは何ヶ月も燃え続ける山火事が度々発生します。1988年にイエローストーン公園に遊びに行った時に公園の山火事を見ました。帰国後の何ヶ月もその山火事が続いているのをニュースで見て山火事の規模の大きさに驚いた覚えがあります。RDの記事の中に気になる表現がありました。記事の一部を抜粋します。
In many a location across the ranges - particularly around the top of the escarpment, where the vegetation was thick and the incline vertiginous - you're dead anyway. The dice are loaded, there's a horseshoe in the glove: the moment never comes. Inside and out coalesce into an infinity of heat and light, darkness and smoke. This family is fortunate to have that gravity-fed hose, something few in the region have; it gives them precious minutes. So many others are relying on electric pumps that give out when the power goes, or petrol pumps that cease operating when the fuel evaporates.
難しい単語も三つありましたが、その意味は辞書で容易に分かるので簡単に済ませます。
"escarpment": a steep slope that forms the edge of a long area of high land
"vertiginous": having or causing a whirling sensation; liable to falling; changeable; unstable
"coalesce": to come together and form a group or a single unit
気になったのは "The dice are loaded, there's a horseshoe in the glove" の表現です。
まず "The dice are loaded" の方を調べると、"load the dice" と言う慣用句があることが分かりました。 "load the dice" を辞書は次ぎの様に説明しています。
・Collins Dictionary: to arrange to have a favourable or unfavourable position: Capping costs serves only to load the dice even further against the injury victim.
・Dictionary.com: to put someone or something in a advantageous or disadvantageous position; affect or influence the result: Lack of sufficient education loaded the dice against him as a candidate for the job.
・GNU Webster's 1913: dice with one side made heavier than the others, so that the number on the opposite side will come up oftenest (これは語源ですね)
記事の表現は慣用句 "load the dice" を受身形にしたものと思います。
"horseshoe in the glove" については次回とりあげます。
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out for the count

2012年06月22日 | 英語学習
Reader's Digest 5月号の記事 HOME SWEET CAVE、副題がTired of modern life? Nick Weston decided it was time to try a more retro kind of lifestyle - a Stone Age one.の一節です。
Our covers were two goat skins.
"Hey, this is the perfect size! exclaimed a delighted Al. In a moment of goodwill, I had handed over the bigger of the two skins to my taller companion. Mine barely made it up to my chest with my feet poking out the buttom. Disappointing. I was hoping for a bit of banter to end the day, but as I started talking about the blog posts on my wild - food website, a faint snore came from his side of the fire. He was out for the count.
最後の "He was out for the count." は既にすっかり寝てしまった事を意味しているのは文脈から分かりますが、ボクシングでカウントダウンに入っている状態からの表現の様に思えますが、由来も知りたいので辞書を見ます。
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to be sleeping, especially heavily: It looks like Ben's out for the count.
・Cambridge Idioms Dictionary: to be sleeping deeply: Usage notes: When boxers (= men who fight as a sport) are still not conscious after ten seconds have been counted they are described as 'out for the count'.: I was out for the count so I didn't hear any of it going on.
珍しく私の推測が当たりました。
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play up

2012年06月21日 | 英語学習

Reader's Digest 5月号 @Work, Funny moments from the officeの記事、Light bulb momentに面白い表現がありました。
Our lights were playing up, so we called an electrician. Our eight-year-old grandson was fascinated by this man, and sat observing his work very closely. Noticing his interest, the electrician said, "You can ask me anything, son."
After thinking quietly for a few moments, our grandson said, "How fast can giraffe run?"
"play" が含まれているので "lights were playing up" は蛍光灯が悪くなりかけてちらついている印象を受けますがどうでしょう? play up" の意味を辞書で確認します。
・Cambridge English Dictionary: If a machine plays up, it does not work as it should.: The starter motor was playing up again.
・Collins English Dictionary:
(tr) to emphasize or highlight ⇒ to play up one's best features: British informal to behave irritatingly (towards) (intr) British informal (of a machine, car, etc) to function erratically ⇒ the car is playing up again: British informal to hurt; give (one) pain or trouble ⇒ my back's playing me up again: It was a miracle that my prostate did not play up , which was my greatest concern.
やはりニュアンスとしては完全に機械が駄目になった時よりも、調子が悪くなって来たときに使う様ですね。

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