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。

bane

2013年10月31日 | 英語学習
私はインターネットではaliasとして、子供の頃のあだ名のバネあるいはBaneを使う事があります。英語の "bane" だと発音はベインとなり、悪い意味を持っているのを知っていますが、実際の英文で "bane" が使われているのを見た事がありませんでした。 しかし、English Journal 10月号にYahooのCEO、Marissa Mayerとのインタビュー記事があり、その中に "bane" が出てきました。記事のほんの一部を抜粋します。
Marissa Mayer: ... The real question is making money from it. And I have a lot of confidence that whenever you see a consumer shift of this type, that there will be a very interesting value-added way to create a monetization around it. But--
Moderator: Where does that confidence come from?
Mayer: Well, it was sort of the, the bane of my existence from about 1999 to 2004. Um, it was that, that, at the time I was at Google, and, for about five years, every time I interacted with anyone externally, the one question they would ask me is, "You know, Search is wonderful. It's so great to be able to find everything that we can find. It's just wonderfully academic. How is anyone ever gonna make any money from it?"
この "bane" の意味を辞書で確認します。
 ・Macmillan Dictionary: something that annoys someone very much or causes them a lot of problems: the bane of: Noisy and disobedient children are the bane of many mothers.: the bane of someone's life/existence: Paperwork is the bane of my life.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: a source of harm or ruin: curse: national frontiers have been more of a bane than a boon for mankind
・Cambridge English Dictionary: a cause of continuous trouble or unhappiness: Keeping noise levels low is the bane of airport administration.: That cat is the bane of my life!
"bane" には上記のインタビュー記事で使われた意味の他に "a deadly poison (often used in combination, as in the names of poisonous plants): wolfsbane(トリカブト); henbane" とか "death; destruction; ruin" の意味を持っている毒のある単語です。 aliasとして "bane" を使うのは問題でしょうね。
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to-do

2013年10月30日 | 英語学習
"How To Win Friends and Influence People" の "How To Spur People On To Success" の章の最初の段落を引用します。
Pete Barlow was an old friend of mine. He had a dog-and-pony act and spent the life traveling with circuses and vaudeville shows. I loved to watch Pete train new dogs for his act. I noticed that the moment a dog showed the slightest improvement. Pete patted and praised him and gave him meat and made a great to-do about it.
"to-do" と言うと直ぐに "to-do list" を連想しますが、上の文に出てくる "to-do" はそんな意味ではありませんね。 早速辞書を見ます。
・Cambridge English Dictionary: a show of anger, worry, or excitement that is unnecessary or greater than the situation deserves: What a to-do that was, getting my passport renewed!
・Oxford English Dictionary: a commotion or fuss: he ignored the to-do in the hall
・Wiktionary: A fuss made over something, commotion: I was embarrassed that they made such a big to-do out of my birthday.
なるほど、よっぽど大げさに犬を褒めたと言う事ですね。最後に引用した辞書には " formed on analogy with ado" とあり、またその例文は状況が眼に浮かぶので特に分かり易い。
現在ドイツに在住の浦島太郎さんが趣味人倶楽部に日本人は人を褒めないと投稿していますが、本当にその通り。しかも、褒めないだけならまだしも、失敗に対しては逆に、イジメや体罰に発展するのは言語道断です。
しかし、米国に7年住んだ事もある私ですが、やはり日本人なので褒めるのは苦手手で、褒められるのもどうもおだてられている気がしたり、リップサービスと感じてしまいます。そんな訳で日本人の大人は褒めても、褒められなくても構わないでしょうが、やはり子供は褒めた方が良いのでしょう。(私にはできませんが、多分大人の女性に対しては)
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tall order

2013年10月29日 | 英語学習
Japan Times OnlineのOct.14の記事タイトル "Abe faces tall order in extra Diet session" に使われている表現 "tall order" を採り上げます。
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will get 53 days to pass a host of critical economic and defense bills when the extraordinary Diet session opens this ...
これ以上記事を読むまでもなく、阿部首相が色々な法律を議会を通すには多くの問題を抱えている事が分かるので "tall order" にはそのような意味がある事も容易に推測できます。この "tall" は "tall tale" などと同じで、背の高さの形容ではなく、「法外な」、「べらぼうな」の意味と共通していて、"order" は「注文」のままでも通じます。辞書に "tall order" の説明があるか見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: if something is a tall order it is very difficult ⇒ Financing your studies may be a tall order.
・McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: a request that is difficult to fulfill. (Typically: be ~; give someone ~.) That's a tall order. Do you think anyone can do it? Well, it's a tall order, but I'll do it.
・Vocabulary.com: A tall order is a task or job that is difficult to carry out. For a bodybuilder, lifting 500 pounds is a tall order.
Some things in life are easy to do. Some can be done with a moderate amount of effort or skill. Others are tall orders: a tall order is hard to accomplish, and it might even be impossible. Getting 100 on a test is a tall order. In sports, winning a championship is a tall order. Getting into a school like Harvard is a tall order. People often say "That's a tall order!" when someone else asks for something unrealistic.
世の中は "tall orders" で溢れていますね。
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scofflaw

2013年10月28日 | 英語学習
Japan Times OnlineのOct.11の記事、Political intervention in educationに出てきた単語を採り上げます。
The education ministry should drop its threat to have Taketomi Town of Okinawa Prefecture declared a scofflaw for refusing to adopt a school civics textbook ...
気になったのは "scofflaw" です。 記事を読んでみます。
The ministry should drop its move because Taketomi Town is not harming the central government in connection with the law on the free distribution of textbooks. The town has distributed copies of the textbook adopted by its board of education by using money donated by interested townspeople.
法律と関係があることは確かですが、辞書で明確な意味を調べます。
・Collins Dictionary: (US, informal) a person who habitually flouts or violates the law, esp one who fails to pay debts or answer summonses: Washington is a $1.4-billion (U. S.) scofflaw, according to the United Nations press office.
・Vocabulary.com: one who habitually ignores the law and does not answer court summonses: But with many other problems confronting local officers, scofflaws are largely being ignored.
"scoff" と "flaw" を足したいわゆるカバン語ですね。
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Fairytale overdose

2013年10月27日 | 英語学習
先週日曜の10kmランは雨でビショビショになり大変でした。今日はこれから地元での10kmランに参加しますが、台風も去り、朝から晴れて、気持ちの良い天気です。
今日紹介するジョークは、最近NHKのBSで放送している大人向けのfairy taleの番組を連想させます。
My four-year-old daughter Aditi asked me this morning, "Mummy, when are you going to die?"
A little taken aback, I asked why she wanted to know.
"Because, Mummy, once you die I'll be able to get a stepmother - and then I can meet my Prince Charming."
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Inky cap

2013年10月26日 | 英語学習

ちょっと前に川上弘美著の『センセイの鞄』、"The Briefcase" をAllison Markin Powell氏による英語の翻訳版を読みましたが、Mushroom Huntingの章に出てきた言葉が気になっていました。
"Inky cap modashi!" Satoru shouted from further ahead. "A whole colony of them! Lots more than last year!" Satoru's voice (or was it Toru's?) was full of excitement as it echoed throughout the forest.
"Inky cap modashi" は何かのキノコに違いありません。聞いたことはありませんが、"modashi" がその和名で、"Inky cap" はそれに相当するキノコの英名と推測しますが、気になるので辞書で調べます。 Wikipediaには写真も付いているので分かり易い。
Wikipedia: Coprinopsis atramentaria, commonly known as the common ink cap or inky cap, is an edible (but sometimes poisonous, see below) mushroom found in Europe and North America. Previously known as Coprinus atramentarius, it is the second best known ink cap and previous member of the genus Coprinus after C. comatus. It is a widespread and common fungus found throughout the northern hemisphere. Clumps of mushrooms arise after rain from spring to autumn, commonly in urban and disturbed habitats such as vacant lots and lawns, as well as grassy areas. The grey-brown cap is initially bell-shaped before opening, after which, it flattens and disintegrates. The flesh is thin and the taste mild. It can be eaten but is poisonous when consumed with alcohol ? hence another common name, tippler's bane.
さて、「もだし」の方ですが、私の持っている和英辞典には出ていないのでGoogleで検索すると、色々情報があり、庄内地方では「ナラタケ」を「モダシ」というとか、別のサイトでは「ナラタケ」を「サワモダシ」というとありました。これらの写真をみるとWikipediaの "inky cap" とは少し違う気がします。 茸は種類が多く、恐らく日本の「モダシ」と全く同じ "inky cap" は無いのでしょう。 
原著の『センセイの鞄』を見ると、"Inky cap modashi!"は「ヒトヨモダシ」となっていたのでGoogle検索しましたが、該当する茸の情報は見つかりません。きっとある地方での呼び名だろうと思います。多分著者がどこかの飲み屋で聞いたか、食べたことがあるのでしょう。Inky_cap

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pyrrhic victory

2013年10月25日 | 英語学習
Japan Times OnlineのOct.10の記事タイトルに見慣れない単語がありました。
そのタイトルは "Angela Merkel’s pyrrhic victory" で、この "pyrrhic victory" の "pyrrhic" が初めて見る(多分?)単語です。辞書を引く前に記事を読みます。
As far as Germany is concerned, the drama of the euro crisis is over. The subject was barely discussed in the country’s recent election campaign. Chancellor Angela Merkel did what was necessary to ensure the euro’s survival, and she did so at the least possible cost to Germany -- a feat that earned her the support of pro-European Germans as well as those who trust her to protect German interests. Not surprisingly, she won re-election resoundingly.
そう言えばメルケル氏が率いる党が最近の選挙で圧勝したと言うニュースが流れていたような気がします。(余り関心がないので記憶に自信はない) すると "pyrrhic victory" は圧勝の意味でしょうか? 辞書で確認します。
"Pyrrhic" は元々戦いの踊り(a war dance of ancient Greece: Collins Dic.)ですが、Online Etymology Dictionaryに 1885 (usually in phrase Pyrrhic victory), from Pyrrhus, king of Epirus, who defeated Roman armies at Asculum, 280 B.C.E., but at such cost to his own troops that he was unable to follow up and attack Rome itself, and is said to have remarked, "one more such victory and we are lost." と書かれている様に、 "pyrrhic victory" となると、多くの犠牲を伴った勝利のようです。そこで "pyrrhic victory" 説明を再び辞書で見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: a victory in which the victor's losses are as great as those of the defeated Also called: Cadmean victory: This Pyrrhic victory for Stalin would have another, much greater, cost in the years to come.
・Cambridge English Dictionary: a victory that is not worth winning because the winner has lost so much in winning it: She won the court case, but it was a Pyrrhic victory because she had to pay so much in legal fees.
いずれにしても本当の戦争だと大勢の犠牲者がでないはずはありませんね。
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ride roughshod over

2013年10月24日 | 英語学習
Hopes Prospectsをまだ読み終えていませんが、Reader's Digestを読んでいる内に次ぎの予約者がいるので一旦返却しなければならなくなり、読書を中断せざるを得ませんでした。つなぎに又、How To Win Friends and Influence Peopleを読んでいます。
Letting one save face! How important, how vitally important that is! And how few of us ever stop to think of it! We ride roughshod over the feelings of others, getting our own way, finding fault, issuing threats, criticizing a child or an employee in front of others, without even considering the hurt to the other person's pride.
"ride roughshod over" の意味が分からないので辞書を見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: to domineer over or act with complete disregard for: MOBILE phone companies ride roughshod over local protests against masts in densely populated areas, including near school playgrounds.
・Oxford English Dictionary: carry out one’s own plans or wishes with arrogant disregard for (someone or something): he rode roughshod over everyone else’s opinions
"ride roughshod over" の他に、動詞に "run" を使う "run roughshod over" とも言うようだ。
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to act without caring how you will affect someone or something: He ran roughshod over his employees when he thought they weren't working hard enough.
他者への思いやりとか気配りは大切な事ですよね。
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Go figure!

2013年10月23日 | 英語学習
昨日も採り上げたJapan Times Online、Oct.6の記事の続きです。
However, Citibank has cleaned up its act these days. Of course it helped that, in February 2012, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Yamaguchi-gumi. The smarter gangsters all closed their remaining Citibank accounts immediately -- some even before the announcement. (Go figure.)
最後に( )内に書かれた "Go figure" 意味が分かりません。慣用句のようです。
・Cambridge Advanced Learner's English Dictionary: used when you tell someone a fact and you then want to say that the fact is surprising, strange or stupid: It's a terrible movie and it made $200 million. Go figure!
・Wiktionary: (idiomatic) Expresses perplexity, confusion, surprise, or puzzlement (as if telling somebody to try to make sense of the situation).: The car wouldn't start yesterday no matter what I did, but today it works just fine. Go figure
. ・Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears: Try to figure it out.; Just try to explain that! : They heat the water to make the tea hot, then they put ice in it to make it cold, then they put lemon in it to make it sour, and then they put sugar in it to make it sweet. Go figure.
前の二つの辞書の意味と最後に引用した辞書の意味はちょっと違いますね。Japan Timesの記事の場合は後者の辞書の意味 "Try to figure it out" で使ったのでしょう。山口組に内報した者がいるはずだと言外に伝えたのでしょう。
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Blackball

2013年10月22日 | 英語学習
Japan Times Online、Oct.6の記事、"Has business blackballed the yakuza? Don’t bank on it"です。記事の最初のパラグラフを読みます。
The Financial Services Agency (FSA) publicly spanked Mizuho Bank last month by slapping it with a “business improvement order” for letting Japan’s organized crime groups use its facilities. At least $2 million in illegal transactions were cited.
例の事件の事だと分かります。City Bankも似たような悪徳銀行だった事を思い出したら、記事はこの後でCity Bankの件にも触れていました。さてそれよりも私の関心は "blackball" の意味なので辞書で確認します。
・Collins Dictionary: to exclude (someone) from a group, profession, etc; ostracize: Just like SARS, fear of mad cow disease will blackball Canadian beef the world over for at least a year.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to exclude socially: ostracize: the club secretly blackballs applicants who belong to that religion
・Vocabulary.com: When you blackball someone, you ban him from a group. A bunch of kids who kick a tattletale out of their secret club essentially blackball him.
You can use blackball as a noun or a verb ? a blackball is an act of excluding or ostracizing someone. Country club members might initiate a blackball against an eccentric member who wears tie dyed t-shirts on the golf course, for example. The origin of the word goes back to the 1700s, when club members would cast secret votes on membership using white and black wooden or ivory balls. The black balls represented "no" votes.
ところで記事のタイトルで使われている "bank on" は洒落ですね。
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