English Collection



2015年11月30日 | 英語の本を読む

Reader's Digest 10月号の記事Fast Facts About Goannasからの抜粋です。
Australian monitor lizards, of which there are 25 species, were given the name goanna by the early European settlers - perhaps from South American iguanas.
The diet includes snakes, insects, birds, small mamals and carrion.
このオオトカゲ(monitor lizards = goanna) の名称がiguanasから来ていると言うのも興味深い話ですが、食料にしていると言う "carrion" は聞き/読み覚えのある単語です。記録を調べるとこのブログでは "carrion crow" を8年前 12/9/2007 にとりあげましたが、 "carrion" の意味自体は調べなかったので今辞書を見ます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: The decaying flesh of dead animals.: Biologists, however, have reported some bees taking advantage of other resources, such as animal droppings and carrion.
・Wiktionary: Dead flesh; carcasses.: Vultures feed on carrion.
The noun carrion refers to the dead and rotting flesh of an animal. Ever seen a dead opossum or cat in the road? You can call that road kill carrion.
The word carrion comes from a Latin word caro, which means "meat," but carrion is usually considered unfit for human consumption. Birds of prey and other opportunistic animals will often have carrion as part of their diet, however. Sometimes the word carrion is used a little more metaphorically: "The soldiers were unable to retrieve the bodies of their fallen brothers, so they were left on the field of battle like so much carrion."


Turn Your Melodrama into a Mellow-Drama

2015年11月28日 | 英語の本を読む

Richard Carlson著のDon't Sweat the Small Stuff…に書かれていた気に入った個所です。
Many people live as if life were a melodrama--"an extravagantly theatrical play in which action and plot predominate."
The next time you feel stressed out, experiment with this strategy--remind yourself that life isn't an emergency and turn your melodrama into a mellodrama.


come a cropper

2015年11月27日 | 英語の本を読む

今日はReader's Digest 10月号の記事Say Whatに出てきた慣用句を取り上げます。
English likes to pretend it's a globalised language, which is sort of true when it comes to phrases like "Where is the toilet?" and "Is my plane on time?" But when it comes to idioms, even native speakers can come a cropper.
"come a cropper" はネイティブでも知らない人がいる様なので、注で次の説明がありました。
come a cropper: originally fall heading from a horse, now to fail.


prehensile tail

2015年11月26日 | 英語の本を読む

Reader's Digest 10月号の記事Grand Designsから引用します。
One of the smallest mammals in the world, harvest mice weigh from 4-11g. Using their agile hands and prehensile tails, these tiny creatures have no trouble climing up even slender corn stalks in order to build their cosy, spherical nests.
"prehensile tails" ですが、尻尾を上手に使って木々を飛び移る猿などを思い起こさせます。 "prehensile" を辞書で調べます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: adapted for seizing or grasping especially by wrapping around: The monkey has a prehensile tail.: The elephant has a prehensile trunk.
・Wiktionary: (zoology) Able to take hold of and clasp objects; adapted for grasping especially by wrapping around an object. Some monkeys have prehensile tails which they use to pick things up.
・Vocabulary.com: Prehensile means "able to grasp" and often refers to such body parts as claws, feet, and tails. Elephants curl their prehensile noses around objects in order to pick them up.
Prehensile is an adjective that comes from a French word for “grasped.” Humans and other primates (like monkeys, lemurs, and gorillas) have prehensile hands with curling fingers for grasping — a definite advantage over dogs, for instance, who can’t use a pencil when poetic inspiration strikes them. Prehensile can also mean "greedy" or "grasping for riches."
なるほど "prehensible" と親戚なので覚え易いですね。



2015年11月25日 | 英語の本を読む

Reader's Digest 10月号の記事The World is Not Falling Apartから引用します。
Many countries have implemented laws and public awareness campaigns to reduce rape, forced marriage, genital mutilation, honour killings, domestic violence, and wartime atrocities. Though some of these measures are toothless, and the effectiveness of others has yet to be established.
今日取り上げる単語 "toothless" の意味も文脈から容易に分かりますが、記事を書いた人が単に比喩とした使ったのか、 "toothless" が一般的にもこの様に役に立たない意味で使われるのか辞書で確認します。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Lacking genuine force or effectiveness: laws that are well intentioned but toothless
・Cambridge English Dictionary: used to describe an organization or a rule that has no power: This well-intentioned but toothless law will do nothing to improve the situation.
・Wiktionary: Weak, having no capability of enforcing something. The treaty was toothless in combatting climate change.
"toothless" のこの意味を覚えるのはいつか役に立つ気がします。



2015年11月24日 | 英語の本を読む

今日の単語はReader's Digest 10月号の記事Energy Crisisからです。
Achieving a healthy weight will help boost energy levels, but be careful to pace your efforts: over-exercising and crash dieting are surefire ways to deplete your batteries even further.
"surefire" は知らない単語ですが、この単語も文脈から容易に意味を推測できます。しかし、確実にするために一応辞書で確認します。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: certain to get successful or expected results: a surefire recipe
・Cambridge English Dictionary: certain or likely, especially to succeed: The film looks a surefire Oscar winner.: Running into the street like that is a surefire way to get hurt.
・Wiktionary: certain to work: That hat should be a sure-fire way to spot him in a crowd.


small donation

2015年11月22日 | 英語の本を読む
A man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation toward the local swimming pool.
So I gave him a glass of water.

Speaking English is apparently what kills you

2015年11月21日 | 英語の本を読む

Facebookに掲載されていた英文記事を紹介します。 英米人、ドイツ人、フランス人、イタリア人と日本人の飲食と心臓病との関係を考察した結果、英米人の方が心臓発作を起こす率が高いことが分かり、原因も明らかになりました。
English Speaking People



2015年11月20日 | 英語の本を読む
Reader's Digest 10月号の記事World of Medicineからの引用です。
Women who experience spontaneous preterm delivery (before 37 weeks) may have a greater likelihood of heart disease, according to a new Dutch study. Mothers of preemies had a 38% higher risk of coronary artery disease, a 71% higher risk of smoke, and more than double the risk of overall heart disease.
今日覚えたい単語は "preemies" です。この単語が出てきた前の文に "preterm delivery" とあるので、 "preemies" は未熟児と推測できます。単数形は "preemy" か "preemie" のどちらでしょうか?
・Oxford English Dictionary: North American informal: A baby born prematurely.: Another very common problem affecting preemies is immature lungs.
・The American Heritage Dictionary: Informal a prematurely born infant, esp. one weighing less than 2.5 kg
・Vocabulary.com: an infant that is born prior to 37 weeks of gestation
Example from Wordnik: Really, they just want to be sure your little preemie is strong enough to survive that car ride home.


2015年11月19日 | 英語の本を読む

今日覚えたい単語はReader's Digest 10月号の記事 Kindness of Strangers に出てきたものです。
Adeline Jean, 42, lives in Queensland, Australia. She enjoys bushwalking, country drives, British murder mysteries and has recently started dabbling in gardening.
"dabbling" は知らない単語です。文脈からすると、ガーデニングを始めたと "dabbling" を無視しても意味は通じますが、気になるので辞書を見ます。
・Collins Dictionary: the fact of being involved in an activity in a frivolous or superficial way: There is an immense amount of dabbling in occultism going on to-day.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: a superficial or intermittent interest, investigation, or experiment: his dabblings in philosophy and art
You dabble when you are a little bit involved in an activity, such as an art form or a hobby. Maybe you only dabble in mystery novels, but you are very knowledgeable about comic books.
The word dabble can also often relate to water. It can mean “to splash playfully,” or “to get just a little wet.” A bird can also dabble in water by dipping its bill into it. Each of these meanings of dabble is often followed by the word in. For example, a duck may dabble in the water (and then dribble a few drops afterward from its bill), and you may dabble in shrubbery art.