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。

cloak-and-dagger

2016年09月30日 | 英語の本を読む
Lake(詐欺被害者の一人で大統領候補、まだ詐欺にかかっていることを知りませんが)を大統領候補に担ぎ出したCIAのTedyは詐欺に気づき、部下(WesやChapなど)を使って詐欺師、The Brethrenに迫ろうとしています。
The Brethrenの刑務所外の仲間・手先であるTrevorに近づいています。
Chap left early to collect the mail. They'd convinced Trevor that he'd been very sloppy in his habits, and that's how they'd tracked him so easily. Suppose other victims were lurking out there--Trevor'd had little trouble in finding the real names of their victims. Why couldn't the victims do the same to the person behind Aladdin North and Laurel Ridge? From now on, Wes and Chap would take turns collecting the mail. They'd mix things up, visit the post offices at different times, use disguises, real cloak-and-dagger stuff.
"cloak-and-dagger" の意味を調べます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Involving or characteristic of mystery, intrigue, or espionage: a cloak-and-dagger operation
・Cambridge English Dictionary: used to describe an exciting story involving secrets and mystery, often about spies, or something that makes you think of this: I'm tired of all these cloak-and-dagger (= secretive) meetings - let's discuss the issues openly.
なるほど、"dagger" は当然ですが、"cloak" は如何にも西洋的ですね。
コメント

water off a duck's back

2016年09月29日 | 英語の本を読む

大統領候補のLakeは対立候補との公開討論に臨んでいます。対立候補が先にスピーチをすることになりました。
By a flip of the coin, he was chosen to go first. He stumbled badly in his opening remarks as he moved stiffly around the stage, trying desperately to look at ease but forgetting what his notes said. Sure he'd once been a lawyer, but his specialty had been securities. As he forgot one point after another, he returned to his common theme-Mr. Lake here is trying to buy this election because he has nothing to say. A nasty tone developed quickly. Lake smiled handsomely; water off a duck's back.
最後に出てきた "water off a duck's back" は分かり易い比喩表現ですね。日本語でも糠に釘、馬耳東風とか色々ありますが、水からの連想で、蛙のつらに小便を真っ先に思い浮かべました。
英英辞書で意味を一応確認します。
・Cambridge English Dictionary: criticisms of or warnings to a particular person that have no effect on that person: I've told him that he's heading for trouble, but he doesn't listen - it's just water off a duck's back.
・McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: Fig. easily; without any apparent effect. Insults rolled off John like water off a duck's back. The bullets had no effect on the steel door. They fell away like water off a duck's back.

コメント

look over my shoulder

2016年09月28日 | 英語の本を読む

John GrishamのThe Brethrenを読んでいます。
Buster wanted to run, starting over there in the grassy field, to the treeline, through the woods to the country road where he wasn't sure what to do next. But if an insane banker could walk away and make it to Cocoa Beach, so could he.
"Why haven't you walked away?" he asked Yarber.
"I've thought about it. But in five years they'll let me go. I can last that long. I'll be sixty-five, in good health, with a life expectancy of sixteen years. That's what I'm livin for, Buster, the last sixteen years. I don't wanna be lookin over my shoulder."
"lookin over my shoulder" を調べます。
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to worry or think about the possibility that something bad might happen, that someone will try to cause harm, etc.: You have to be looking over your shoulder in this business.
・McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs: Fig. keeping watch for danger or threats to oneself. Bob's a little paranoid. He's always looking over his shoulder.

コメント

shaft / lay a glove

2016年09月27日 | 英語の本を読む

John GrishamのThe Brethrenを読んでいます。大統領候補のLakeの過去についてちょっと触れています。
Negatives were pushed to the end of the meeting and given short shrift. A reporter for the Post had been digging into Lake's early business career. Without too much effort he'd stumbled upon the GreenTree mess, a failed land development, twenty-two years in the past. Lake and a partner had bankrupted GreenTree, legally shafting creditors out of $800,000. The partner had been indicted for bankruptcy fraud, but a jury let him walk. No one laid a glove on Lake, and seven times after that the people of Arizona elected him to Congress.
上の "legally shafting creditors out of $800,000" の "shaft" の意味は知りませんが、文脈からすると、いずれにせよ、何とか $800,000の借金から合法的に "shaft" して逃れたのだと思います。辞書で確認します。
・Cambridge English Dictionary: to cheat or trick someone, or to treat someone unfairly: She was shafted by her agent over the film rights to her book.
・Dictionary.com: (slang) To fuck over; to cause harm to, especially through deceit or treachery. Your boss really shafted you by stealing your idea like that.
なるほど、合法的に "shaft" できるとは米国の大統領候補らしいですね。
ところで、最後に出てくる "No one laid a glove on" の意味は文脈から、「誰も責任を問い詰めなかった」ではないかと推測できますが、辞書で確認します。
・Dictionary.com: To leave unscathed; fail to hurt : To this point, they haven't laid a glove on him

コメント

grandstanding

2016年09月26日 | 英語の本を読む

GrishamのThe Brethrenを読んでいます。
Early in his Senate career, Britt, a fiscal hard-liner, had grabbed a headline or two by criticizing CIA wastefulness. Teddy Maynard said not a word, but certainly didn't appreciate the grandstanding.
上の引用文最後に出てきた "grandstanding" は文脈からすると、日本語でも使われるスタンドプレイ(和製英語?)の意味と同じ様です。
"grandstanding" を辞書で調べます。
・Collins Dictionary: (pejorative) ostentatious behaviour or speech intended to impress people ⇒ Opponents of the measure say it's political grandstanding that could prove devastating to the economy.
"grandstand" で辞書を見ると:
・Oxford English Dictionary: (usually as noun grandstanding) (derogatory) Seek to attract applause or favorable attention from spectators or the media: they accused him of political grandstanding
・Vocabulary.com: perform ostentatiously in order to impress the audience and with an eye to the applause: She never misses a chance to grandstand
"standplay" も "standingplay" も英英辞書には載っていないので、スタンドプレイはやはり和製英語と断定してよさそうだ。

コメント

WHAT A SCOOP!

2016年09月25日 | 英語の本を読む

My collection of vintage kitchen utensils includes one whose intended purpose was always a mystery. It looks like a cross between a metal slotted spoon and a spatula, so I use it as both. The mystery was recently solved when I found one in its original packaging at a rummage sale. It's a pooper-scooper.
(from Reader's Digest July Issue)

コメント

designer water

2016年09月24日 | 英語の本を読む

John GrishamのThe Brethrenを読んでいるとこんな表現が出てきました。
Dinner the night before had been nearby, at a crowded new seafood place two blocks from the Sea Turtle Inn. Given the size of the portions, the prices were outrageous, and that was exactly why Trevor, the newest millionaire in Jacksonville, had insisted they eat there. Of course the evening was on him and he spared no expense. He was drunk after the first martini, and didn't remember what he ate. Wes and Chap had explained that their client did not allow them to drink. They sipped designer water and kept his wineglass full.
文脈からして "designer water" はいわゆるブランドのミネラルウォータを指していると容易に分かります。
・Urban Dictionary: A commercial brand of mineral water, often served or sold under pretentious circumstances or marketing and/or at exorbitant cost.: I went to the cocktail bar with the guys, but as I was drivin' I had to sip designer water all evening.
"designer water" の検索では上記の辞書しか見つかりませんでしたが、"designer" で調べると多くの辞書に次のような説明があります。
・Oxford English Dictionary: [only before noun] made by a famous designer; expensive and having a famous brand name: designer jeans: designer labels: designer water
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: intended to reflect the latest in sophisticated taste or fashion: designer ice cream: a designer haircut
ミネラルウォータは人間がデザインした訳ではないのにおかしいですね。

コメント

cosumed with

2016年09月23日 | 英語の本を読む
GrishamのThe Brethrenを読んでいます。下の引用箇所に出てくる "consumed with" はちょっと前に読んだ同著者の短編Fish Filesに出てきて覚えたばかりです。
"We expect to have twenty million in two weeks," he said without boasting, and real news started to happen. Teddy Maynard had assured him the money would be there.
Twenty million in two weeks had never been done before, and by the end of that day Washington was consumed with the story. The frenzy reached its peak when Lake was interviewed, live yet again, by two of the three networks on the evening news. He looked great; big smile, smooth words, nice suit and hair. The man was electable.
コメント

high-roller

2016年09月22日 | 英語の本を読む

GrishamのThe Brethrenを読んでいます。同著者のCasinoに出てきた単語 "high-roller" が次の様に出てきました。
The real estate agent he was meeting for lunch was a high-roller who took chances and cut corners, probably a crook. Quince began to make plans. The two of them would arrange a few shady loans; overappraise some land, lend the money, sell to a strawman, etc. He would know how to do it.

コメント

spring for

2016年09月21日 | 英語の本を読む

元裁判官のBeechの話の続きです。
He could bankrupt half the judgment. The other half was for punitive damages, nonbankruptable. So it would follow wherever he went, which he assumed was nowhere. He'd be sixty-five when his sentence was over, but he'd be dead before then. They'd carry him out of Trumble in a box, send him home to Texas, where they'd bury him behind the little country church where he'd been baptized. Maybe one of the kids would spring for a headstone.
上の最後の文に出てきた "spring for" は文脈からすると、子供の誰か一人位が墓石に金を出してくれるだろうの意味のはず。
調べるとこの表現 "spring for" は3/14/2011に取り上げていました。
・Oxford English Dictionary:Pay for, especially as a treat for someone else: he’s never offered to spring for dinner

コメント