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。

provocateur

2018年09月20日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
The police, led by the Prefect of Police in person, occupied the central telephone exchange in the afternoon of 3 May. The police were shot at while discharging their duty. This was the signal for the provocateurs to begin shooting affrays all over the city.
...
On Thursday morning the Anarchists daily denied all knowledge or sympathy with it, but La Batalla, the P.O.U.M. paper, reprinted the document with the highest praise. Barcelona, the first city of Spain, was plunged into bloodshed by agents provocateurs using this subversive organization.
外来語のような "provocateur" の意味を調べます。
・Collins Dictionary: a person who deliberately behaves controversially in order to provoke argument or other strong reactions: Obviously he was another agent provocateur, entrapping a suspect.
・Dictionary.com: a person who provokes trouble, causes dissension, or the like; agitator.: He reaches into his pocket to pull out a Ukrainian passport and opens it to prove he is no Russian provocateur.

・Wiktionary: An undercover agent who incites suspected persons to partake in or commit criminal acts.
なるほど、いわゆる工作員も "provocateur" に入るのでしょう。
ついでに語源辞典も見ます。
Online Etymology: 1915 (Emma Goldman), shortened form of agent provocateur "person hired to make trouble" (1845), from French provocateur, from Latin provocator "challenger," from provocare "to call out"
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full of small bells

2018年09月14日 | 英単語
Reader's Digest 6月号の記事 'Laughter The Best Medicine' からの引用です。
A park ranger is warning some hikers about bears. "Brown bears are usually harmless," he says. "They avoid contact with humans, so we suggest you attach small bells to your backpacks and give the bears time to get out of your way. However, grizzly bears are extremely dangerous. If you see any grizzly-bear droppings, leave the area immediately."
"How do we know whether they're grizzly-bear droppings?" asks a hiker.
"Easy," replies the ranger. "They're full of small bells."
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on the make

2018年09月13日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
The thing that attracts ordinary men to Socialism and makes them willing to risk their skins for it, the ‘mystique’ of Socialism, is the idea of equality; to the vast majority of people Socialism means a classless society, or it means nothing at all. And it was here that those few months in the militia were valuable to me. For the Spanish militias, while they lasted, were a sort of microcosm of a classless society. In that community where no one was on the make, where there was a shortage of everything but no privilege and no boot-licking, one got, perhaps, a crude forecast of what the opening stages of Socialism might be like.
連語の "on the make" が分からないので辞書を引きます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Intent on gain, typically in an unscrupulous way.: He was certainly an ambitious young man who was always on the make, looking for the next angle.

・Collins Dictionary: If you say that someone is on the make, you disapprove of them because they are trying to get a lot of money or power, possibly by illegal or immoral methods.

・Dictionary.com: Seeking personal gain, as in Tom's a young man on the make—he doesn't care whom he offends.
全ての財産が共有財産の共産主義だと "no one was on the make" と云うのは聞いた事があります。上に引用した辞書の説明では "on the make" には悪いことのニュアンスがあるので、 "no one was on the make" は良い事にも思われますが、仕事をサボる人も出て、向上性のない人が増え、理想と現実は違ってくるのですね。
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cross oneself / C. of E.

2018年09月12日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
It struck me that the people in this part of Spain must be genuinely without religious feeling--religious feeling, I mean, in the orthodox sense. It is curious that all the time I was in Spain I never once saw a person cross himself; yet you would think such a movement would become instinctive, revolution or no revolution. Obviously the Spanish Church will come back (as the saying goes, night and the Jesuits always return), but there is no doubt that at the outbreak of the revolution it collapsed and was smashed up to an extent that would be unthinkable even for the moribund C. of E. in like circumstances.
"cross himself" はキリスト教の信者が胸に手を当てて十字を切る動作の事だと思いますが、辞書で確認します。
・Oxford English Dictionary: make the sign of the cross in front of one's chest as a sign of Christian reverence or to invoke divine protection.: I crossed myself, I greeted the priest, I kissed his hand, and my father understood.
・Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: to make the sign of the cross on one's head and chest: I crossed myself as I entered the church.
上の引用文最後に出てくる "moribund C. of E." の略語が分かりませんので、これも辞書を見ます。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Church of England
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double passwords

2018年09月11日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
次の逸話はまるで冗談のようですが、少年が殺されたかも知れない話です。
The difficult passwords which the army was using at this time were a minor source of danger. They were those tiresome double passwords in which one word has to be answered by another. Usually they were of an elevating and revolutionary nature, such as Cultura--progreso, or Seremos--invencibles, and it was often impossible to get illiterate sentries to remember these 'highfalutin’ words. One night, I remember, the password was Cataluna--eroica, and a moonfaced peasant lad named Jaime Domenech approached me, greatly puzzled, and asked me to explain.

‘Eroica--what does eroica mean?’

I told him that it meant the same as valiente. A little while later he was stumbling up the trench in the darkness, and the sentry challenged him:

‘Alto! Cataluna!’

‘Valiente!’ yelled Jaime, certain that he was saying the right thing.

Bang!

However, the sentry missed him. In this war everyone always did miss everyone else, when it was humanly possible.
合言葉を "double passwords" と表せるのですね。インターネットでも最近秘密の言葉を尋ねるセキュリティの仕組みがありますが、それもまさに "double passwords" ですね。


"highfalutin" は既に二度 7/4/20084/8/2010に取り上げました。
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pannikin

2018年09月10日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
Beside the cold the other discomforts seemed petty. Of course all of us were permanently dirty. Our water, like our food, came on mule-back from Alcubierre, and each man’s share worked out at about a quart a day. It was beastly water, hardly more transparent than milk. Theoretically it was for drinking only, but I always stole a pannikinful for washing in the mornings. I used to wash one day and shave the next; there was never enough water for both.
...
It is astonishing how quickly you get used to doing without a handkerchief and to eating out of the tin pannikin in which you also wash.
"pannikin" は容器の一種の様です。辞書を見ます。

・Oxford English Dictionary: A small metal drinking cup.: a pannikin of water

・Wiktionary: A cup or other vessel used for drinking.: A stout Burmese woman, wife of a constable, was kneeling outside the cage ladling rice and watery dahl into tin pannikins.
小学生の頃に使った給食用のアルミの食器を思い出しました。今の給食の食器はプラスチック製でしょうか?
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unenterprising

2018年09月07日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
The wretched children of my section could only be roused by dragging them out of their dug-outs feet foremost, and as soon as your back was turned they left their posts and slipped into shelter; or they would even, in spite of the frightful cold, lean up against the wall of the trench and fall fast asleep. Luckily the enemy were very unenterprising. There were nights when it seemed to me that our position could be stormed by twenty Boy Scouts armed with airguns, or twenty Girl Guides armed with battledores, for that matter.
"unenterprising" の意味を調べます。

・Oxford English Dictionary: Not having or showing initiative or entrepreneurial ability.: they demand their children seek permission for any act, but then turn upon them as unenterprising
・Collins Dictionary: lacking in boldness and initiative: Television producers are a predictable and unenterprising lot.: However unenterprising my decision, that is how things were at the time.
なるほど、そうすると当然 "enterprising" はその反対の積極的の意味ですね。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Having or showing initiative and resourcefulness.: some enterprising teachers have started their own recycling programs
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stand-to

2018年09月06日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
War, to me, meant roaring projectiles and skipping shards of steel; above all it meant mud, lice, hunger, and cold. It is curious, but I dreaded the cold much more than I dreaded the enemy. The thought of it had been haunting me all the time I was in Barcelona; I had even lain awake at nights thinking of the cold in the trenches, the stand-to's in the grisly dawns, the long hours on sentry-go with a frosted rifle, the icy mud that would slop over my boot-tops.
"stand-to" は見張り番かなと思いますが辞書で確認します。
・Oxford English Dictionary: Military [often in imperative] Stand ready for an attack, especially one before dawn or after dark.: orders came to the guardroom to stand to
・Collins Dictionary: a military alert where all troops are to have weapons ready and be ready for action: The company were on the alert, at stand-to for the day's most dangerous time: the last hour before total darkness.
"stand-to" は名詞で、動詞は "stand to" となる様だ。
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past praying for

2018年09月04日 | 英単語
George OrwellのHomage to Cataloniaを読んでいます。
I got a shock of dismay when I saw the thing they gave me. It was a German Mauser dated 1896--more than forty years old! It was rusty, the bolt was stiff, the wooden barrel-guard was split; one glance down the muzzle showed that it was corroded and past praying for. Most of the rifles were equally bad, some of them even worse, and no attempt was made to give the best weapons to the men who knew how to use them.
銃の話に何で急に祈りが出てくるのかさっぱり分かりません。"past praying for" の意味を調べます。

OneLookの検索では普通の辞書にはこの表現を説明する見出しが見つかりませんでした。Google検索で次の説明を見つけました。
・The Free Dictionary Language Forums: be past praying for = there is not a glimpse of hope, it is too late for praying
・Dictionarist: without hope; cannot be corrected: Nay, that's past praying for.
・British English A to Zed: A Definitive Guide to the Queen's English: Beyond hope: up the creek without a paddle
どうしようもない代物という事ですね。お陀仏とかお釈迦を連想しました。ちょっとニュアンスが違いますが。
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