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VOA英语词汇掌故:Chicken Feed / Peanuts 小钱;蝇头小利

yexu 于2018-03-16发布 l 已有人浏览
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本期VOA词汇掌故,学习两个形容钱少的两个俚语Chicken Feed 蝇头小利;Peanuts 小钱。
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Chicken Feed / Peanuts

小钱;蝇头小利

I'm Susan Clark with Words and Their Stories, a program in Special English on the Voice of America.

这里是VOA慢速英语《词汇掌故》节目,我是苏珊·克拉克。

Almost every language in the world has a saying that a person can never be too rich. Americans like people in other countries always want more money. One way they express this is by protesting that their jobs do not pay enough. A common expression is "I am working for chicken feed." It means working for very little money.

世界上几乎每种语言中都有这么一句谚语:钱不嫌多。和其它国家的人一样,美国人也总是想赚到更多的钱。抗议薪水太少,就是他们表达这种愿望的一种方式。常见说法是:“我正在为了chickenfeed(美国俚语,微不足道的金额,为数甚微的款项)而工作”。意思是为了微不足道的钱而工作。

The expression probably began because seeds fed to chickens made people think of small change. Small change means metal coins of not much value, like nickels which are worth five cents.

该短语的起源可能是因为喂鸡的饲料使人们想到了small change(零钱)的缘故。零钱就是面值低的硬币,例如5美分的硬币。

An early use of the word - chicken feed appeared in American publication in nineteen thirty. It told about a rich man and his son. Word expert Mitford Mathews says it read, "I'll bet neither the kid nor his father ever saw a nickel or a dime, they would not have been interested in such a chicken feed."

“chickenfeed”一词最早见于1930年美国的一本刊物。这本刊物讲述的是一对富人父子的故事。词汇专家密特福德·马修斯(Mitford Mathews)称,文章这么写道:“我敢打赌,这对父子肯定都没见过5美分或10美分这么小的钱,他们就不会对点小钱感兴趣的。”

Chicken feed also has another interesting meaning known to history experts and World War Two spies and soldiers. Spy expert Henry S.A. Becket writes that some German's spies working in London during the War, also worked for the British. The British government had to make the German believes the spies were working. So British officials gave them mostly false information, it was called chicken feed.

“chickenfeed”还有一个为历史专家、二战间谍和士兵所熟知的有意思的意义。侦探专家亨利S.A.贝肯特(Henry S. A. Becket)写道:二战期间一些在伦敦工作的德国间谍也为英国效劳。英国政府必须使德国相信这些间谍仍在工作,所以,英国官员给这些间谍提供很多虚假信息,这被称为chickenfeed。

The saying person who protesting his work for chicken feed, may also say "I am working for peanuts." She means she is working for a small amount of money. It is very different meaning from main one in a dictionary that meaning is small nuts that grow on a plant. No one knows for sure how a word for something to eat also came to mean something very small. But a peanut is a very small food.

抗议微薄薪水的人可能还会说:“我正在为了peanuts而工作。”她的意思是她在为数额很小的钱而工作(peanuts,俚语,极小之物,极小数额,蝇头小利)。“peanuts”的意思与词典上解释的主要含义大不相同。其原义是某种植物上结出的小坚果。没有人确切地知道一个表示食物的单词,怎么会逐渐变成表示很小的东西。但是,花生就是一种很小的食物。

The expression is an old one. Word expert Mitford Mathews says that is as early as eighteen fifty four. An American publication used the words "peanut agitators", that meant political trouble-makers who did not have a lot of support. Another reason for the saying about "working for peanuts" may be linked to elephants. Think of how elephants are paid for their work in the circus. They receive food, not money. One of the foods they like best is peanuts.

这是一个古老的表达方式。词汇专家马修斯说,早在1854年,一家美国媒体就使用过peanut agitators(无人支持的鼓动者,煽动者)这个词汇。其意思是少有支持者的政坛捣乱分子。关于“working for peanuts”这一说法的另一个原因可能跟大象有关。想想看,马戏团里的大象如何被支付薪水?它们收到的是食物,而不是钱。它们最喜欢的食物之一就是花生。

When you add the word gallery to the word peanut, you have the name of an area in an American theater. A gallery is a high sitting area or balcony above the main floor. The peanut gallery got its name because it is the part of the theatre most distant from where the show takes place. So peanut- gallery tickets usually cost less than other tickets. People pay a small amount of money for them.

把gallery和peanut这2个词组合在一起时,就是一个在美国剧院中表示地点位置的名词。gallery是位于主层之上的边座或顶层楼座。之所以得名“peanut gallery”,因为它是离舞台最远的区域。因此,顶层楼座的票价比其他票价都低,人们花很少的钱就能买到。

This Special English program Words and Their Stories was written by Jerilyn Watson. This is Susan Clark.

本期慢速英语节目《词汇掌故》由杰瑞琳·华生撰稿。我是苏珊·克拉克。

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