kira86 于2018-08-09发布 l 已有人浏览
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VOA词汇掌故,本期要学习的地道表达都与倒霉有关。比如snakebit倒霉;jinx 坏运气、不幸;bad sign不祥征兆;born under a bad sign 生不逢时。

You Don't Need a Snake to Be 'Snakebit'


Now, the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories.


On this show, we explore American idioms and expressions.We try to help you understand common expressions and how to use them in everyday speech.


You know, at times in life, things just do not go our way.We all have days when nothing goes right.In fact, everything goes wrong.Mistakes, mishaps and misfortune seem to follow us around.


If you have a long period of bad luck, you could say you are snakebit.


Merriam-Webster online dictionary claims that this usage of "snakebit" dates back to 1957.It does not say much about the history of the word.But getting bit by any animal would not be a sign of good luck.So perhaps the root of the term is that simple.


If you are snakebit for a really long period of time, you may start to think that you are jinxed.The word "jinx" can be either a noun or a verb.As a noun, a jinx leads to bad luck and misfortune.If you jinx something - the verb form - you bring bad luck to something or someone.


A jinx is like a curse.You really believe that everything you do will turn out badly.Even if you don't believe in curses, just thinking that something bad will happen to you might make it happen.Now, let's hear how these terms are used by two friends at a basketball game.


A: This has been a great game! There is only five minutes left and the game is tied.

A: 真是一场精彩的比赛。比赛还剩下5分钟,现在是平局。

B: I wish our team would just score and pull ahead. Being tied is driving me crazy! It's a good thing that I wore my lucky hat.

B: 我希望我们队可以得分领先。一直平局快让我疯了。真是不错,我带着我的幸运帽。

A: What are you talking about There is no such thing as luck. We just need to play better than the other team.

A: 你在说什么?世界上不存在运气的事。我们需要的是比另一队打得好。

B: Look, our team has been snakebit for weeks! We've lost our last five games. So they need all the help they can get.


A: Don't worry. There's no way we are going to lose this game.

A: 别担心。这场比赛我们不可能会输。

B: Don't jinx us. Quick...Knock on wood to break the jinx!


A: There's no such thing as a jinx and I will not hit a piece of wood or anything else. I'm not superstitious.

A: 世界上没有魔咒这种东西,我也不会敲击木头或其他什么东西。我不迷信。

B: Well, I am! There. Maybe that will break the curse.

B: 好吧,我做。这里,或许真能打破诅咒。

A: You look foolish.

A: 你看起来真傻。

B: Really? Well, our team just scored!

B: 真的吗?好吧,我们队得分了。

Some sports lovers and many players are superstitious.It is a common part of the sporting culture.And we have a special word for players who are having a string of bad luck.We say they have the "yips."


Having the yips is a kind of nervous tension that affects the person's performance.For example, the baseball pitcher had a bad case of the yips.He could not find his strike zone.So his coach replaced him in the game with another player.


Athletes and non-athletes alike can be snakebit.And some people just seem to be snakebit all the time.You could say, they are born under a bad sign.That means they were born during an unlucky time of the year.


Born under a bad sign


I Been down since I began to crawl


The "bad sign" in this expression relates to astrology.William Bell helped to write this song.He wanted to compose a blues song about astrology.

这句表达中的“不祥征兆(bad sign)”与占星术有关。威廉·贝尔协助编写的这首歌。他希望编写一首关于占星术的蓝调歌曲。

Hard luck and trouble is my only friend


I been on my own ever since I was ten


Born under a bad sign


If you were "born under a bad sign," it means the stars were in a formation that have worked against you since birth.(This is also where we get the expression it just wasn't in the stars. But we'll save star expressions for another program!)

如果你“生不逢时”,这就意味着星星的阵型自你出生时就对你不利。(这也是短语“it just wasn’t in the stars”的起源。我们会在另一档栏目中谈论有关星辰的表达。)

Keep in mind, being snakebit is more than just one unlucky thing happening to you.So, getting dismissed from work can be an unlucky event.But if everything else in your life is going great, you would not say that you are snakebit.


In order to be truly snakebit, you must have a series of failures or problems.


And that's Words and Their Stories.I'm Anna Matteo.


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