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VOA慢速英语新闻:词语典故:重要人物(双语)

Cherie207 于2013-03-31发布 l 已有人浏览
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一些短语用来描述重要的人物,或者至少自以为重要的人。
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Now, the VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
这里是VOA特别英语词语典故节目。

Some expressions describe people who are important, or who at least think they are. One such expression is, bigwig.
一些短语用来描述重要的人物,或者至少自以为重要的人。其中一个这样的表达方式就是bigwig。

In the seventeenth century, important men in Europe began to wear false hair, called wigs. As years passed, wigs began to get bigger. The size of a man's wig depended on how important he was. The more important he was -- or thought he was -- the bigger the wig he wore. Some wigs were so large they covered a man's shoulders or back.
17世纪,欧洲的重要人物开始戴假发,这种假发叫做wigs。多年之后,假发wigs越来越大。一个男子所戴的假发的大小取决于他的重要性。他越重要——或者自认为越重要——他戴的假发就越大。一些假发非常大,一直盖到肩部或背部。

Today, the expression bigwig is used to make fun of a person who feels important. People never tell someone he is a bigwig.They only use the expression behind his back.
今天,bigwig这个词用来打趣那些自我感觉很重要的人。人们从来不会告诉某个人他是bigwig,而只在背后说。

Big wheel is another way to describe an important person. A big wheel may be the head of a company, a political leader, a famous movie star. They are big wheels because they are powerful. What they do affects many persons. Big wheels give the orders. Other people carry them out. As in many machines, a big wheel makes the little wheels turn.
Big wheel是描述重要的人的另外一个表达方式。Big wheel(大人物)可能是公司的主心骨,政治领袖,或者著名的电影明星。他们是Big wheel,因为他们很有能力。他们的所作所为能够影响许多人。Big wheels(大人物)下命令,其他人来实施。就像在许多机器中,大轮(Big wheel)带动小轮转。

Big wheel became a popular expression after World War Two. It probably comes from an expression used for many years by people who fix parts of cars and trucks. They said a person rolled a big wheel if he was important and had influence.
Big wheel在第二次世界大战后成为流行用语。这个短语可能来自安装卡车或小汽车组件的人多年来使用的短语。他们说,如果一个人比较重要,比较有影响力,那么由他来转动大轮。

The top of something is the highest part. So it is not surprising that top is part of another expression that describes an important person. The expression is, top banana . A top banana is the leading person in a comedy show. The funniest comedian is called the top banana. The next is second banana. And so on.
某个东西的顶部是最高的部分。所以,不出所料,top也用在另外一个表达某人很重要的短语中。这个短语就是:top banana。 top banana在喜剧表演中是主角。最有趣的喜剧演员被称为top banana,接下来就是second banana,以此类推。

Why a banana? A comedy act in earlier days often included a part where one of the comedians would hit the others over the head with a soft object. The object was shaped like a yellow fruit: the banana.
为什么用banana来表示呢?早期的喜剧表演通常都有一个部分,其中一个喜剧演员会用一个柔软的物体敲打另外一个人的头部。这个物体的形状很像香蕉。

Top banana still is used mainly in show business. Yet the expression also can be used to describe the top person in any area.
现在,Top banana仍然在表演行业中使用。然而,这个表达方式还可以用来形容任何领域的重要人物。

A kingpin is another word for an important person. The expression comes from the game of bowling. The kingpin is the number one pin. If hit correctly with the bowling ball, the kingpin will make all the other nine pins fall. And that is the object of the game.
kingpin是用来表达重要人物的另外一个短语。这个短语来自保龄球。kingpin是第一个球针。如果正确地用保龄球击中,kingpin会让其他九个球针都落下。这就是保龄球游戏的目标。

So, the most important person in a project or business is the kingpin. If the kingpin is removed, the business or project is likely to fail.
所以,一个项目或生意中最重要的人物被叫做kingpin。如果kingpin被移除,项目可能会失败。

Kingpin is often used to describe an important criminal, or the leader of a criminal gang. A newspaper may report, for example, that police have arrested the suspected kingpin of a car-stealing operation.
kingpin经常被用来描述一个重要的罪犯,或者犯罪团伙的头目。例如,报纸可能报道,警方逮捕了偷车团伙的kingpin嫌疑犯。

This VOA Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Marilyn Christiano. I'm Warren Scheer.
VOA慢速英语词语典故节目由Marilyn Christiano编辑,我是Warren Scheer。


知识拓展:
大人物的英语表达方式:

大家最熟悉的可能是VIP,这个缩写已经在国内广泛使用,它是指“A person of great importance or influence, especially a dignitary who commands special treatment. 重要的或有影响的人物,尤指需要特殊对待的高官显贵”。这可能是所有表示“大人物”的词里面最尊贵的了吧。

除此之外,big cheese,big shot,big gun,big wheel,big enchilada 也都可以表示“An important, powerful person; the boss 大人物”,比如:

She loves being the big cheese of her company. 她喜欢做公司里的大人物。Big cheese 据说来源于 big chief。

The big guns in Congress are bound to change the Presidents bill. 议会里的要员决定修改总统的提案。这个表达现在已经很少用了。

You’d better not act like a big shot among your old friends. 在老朋友中间,你最好不要充大亨。

Harry was the big wheel in his class. 哈利是他们班上的大人物。Big wheel是“大轮子”,是在二战后流行起来的,指“公司的头头,政治领袖,有名的博士”,之所以称他们是“大轮子”,是因为他们动力大,所作所为会影响许多人,他们发号施令,别人就得听他们的,就像机器里大轮子带动小轮子一样。

Youll have to get permission from the big enchilada. 你得从老板那儿得到许可。Enchilada 本意是指“玉米卷饼”,俚语里指“老板,有影响力的人”。

你听说过big wig 么?wig 本来指“假发套”,以前欧洲人习惯戴假发,地位越高,假发也就越大,所以 big wig自然指“要人,大亨,尤指显赫有权势的官员”。

还有一个 big fish,大家都听过“a big fish in a small pond小池塘里的大鱼”这个谚语吧,big fish 就是指“大人物”啦。

电影《贝隆夫人》(Evita)里面出生贫贱的主人公Eva,怀着“我要当阿根廷的大人物”的憧憬,离开了她生活的小镇,抵达了阿根廷首都布宜诺斯艾利斯。彼时,她已是举目无亲、身无分文。为了自己心中的目标,艾薇塔不择手段。她的足迹踏遍酒吧、剧院、宾馆,后来遇到了上校军官贝隆,她才脱颖而出,成为当时阿根廷炙手可热的人物(person of the hour)。Eva有句话是:“I wanna be a part of B.A.Buenos Aires, Big Apple”。这里的big apple也表示大人物,不过它更常用来指纽约。

“大”总是和 big 脱不了关系,所以 Mr. Big,biggie,biggy 都可以表示“大人物”,比如:She is trying to cultivate all the biggies in Chicago. 她千方百计地和芝加哥的大人物套近乎。当然这些都是更加口语化的讲法。

此外,somebody 和 something 都可以表示“(大)人物”,比如:

He is something. 他是个人物。

I wanna be somebody, can you help me? 我想成个人物,你能帮我吗?

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