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2008/02/17——WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Chickenfeed: It Doesn't Add Up to Much

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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Chickenfeed: It Doesn't Add Up to Much




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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Chickenfeed: It Doesn't Add Up to Much

词语典故——鸡食:增加不了多少



I'm Susan Clark with WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, a program in Special English on the Voice of America.

我是苏珊克拉克和VOA特别英语《词语掌故》节目。

(MUSIC)



Almost every language in the world has a saying that a person can never be too rich.

几乎世界上的每种语言都有这样的谚语:钱再多也不嫌多

【一个人在有钱也不过分。注意这个翻译,剧中can never be too 是固定用法,再...也不为过”】



Americans, like people in other countries, always want more money. One
way they express this is by protesting【抗议】 that their jobs do not pay
enough. A common expression is, "I am working for chickenfeed." It means working for very little money. 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.

和其他国家的人一样,美国人一直想要更多的钱。美国人以抗议他们工资太低表达这样意愿。一个普遍的表达方式就是:我为鸡食工作。他的意思是工作的报酬很少。这种表达方式开始使用,可能是因为喂给小鸡的鸡食是人们想到了零钱。零钱是指价值不大的金属钱币,比如五分镍币。



An early use of the word chickenfeed 【微不足道的数目】
appeared in an 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【五分硬币】 or a
dime【十分硬币,没有翻译成一角,是因为美国没有“角”的单位】. They would not have been interested
in such chickenfeed.

早期使用“鸡食”出现在19世纪30年代的一个美国出版物上。他讲述了一个富人和他儿子的故事。词学家Mitford Mathews说上面讲到:我敢打赌,儿子和他父亲都不没见过五分和十分钱,他们本来就对小钱感兴趣。



Chickenfeed also has another interesting meaning known to history experts and World War Two spies and soldiers.

鸡食还有另一种有趣的意思,这个意思为历史学家和二战时的间谍和士兵所知。



Spy expert Henry S. A. Becket writes that some German spies working in
London during the war also worked for the British. The British
government had to make the Germans believe their spies were working.
So, British officials gave them mostly false information. It was called
chickenfeed.

间谍专家Henry S. A. Becket 写道,二战时一些在伦敦工作的德国间谍也为不列颠工作。不列颠政府不得不让德国人相信他们的间谍一直在工作。所以不列颠官员给德国人大量虚假信息。这就被成为:鸡食。



The same person who protests that he is working for chickenfeed may also say, "I am working for peanuts." She means she is working for a small amount of money.

同样抗议工资不多的人也可以说:我为花生工作。她的意思是是她工作只有小额报酬。



It is a very different meaning from the main one in the dictionary. That meaning is small nuts that grow on a plant.

这个意思和字典里面的主要意思非常不同。字典里的主要意思是长在一种植物上面的小果子。



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.

没有人确定,一个表示食物的单词也可以表示很小的东西。但是花生的确是很小的东西。



The expression is an old one. Word expert Mitford Mathews says that as
early as eighteen fifty-four, an American publication used the words peanut agitators【agitator煽动者,鼓动者】. That meant political troublemakers who did not have a lot of support.

这是一种古老的表达方式。词学家Mitford Mathews说早在1854年,一美国出版物上使用了花生煽动”来形容那些少有支持者的政治捣乱分子。



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.

另外一个“为花生而工作”的原因可能与大象有关联,想一想马戏团里的大象是怎么得到奖赏的?他妈得到的是食物而不是钱,其中一种奖品就是它们最喜欢的花生。



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 seating area or balcony above the main floor.

当你把GALLERY这个词加上花生后,你就会得到表示美国剧院里的一个区域的一个词。所谓GALLERY指的是剧院里主层之上的高位置座位或者阳台。



The peanut gallery【顶层楼座;在剧院顶层,票价最低廉之座位】 got its
name because it is the part of the theater 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.

“花生位置”之所以得名,是因为它指的是剧院里离表演区最远的位置,所以“花生座位”的票也比一般的票便宜,出点小钱就可以买到了这些“花生座位”票了。



(MUSIC)



This Special English program, WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, was written by Jeri Watson. This is Susan Clark.

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最佳回复 该帖于2009年5月5日被版主推荐为精华帖。

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