首页 > VOA慢速英语 > 词汇典故 > [翻译字幕]Words and Their Stories - Don't Let the Cat Out of the Bag!

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[翻译字幕]Words and Their Stories - Don't Let the Cat Out of the Bag!

来源:慢速英语   时间:2013-12-02 10:10:59

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

这里是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目。

Different people have different ways of saying things -- their own special expressions.

不同民族都有他们自己独特的短语。

Each week we tell about some popular American expressions.

每周我们都会讲述一些常用的美国短语。

The bag is one of the most simple and useful things in the world. It is a container made of paper or cloth. It has given the world many strange expressions that are not very simple. Some of them are used in the United States today.

袋子(bag)是全球最简单和实用的物品之一,它是用纸或布制成的容器。这个词给全球带来了很多稀奇而不简单的短语,其中一些短语美国至今仍在使用。

One is “bagman.” It describes a go-between. The go-between sees to it that money is passed -- often illegally -- from one person to another.

bagman就是其中之一,它指的是中间人(go-between)。中间人确保资金从一个人转移到另一个人,通常是非法转移。

Another widely-used expression is to “let the cat out of the bag.” It is used when someone tells something that was supposed to be secret. No one can explain how the cat got into the bag. But there is an old story about it…

另一个广泛使用的短语是“let the cat out of the bag。”它用于当某人讲述一些本该保密的东西时。没人可以解释猫怎么钻进了袋子,但关于它有一个古老的故事。

Long ago tradesmen sold things in large cloth bags. One day a woman asked for a pig. The tradesman held up a cloth bag with something moving inside it. He said it was a live pig. The woman asked to see it. When the dishonest tradesman opened the bag, out jumped a cat -- not a pig. The tradesman’s secret was out. He was trying to trick her. And now everybody knew it.

很久前商人出售商品都装在大布袋里。有一天,有位妇女要买一头猪。该商人拿起一个里面有什么在动的布袋,说里面是头生猪。该妇女要求看看。当这位不诚信的商人打开袋子,跳出来一只猫而不是一头生猪。这位商人的秘密曝光了,他当时试图要欺骗她。现在大家都发现了这点。

The phrase to be “left holding the bag” is as widely-used as the expression to “let the cat out of the bag.”

“To be left holding the bag”这个习语和“to let the cat out of the bag”使用同样广泛。

This expression makes the person left holding the bag responsible for an action -- often a crime or misdeed. That person is the one who is punished. The others involved in the act escape.

这个短语是指让某人对某项行为负责任,通常是指犯罪或不良行为。这个人是唯一受惩罚者,其他参与者逃脱了惩罚。

Where the expression came from is not clear. Some say that General George Washington used it during the American Revolutionary War.

这个短语出自何处尚不清楚。有人说,乔治·华盛顿将军在美国独立战争期间使用了这个短语。

One of Washington’s officers, Royall Taylor, used the expression in a play about Daniel Shay’s rebellion. The play was in 1781, after Taylor helped to put down Shay’s rebellion.

华盛顿的军官之一,罗亚尔·泰勒(Royall Taylor)在一部关于丹尼尔·谢伊(Daniel Shay)叛乱的剧中用到了这个短语。该剧产生于1787年,即泰勒帮助平息谢伊的叛乱之后。

Shays led a thousand war veterans in an attack on a federal building in Springfield, Massachusetts. Guns were in the building. Some of the protesters were farmers who had no money to buy seed. Some had been put in prison for not paying their debts. They were men who fought one war against the King of England, and were now prepared to fight against their own government. Most of the rebels were captured. Shays and some of the officers escaped.

谢伊一家领导一千名老兵攻击马塞诸塞州斯普林菲尔德市的联邦大楼。枪支当时都在该楼里。有些反抗者是没钱购买种子的农民,还有些是欠债不还被关入监狱者。这些男人曾经打仗反抗英格兰国王,现在他们准备打仗反抗自己的政府。大多数造反者都被抓获。谢伊一家和部分军官逃脱。

In his play, Taylor describes Shays as disappearing, giving others “the bag to hold.”

在这部剧中,泰勒称谢伊一家跑了,让其他人背黑锅。

A bag is useful in many ways. Just be careful not to “let the cat out of the bag,” or someone may leave you “holding the bag.”

袋子的用途很广泛。只是要小心,别泄漏了秘密,或者有人可能想脱身而让你背黑锅。

You have been listening to the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.

This is Bob Doughty.

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