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[翻译]Words and Their Stories - American Expressions in the Home

来源:慢速英语   时间:2015-04-12 08:26:34

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

现在是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目。

Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a couch potato. A couch is a piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.

有些罕见词汇描述了一个人任何打发他/她的时间。例如,花很多时间坐着或躺着看电视的人,有时就被称做“电视迷”(沙发土豆)。沙发是一种供人们坐着看电视的家具。

Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in 1976. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Mister Armstrong also helped write a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the “Official Couch Potato Handbook.”

Robert Armstrong是一位来自加利福尼亚州的艺术家,他在1970年创造了“电视迷”这个词。若干年后,他在美国政府把这个词注册为商标。Armstrong先生还帮助撰写了一本关于全职电视迷生活的诙谐书籍,这就是所谓的“职业电视迷手册”。

Couch potatoes enjoy watching television just as mouse potatoes enjoy working on computers. A computer mouse is the device that moves the pointer, or cursor, on a computer screen. The description of mouse potato became popular in nineteen-ninety-three. American writer Alice Kahn is said to have invented the term to describe young people who spend a lot of time using computers.

“电视迷”喜欢看电视,就像“电脑迷”(鼠标土豆)喜欢玩电脑。电脑鼠标是一种移动电脑屏幕上的光标的设备。“电脑迷”这种说法在1993年开始流行开来。据说美国作家Alice Kahn创造了这个词用来描述花很多时间玩电脑的年青人。

Too much time inside the house using a computer or watching television can cause someone to get cabin fever. A cabin is a simple house usually built far away from the city. People go to a cabin to relax and enjoy quiet time.

长时间在家里玩电脑或看电视会使人患上幽居病(cabin fever)。小木屋是一种简易房,通常远离市区。人们去小木屋放松享受清静。
 

Couch potatoes enjoy watching television from the comfort of their couches.

Cabin fever is not really a disease. However, people can experience boredom and restlessness if they spend too much time inside their homes. This is especially true during the winter when it is too cold or snowy to do things outside. Often children get cabin fever if they cannot go outside to play. So do their parents. This happens when there is so much snow that schools and even offices and stores are closed.

幽居病不是一种真正意义上的病。不过,如果人们呆在家里的时间过长就会感到厌烦和烦燥。冬季由于太冷或是因为下雪,不能到户外活动,尤其会发生这种情况。孩子们如果不能到户外玩耍,通常会得幽居病。当下大雪导致学校、甚至办公室和商场都关门时,他们的父母也会这样。

Some people enjoy spending a lot of time in their homes to make them nice places to live. This is called nesting or cocooning.

有些人喜欢花很多时间在家里收拾房间,这被叫做筑巢或作茧。

Birds build nests out of sticks to hold their eggs and baby birds. Some insects build cocoons around themselves for protection while they grow and change. Nests and cocoons provide security for wildlife. So people like the idea of nests and cocoons, too.

鸟用树枝筑巢来容纳它们的蛋和雏鸟,有些昆虫在生长和蜕变时作茧自保。巢和茧为野生动物提供了安全保障。因此人们也喜欢筑巢和作茧这种做法。


The terms cocooning and nesting became popular more than twenty years ago. They describe people buying their first homes and filling them with many things. These people then had children.

作茧和筑巢这两个词在20多年前开始流行,它们用于描述首次购房并在家里添置许多家具的人, 然后他们会生儿育女。

Now these children are grown and have left the nest. They are in college. Or they are married and starting families of their own far away. Now these parents are living alone without children in their empty nest. They have become empty nesters.

现在这些孩子已长大成人离家而去。他们有的在上大学,有的结了婚在很远的地方建立了自己的家庭。而他们的父母却空巢孤居,成为空巢老人。

This VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories, was written by Jill Moss. I’m Faith Lapidus.

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