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[翻译字幕]Words and Their Stories: Mon 本站原创 更新时间: 2011-12-11         

词汇典故:有钱能使鬼推磨

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

这里是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目,我是Susan Clark。

People often say that money talks. They mean that a person with a lot of money can say how he or she wants things done. But it is not easy to earn enough money to gain this kind of power.

人们常说,有钱能使鬼推磨。意思是说富有的人可以让事情发展皆如其愿。但要赚到足够多能够获得这种能力的钱,不是那么容易的事。

Ask anyone in a business. They will tell you that it is a jungle out there. The expression probably began because the jungle is filled with wild animals and unknown dangers that threaten people. Sometimes people in business feel competing businesses are as dangerous as wild animals. And they feel that unknown dangers in the business world threaten the survival of their business.

当你问到任何商界人士,他们都将会告诉你商场是一片丛林。这句话可能始于丛林中到处是对人们构成威胁的野生动物和未知危险。有时候人们觉得竞争对手就像野生动物一样危险。同时他们认为商场上的未知危险会威胁到企业的生存。

People in business have to be careful if they are to survive the jungle out there. They must not be led into making bogus investments. Bogus means something that is not real.

商界人士如果要在丛林中生存必须非常谨慎。他们必须不被引向进行虚假投资。Bogus即虚假的东西。

Nobody is sure how the word got started. But it began to appear in American newspapers in the eighteen hundreds. A newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts said the word came from a criminal whose name was Borghese. The newspaper said Borghese wrote checks to people although he did not have enough money in the bank. After he wrote the checks, he would flee from town. So, people who were paid with his checks received nothing. The newspaper said Americans shortened and changed the criminal's name Borghese, to bogus.

没人能够确认这个单词是如何诞生的。但19世纪时它开始出现在美国的报纸上。马萨诸塞州波士顿市的一份报纸称,这个单词来源于一个名叫贝佳斯(Borghese)的罪犯。这家报纸说,贝佳斯给人们开空头支票,然后逃离镇子。所以,收到他支票的人们什么都得不到。该报称,美国人把这个罪犯的名字简写并做了点改变,就成了bogus。

People trying to earn money also must be aware of being ripped off. A person who is ripped off has had something stolen, or at least has been treated very unfairly.

人们想赚钱还必须要避免被欺诈。被欺诈的人失去了一些东西,或至少遭受了不公平待遇。

A writer for the magazine "American Speech" said he first saw the expression used in nineteen seventy-one. It was on a sign that a student carried during a protest demonstration at a university. The message on the sign was that the student felt ripped off, or cheated.

一位《名人演讲》(American Speech)杂志的撰稿人称,1971年,他第一次看到这种说法。它出现在一所大学示威活动期间一个学生举着的标牌上。标牌上的信息是,这个学生觉得被欺骗了。

Perhaps the best way to prevent getting ripped off in business is to not try to get rich quickly. To be successful, a person in business works hard and tries to get down to brass tacks.

也许在商业上防止欺诈的最好的方法是不要试图一夜暴富。要取得成功,人们在商业上要卖力、务实。

This expression means to get to the bottom or most important part of something. For example, a salesman may talk and talk about his product without saying the price. You get down to brass tacks when you say, "it sounds good, but how much does it cost?"

这个短语(get down to brass tacks)的意思是,触及事物的底部或最重要的部分。例如,一个推销员大谈特谈他的产品却不说价格。你开门见山地说,“这听上去不错,但它售价是多少?”

Word expert Charles Funk thinks the expression comes from sailors on ships. They clean the bottom of a boat. When they have removed all the dirt, they are down to the brass tacks, the copper pieces that hold the boat together.

词汇专家Charles Funk认为,这个短语来自轮船上的水手,他们会清洗船底。当他们清理完所有污垢后,他们就能触及黄铜钉这个将船连接到一起的铜件。

So, if we get down to brass tacks, we can prevent ripoffs and bogus ways of earning money in that jungle out there. And, some good luck will help, too.

所以,如果务实,我们就能防止商场这片丛林中的各类欺诈或骗钱手段。当然,好运气也会有所帮助。

(MUSIC)

This WORDS AND THEIR STORIES was written by Jeri Watson. I'm Susan Clark.

Money talks:金钱万能;有钱能使鬼推磨。

It is a jungle out there:直译为那是一片丛林。形容在做生意时的不安全和危险,处处是陷阱和欺诈。

Bogus:虚假的,伪造的

Ripped off:欺骗,敲诈,诈骗

Get down to brass tacks:触及实质,开门见山,直击主题。