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[翻译字幕]Words and Their Stories: Wild Cat

更新时间:2012/8/13 8:24:27 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

词汇典故:Wild Cat

Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories. Today, we tell about the word wildcat.

现在是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目。今天我们来讲述关于wildcat的短语。

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Humans have always depended on animals. From the beginning of human history, wild animals provided food, clothing and sometimes medicine.

人类一直依赖于动物。从人类历史伊始,野生动物就为人类提供了食物、衣物,有时还包括药物。

We may not depend as much on wild animals now. But we hear about them every day. Americans use the names of animals in many ways.

现在我们可能对野生动物的依赖性不再那么大。但是我们每天都能听到关于它们的对话。美国人在很多方面都用到了动物的名字。

Many companies use animals to make us want to buy their goods. Automobile companies, for example, love to show fast horses when they are trying to sell their cars. They also name their cars for other fast powerful animals.

许多公司使用动物刺激我们购买他们产品的欲望。例如汽车制造公司在试图销售他们的汽车的时候,喜欢展示快速奔跑的骏马。他们还用其它迅猛的动物为汽车命名。 

Automobile manufacturers and gasoline companies especially like to use big cats to sell their products. They like lions, tigers and wildcats.

汽车制造商和汽油公司特别喜欢使用大型猫科动物来推销自己的产品。他们喜欢狮子、老虎和野猫。

When Americans say wildcat, they usually mean a lynx, an ocelot or a bobcat. All these cats attack quickly and fiercely. So wildcats represent something fast and fierce.

美国人说到野猫通常指的是猞猁、豹猫或山猫。这类动物攻击迅猛。所以野猫代表着迅猛。

What better way is there to sell a car than to say it is as fast as a wildcat. Or, what better way is there to sell gasoline than to say that using it is like putting a tiger in your tank.

还有什么方式能比这样说更好的:买车时夸其跑得比野猫还快;或者,卖汽油时夸其用起来赛过油箱里塞进了一只猛虎!

An early American use of the word wildcat was quite different. It was used to describe members of Congress who declared war on Britain in eighteen twelve. A magazine of that year said the wildcat congressmen went home. It said they were unable to face the responsibility of having involved their country in an unnecessary war.

美国早期对wildcat的用法截然不同。这个词用于描述1812年对英国宣战的国会议员。当年的一份杂志称,这些莽撞的(wildcat)国会议员卷铺盖回家了。据说他们无法面对将自己的国家卷入一场不必要的战争的责任。

Wildcat also has been used as a name for money. It was used this way in the eighteen hundreds. At that time, some states permitted banks to make their own money. One bank in the state of Michigan offered paper money with a picture of a wildcat on it.

19世纪时,Wildcat还曾被用作一种货币的名字。当时,美国一些州允许银行发行自己的货币。密歇根州的一家银行发行的货币上印有野猫的图案。

Some banks, however, did not have enough gold to support all the paper money they offered. So the money had little or no value. It was called a wildcat bill or a wildcat bank note. The banks who offered this money were called wildcat banks.

然而,一些银行没有足够的黄金储备来支持他们所发行的货币。所以这些货币价值很低或毫无价值。这种货币就被称为wildcat或wildcat bank note,发行这种货币的银行被称为wildcat banks。

A newspaper of the time said those were the days of wildcat money. It said a man might be rich in the morning and poor by night.

当时的一家报纸称,当时是wildcat money(准备金不足而发行的纸币)泛滥的时代。一个人可能早上还是富豪,晚上就成穷光蛋了。 

Wildcat was used in another way in the eighteen hundreds. It was used for an oil well or gold mine that had almost no oil or gold in it. Dishonest developers would buy such property. Then they would sell it and leave town with the money. The buyers were left with worthless holes in the ground. Today, wildcat oil wells are in areas that are not known to have oil.

19世纪,wildcat还有另一种用法。它被用于几乎没有石油的油井或没有黄金的金矿。奸诈的开发商会买下这样的资产,然后将其出售后携款潜逃。买家得到的只是一个毫无价值的大洞。如今,wildcat oil wells(探井)都位于未探明石油地区。
注:探井是指为了勘探石油而钻的井。

Yet another kind of wildcat is the wildcat strike. That is a strike called without official approval by a union. During World War Two, an American publication accused wildcat strikers of slowing government production.

但是,wildcat的另一种用法是wildcat strike(自发罢工)。这是指未经工会正式批准而进行的罢工。在二战期间,美国一家刊物指责自发罢工减缓了政府生产。

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This VOA Special English program, Words and Their Wtories, was written by Jeri Watson. I'm Warren Scheer.

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