“羊尾巴摇两下”有多快? 分享到
How Fast Is ‘Two Shakes of a Lamb’s Tail’? 2020-05-0139430

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And now, Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English.
欢迎收听VOA英语学习《词汇掌故》节目。
The English language has many expressions that describe a fast-moving event.Some expressions relate to body movements.We say something happens in the blink of an eye or in a heartbeat.Other expressions are related to the world of nature.
英语中有许多描述事件迅速发生的表达方式。有些表达与肢体动作有关。比如“眨眼间或心跳的瞬间发生某事(in the blink of an eye or in a heartbeat)”。还有些表达与自然界有关。
Today we will talk about a speed-related expression involving an animal.Now, because we are talking about speed and animals, you might think it is a big cat, such as a lion or cheetah-- or maybe even a small, but speedy animal such as a hare.
今天,我们将讨论一个与速度相关的表达,就包含动物在里面。现在,因为我们在谈论速度和动物,所以您可能会认为这只动物是一只大型猫科动物,例如狮子或猎豹,或者甚至是像野兔这种体型虽小但移动迅速的动物。
But it is none of them. You guessed it!
但都不是这些。你猜到了!
The expression today involves sheep – baby lambs to be exact!
今天的表达与绵羊有关,确切地说是小羊羔!
But why? Lambs are cute. But they are not really known for their lightning speed. Well, our expression is about a specific part of the animal – its tail.
但为什么呢?羔羊很可爱。但它们不以闪电般的速度而闻名。嗯,我们讨论的表达方式与羔羊的某个特定部分有关,那就是它的尾巴。
I suspect lambs can shake their tails very fast.Because when something happens quickly, we say it happens in "two shakes of a lambs tail." Here is an example:
我猜小羊能很快速地摇动尾巴。因为当某事发生得很快时,我们会用“two shakes of a lamb’s tail ”(“羊尾巴摆两下的时间内”)来表示。例如:
"Im going to the store. Ill be back in two shakes of a lambs tail!"
“我要去商店。我会马上回来(in two shakes of a lamb’s tail)!”
This expression is a cuter and more descriptive way of saying "quickly."Maybe instead of sending a text message with the letters BRB (be right back),we could use the image of a lamb shaking its tail. That would fun!
这种表达方式是“quickly”( 快速)的一种更有趣、更具描述性的说法。或许我们在发消息时,可以不用字母BRB(“马上回来”的英文缩写)这样的文字,而使用羔羊摇尾巴的图片来表示。那会很有趣!
Being cute like a lamb may be fun. But it has its drawbacks.Cute things are often not taken seriously.And this cute factor is the main reason Americans rarely use "two shakes of a lambs tail" in a serious situation.
像小羊羔一样可爱可能很有趣,但也有其缺点。可爱的东西往往不被认真对待。严肃情况下,美国人很少使用“two shakes of a lamb’s tail”这一表达,主要是因为其中的可爱因素。
For example, if I see a person get hit by a car,I would not say, "Hold on! Help will be here in two shakes of a lambs tail!"
例如,假设我看到有人被汽车撞了,我不会说:“坚持住! ‘羊尾巴摆两下的时间内’救援就会到了!”
That would not make the injured person lying in the middle of the street feel reassured.In an emergency like that, I would say something like, "Help is on the way!"
那样说不会使躺在马路中央的伤者感到安心。像在那样的紧急情况下,我会说“救援就在路上了!”这样的话。
Generally speaking, an emergency is not a good time to use cute animal expressions.
一般来说,紧急情况下最好不要使用含有动物的可爱表达。
Some language experts say "two shakes of a lambs tail" was first used in written English in the 1800s. They think that it was used in spoken English much earlier than that.
一些语言专家表示,“two shakes of a lamb’s tail”这一表达首次用于书面英语是在19世纪00年代。他们认为这一表达用在英语口语中的时间要比这早得多。
You should know that we often shorten this expression to simply "two shakes"– as in, "Ill be there in two shakes!"
要知道我们经常将这一表述缩短,简化为“two shakes”,例如“我很快(in two shakes)就会到那里!”
You should not use that one for emergencies either.
这种简化表达同样不能用于紧急情况下。
And that is Words and Their Stories for this week.But we will be back in two shakes of a lambs tail. Well, actually…well be back next week!
以上就是本周《词汇掌故》节目的全部内容。 但我们马上(in two shakes of a lamb’s tail)就会回来的。好吧,实际上……我们下周再见!
Until next time…Im Anna Matteo!
我们下次节目见…我是安娜·马特奥!

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