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(来源:www.EnglishCN.com)

 最近几天,如果翻翻世界各地的英文报纸,或浏览英文新闻网站,头版标题和报道中最热门的词汇莫过于“duck”一词了。你可千万不要以为是“鸭子”出了什么新鲜事了。

  我们不妨先来读几个新闻标题

  Bush legacy Lame…duck!

  Not so lame duck as 'dog' Bush evades Iraqi journo's shoes

  Lame (Duck) Iraq Visit Guarantees Bush Shoe-In As Worst President Ever

  Bush Ducks Flying Shoes in Iraq

  Bush ducks shoes on farewell trip to war zones

  President Bush ducks shoes thrown by Iraqi journalist

  “duck”该如何解释呢?你还可以借助下面两个没有“duck”的标题想一想:

  George Bush Attacked By Shoes

  Bush on farewell visit to Iraq dodges flying shoes

  原来,报道把布什总统说成是“lame duck”,同时又用“duck(动词)”描述布什总统躲“飞鞋”的尴尬样子。

  在林林总总的标题中,笔者觉得,让人感到最“有才”的是下面一条:

  Lame Duck Ducks Shoes

  跛鸭总统躲(飞)鞋

  非常有趣的描述吧?

  不过,你一定会问,为什么要将布什总统称作“lame duck”呢?

  英文lame duck的释义是:

  (1)a person, business etc that is having problems and needs help;

  跛足鸭(遇到困难需要帮助的人或企业等),常带贬义,指不能有效地做事的人或机构。

  (2)president/governor/legislature:(informal)a president, governor etc with no real power because his or her period in office will soon end

  美国非正式英语,指任期即将结束的总统、政府等。lame duck常用来形容在美国政界,任期将满的政界人物所面临的窘境,尤其是第二个任期即将结束,手中大权即将旁落的总统。因为此时,人们的注意力都集中到候任总统及其未来的政策。这也难怪时下布什总统的“救市”方案为何一再被否,颇有点“树倒猢狲散”的味道!

  不过,可能让大家最感新鲜的,还是duck用成了动词。

  duck用作动词,有多个含义。

  (1)duck,也常常用成duck down,含义是“to lower your head or body very quickly, especially to avoid being seen or hit”,躲闪,迅速低下身(头)。

  在报道布什躲闪飞鞋时,就有下面的描述:

  Throwing shoes at somebody is a supreme insult in the Middle East. One of the shoes sailed over the president's head and slammed into the wall behind him and he had to duck to miss the other one. Maliki tried to block the second shoe with his arm.

  (2)duck还指“to move somewhere very quickly, especially to avoid being seen or to get away from someone”,快速躲到某处(特别是避免被人看见或逃脱某人)。例如:

  The two suspected attackers ducked into a crowded street and soon disappeared.

  (3)duck还可以表示“to avoid something, especially a difficult or unpleasant duty”,躲避,推诿,例如:

  The CEO of the company ducked a question from a reporter about the revenue of the company last year.

  (4) duck还可以表示“to push someone under water for a short time as a joke”,把某人猛地按入水中,例如:

  Tom grabbed him from behind to duck him under the surface.

  (5)duck out of something是个短语动词,表示“to avoid doing something that you have to do or have promised to do”,逃避承诺或该做的事情。例如:

  Some college students always duck out of lessons that do not interest them much.

  duck用做动词,不由得让人想起鸭子在水中的各种姿态,有很形象的意义,用到语句和语段中,让人产生丰富的联想。

  其实,英语里很多表示动物的名词,本身又都可以用成动词。请你来仔细咀嚼下面十个句子中的“动物”用词,体味它们用作动词时所传递的丰富含义:

  (1)Mr. Johnson cocked his head and considered the offer that he would be given twice as much as the previous one.

  (2)Julia fished around in her purse and pulled out a photo of her lovely daughter.

  (3)On hearing that a fire broke out, all the boys quickly ran to the scene to help put it out,but David chickened out.

  (4) Jim never comes up with his own ideas. Instead, he just parroted the majority's opinions.

  (5) I found Sam in front of the TV, pigging out on pizza and fries.

  (6) It’s not just people who dog you. Pets can cheat on their owners too, leaving them for people they like better.

  (7) A 26-year-old German art student temporarily foxed police on Saturday by disguising himself as a terracotta warrior and taking up position in the world-famous terracotta army.

  (8)Yang Chang could easily wolf down half a kg of rice and 1.5 kg meat at a time before he started to lose weight.

  (9)The twins have been monkeying about in the attic again.

  (10)Snaking 6,300 km between western China's Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the East China Sea, the Yangtze River is often said to be the dividing line between North and South China.

 
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