I'm Susan Clark with the Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
Young Mister Smith had an idea for his employer. It was an idea for saving money for the company by increasing prices. At the same time, Smith suggested that the company sell goods of less value.
If his employer liked the idea, Smith might be given more pay. Perhaps he might even get a better job with the company.
Business had been very slow. So Mister Smith's employer thought a few minutes about the idea. But then she shook her head. "I am sorry, Smith," his employer said. "It just will not wash."
Now, the meaning of these English words should be, "It will not get clean." Yet Smith's idea did not have anything to do with making something clean. So why did his employer say, "It will not wash?"
Most word experts agree that "it will not wash" means it will not work. Eric Partridge wrote that the saying probably developed in Britain in the eighteen hundreds. Charlotte Bronte used it in a story published in eighteen forty-nine. She wrote, "That wiln't wash, miss." Mizz Bronte seems to have meant that the dyes used to color a piece of clothing were not good. The colors could not be depended on to stay in the material.
In nineteenth century England, the expression came to mean an undependable statement. It was used mainly to describe an idea. But sometimes it was used about a person.
A critic once said of the poet Robert Browning, "He won't wash." The critic did not mean that the poet was not a clean person. He meant that Browning's poems could not be depended on to last.
Today, we know that judgment was wrong. Robert Browning still is considered a major poet. But very few people remember the man who said Browning would not wash.
Happily for the young employee Smith, his employer wanted him to do well in the company. So the employer "talked turkey" to him. She said, "Your idea would be unfair to our buyers. Think of another way to save money."
A century ago, to talk turkey meant to talk pleasantly. Turkeys in the barnyard were thought to be speaking pleasantly to one another. In recent years, the saying has come to mean an attempt to teach something important.
Word expert Charles Funk tells how he believes this change took place.
He says two men were shooting turkeys together. One of them was a white man. The other was an American Indian. The white man began stating reasons why he should get all the turkeys for himself. But the American Indian stopped him. He told the white man, "Now, I talk turkey to you."
Mister Smith thought of a better idea after his employer talked turkey to him. He was given an increase in pay. So if your idea "will not wash," try "talking turkey" to yourself and come up with a better idea.
This WORDS AND THEIR STORIES program was written by Jeri Watson. I'm Susan Clark.
公司业务一直不温不火。因此，老板考虑了一下史密斯的这个主意 。但随后她摇了摇头 。“很抱歉，史密斯，”老板说，“It just will not wash.”
这个短语现在的意思应该是，“这不会有什么帮助。”史密斯的主意对生意没什么帮助 。那么，为什么老板说：“It will not wash?”
大多数词汇专家一致认为，“it will not wash”意思是这行不通。埃里克·帕特里奇(Eric Partridge)写道，这种说法可能起源于19世纪的英国 。夏洛蒂·勃朗特(Charlotte Bronte)1849年发表的故事中用到了这种说法 。她写道，“That wiln't wash，小姐 。” 勃朗特貌似是说，用于染这块布的染料不太好，颜色无法附着于布料 。
一位评论家曾经这么形容诗人罗伯特·布朗宁（Robert Browning），“He won't wash.”这位评论家并不是说这位诗人不讲卫生。他说的是，布朗宁的诗不能传承下去 。
今天，我们知道评论家的这个判断是错误的。布朗宁仍被认为是一个大诗人 。但很少有人记得这位评论家 。
幸运的是这位年轻雇员史密斯的老板希望他在公司更加出色。所以，老板认认真真地(talked turkey)跟他谈话 。她说，“你的想法或许对我们的买家不公平 。换个赚钱的想法 。”
一个世纪前，“to talk turkey”意味着愉快交谈。谷仓里的火鸡被认为在彼此愉快交谈 。近年来，这句话的意思已经开始转变为“认真谈某些重要的事情” 。
他说，两名男子一起去打火鸡。一个是白人，另一个是印第安人 。这位白人开始陈述他要拿走所有火鸡的原因 。但这位印第安人打断了他 。他对白人男子说，"Now, I talk turkey to you."
史密斯先生在老板认真和他交谈后想出了一个更好的主意。他获得了升职加薪 。所以，如果你的主意“行不通”，请尝试认真想一个更好的主意 。
The new constitution probably will soon be promulgated.
Otherwise I might be considered undependable, or unworthy.
It is inherently unfair that we should be able to choose the genetics of our offspring.
4.pleasantly adv.愉快地；快活地；和气地 和蔼地
Their lazy, blurred voices fell pleasantly on his ears.
1.Yet Smith's idea did not have anything to do with making something clean.
have something to do with与…有点关系
Does his visit have something to do with the meeting tomorrow?
2.So if your idea "will not wash," try "talking turkey" to yourself and come up with a better idea.
come up with想出
I hope you can come up with a better plan than this.
3.Mizz Bronte seems to have meant that the dyes used to color a piece of clothing were not good.
However, the overflows he found do not seem to be exploitable.