Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
I think people everywhere dream about having lots of money. I know I do. I would give anything to make money "hand over fist." I would like to earn large amounts of money. You could win a large amount of money in the United States through lotteries. People pay money for tickets with numbers. If your combination of numbers is chosen, you win a huge amount of money -- often in the millions. Winning the lottery is "a windfall."
Millions of people dream of winning the lottery.
A few years ago, my friend Al won the lottery. It changed his life. He did not have a rich family -- he was not "born with a silver spoon in his mouth." Instead, my friend was always "hard up for cash" -- he did not have much money. And the money he did earn was chicken feed -- very little.
Sometimes Al even had to accept hand-outs -- gifts from his family and friends. But do not get me wrong. My friend was not a deadbeat. He was not the kind of person who never paid the money he owed. He simply pinched pennies. He was always very careful with the money he spent. In fact, he was often a cheapskate. He did not like to spend money. The worst times were when he was flat broke and had no money at all.
Mark (L) and Cindy (C) Hill are presented a check by a Missouri Lottery official during the announcement of Powerball winners in Dearborn, Missouri, November 30, 2012.
One day, Al scraped together a few dollars for a lottery ticket. He thought he would never strike it rich or gain lots of money unexpectedly. But his combination of numbers was chosen and he won the lottery. He hit the jackpot. He won a great deal of money.
Al was so excited. The first thing he did was buy a costly new car -- he splurged on the one thing that he normally would not buy. Then he started spending money on unnecessary things. He started to waste it. It was like he had "money to burn." He had more money than he needed and it was "burning a hole in his pocket," so he spent it quickly.
When we got together for a meal at a restaurant, Al paid every time. He would always "foot the bill" -- and pick up the tab. He told me the money made him feel like a million dollars. He was very happy.
But, Al spent too much money. Soon my friend was "down and out" again. He had no money left. He was back to being "strapped for cash." He had spent his "bottom dollar" -- his very last amount. He did not even "build up a nest egg" -- he had not saved any of the money.
I admit I do feel sorry for my friend. He had enough money to "live like a king." Instead, he is back to "living on a shoestring" -- a very low budget. Some might say he is "penny-wise and pound foolish" -- he was wise about small things, but not about important things.
Words and Their Stories, in VOA Special English, was written by Jill Moss. I'm Faith Lapidus.
1.windfall n.风吹落的果实, 意外的收获, 侥幸所得
He applied the windfall to payment of his mortgage.
The bag lady never asked for a handout.
3.cheapskate n.守财奴, 吝啬鬼
How can they expect us to do business with them after being such cheapskate?
4.deadbeat n. 游手好闲者；赖债不还的人；落泊者
But he did not want to feel like a deadbeat.
5.splurge vi. 挥霍；卖弄 n. 挥霍；炫耀 vt. 挥霍；夸耀
We'll splurge on a trip in France next year.
1.Sometimes Al even had to accept hand-outs -- gifts from his family and friends. But do not get me wrong.
get me wrong 误解我；误会我；冤枉我
Don't get me wrong , sir, I'm innocent!
Don't get me wrong. I mean she should give you money, not lend you.
别误会我的话, 我是说她应该给你钱, 而不是借你钱.
2. He would always "foot the bill" -- and pick up the tab.
foot the bill 负担费用，付帐
pick up the tab 承担费用
You order the dishes and I'll foot the bill.
I'll pick up the tab. May I have a receipt?
我想很多人都梦想有很多钱，我知道自己就是这样。为了发大财(make money hand over fist)我会倾尽所能，我要挣一大笔钱 。在美国你可以通过买彩票赚得大钱，人们购买含有数字的彩票，如果你的数字组合选对了，就会得到大笔钱，通常是数百万 。中彩票就是意外之财(windfall) 。
几年前我朋友阿尔赢得彩票，这改变了他的人生，他家并不富裕，并非出生豪门（born with a silver spoon in his mouth）。相反，他总是手头紧(hard up for cash)，没有多少钱，他挣得的钱只是杯水车薪（chicken feed） 。
阿尔有时得接受家人和朋友的施舍(hand-out)，但别误会，我朋友不是赖账不还的人(deadbeat)，从来不会欠钱不还，他只是精打细算(pinched pennies)。事实上，他是个小气鬼，最艰难的时候他身无分文(flat broke)，一分钱也没有 。
一天，阿尔东拼西凑(scrape together)了几块钱来买彩票，他认为自己根本不会发横财(strike it rich)。但他的彩票中了，赢得了头彩(hit the jackpot)，得到很多钱 。
阿尔很兴奋，他做的第一件事就是买了一辆昂贵的新汽车。他挥霍着买平时不会买的东西 。然后他开始买不必要的东西，开始浪费，好像钱花不完似的(money to burn) 。他的钱超过了需要的量，就开始花钱如流水(burning a hole in his pocket ) 。
我们一起去餐馆吃饭，阿尔就支付一切费用。他每次都付钱( foot the bill, and pick up the tab) 。他告诉我，钱让他感觉很棒(feel like amillion dollars)，他很快乐 。
但阿尔花钱太多，他很快就再度穷困潦倒(down and out)，身无分文，再次手头拮据(strap for cash)。他花掉了最后一点钱(bottom dollar)，甚至没有积蓄 。
我承认对朋友感到抱歉，他曾经生活很好，但再次回到生活拮据的状态(on a shoestring)。有人说他小事精明大事糊涂 。
这里是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故，作者Jill Moss，我是Faith Lapidus。