Now, the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
From birth to death, the word "kick" has been given an important part in expressing human experience. The proud and happy mother feels the first signs of life "kicking" inside her womb. And that same life -- many years later -- comes to its end in a widely-used expression, to "kick the bucket," meaning to die.
The expression to "kick the bucket" is almost 200 years old. One belief is that it started when an English stableman committed suicide by hanging himself while standing on a pail, or bucket. He put a rope around his neck and tied it to a beam in the ceiling, and then kicked the bucket away from under him.
After a while, to die in any way was called "kicking the bucket."
Another old expression that comes from England is to "kick over the traces," meaning to resist the commands of one's parents, or to oppose or reject authority. "Traces" were the chains that held a horse or mule to a wagon or plow. Sometimes, an animal rebelled and "kicked over the traces."
The word "kick" sometimes is used to describe a complaint or some kind of dissatisfaction. Workers, for example, "kick" about long hours and low pay.
There are times when workers are forced to "kick back" some of their wages to their employers as part of their job. This "kickback" is illegal. So is another kind of kickback: a secret payment made by a supplier to an official who buys supplies for a government or company.
"Kick around" is a phrase that is heard often in American English. A person who is kicked around is someone who is treated badly. Usually, he is not really being kicked by somebody's foot -- he is just not being treated with the respect that all of us want.
A person who has "kicked around" for most of his life is someone who has spent his life moving from place to place. In this case, "kicking around" means moving often from one place to another.
"Kick around" has a third meaning when you use it with the word idea. When you "kick around an idea," you are giving that idea some thought.
There is no physical action when you "kick a person upstairs," although the pain can be as strong. You kick a person upstairs by removing him from an important job and giving him a job that sounds more important, but really is not.
Still another meaning of the word "kick" is to free oneself of a bad habit, such as smoking cigarettes. Health campaigns urge smokers to "kick the habit."
This VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories was written by Marilyn Rice Christiano.
Maurice Joyce was the narrator. I'm Shirley Griffith.
1.womb n. [解剖] 子宫；发源地 vt. 容纳
The baby's head was starting to emerge from the womb.
2.beam n. 横梁；光线；电波；船宽；[计量] 秤杆 vt. 发送；以梁支撑；用…照射；流露 vi. 照射；堆满笑容
The ceilings are supported by oak beams.
3.kickback n. 回扣，佣金；强烈反应；退回赃物
The employment agency demanded a kickback on her wages.
1."Kick around" is a phrase that is heard often in American English. A person who is kicked around is someone who is treated badly.
kick around 粗暴而轻率地对待；从各个角度考虑；流浪
We kicked a few ideas around.
John likes to kick around the little boys.
2.Health campaigns urge smokers to "kick the habit."
kick the habit 戒除嗜好；戒掉习惯
Doctors should try to persuade smokers to kick the habit.
Kick The Habit! Towards A Low Carbon Economy.
从出生到死亡，kick这个词在表达人生体验中占了重要作用，骄傲幸福的母亲感到子宫里首个生命的信号就是kicking。多年后同样的生命在结束时会用到一个普遍的表达kick the bucket，意思是死亡 。
kick the bucket这个表达有约200年的历史，有人说这个表达源自一位英国马夫站在桶上自杀，他拿绳子套在脖子上，将绳子绑在屋顶的梁上，然后踢掉加下的桶。
以后，任何一种死亡形式都可表达为kicking the bucket。
另一个来自英格兰的表达是kick over the traces(不受束缚，反抗)，意思是反抗父母的命令，或反对抵抗权威。Traces是将马或骡子拴在马车或犁上的链子 。有时动物会反抗并挣脱绳索 。
Kick around在美式英语中经常用到，一个人被Kick around是被粗暴地对待。通常不是说他被人踢了，而是没有受到他希望那样的尊敬对待方式 。
一个kicked around大部分时光的人会一生从这个地方转到另一个地方，这样，kicked around意思是游荡、流浪。
Kick around和idea一起用还有一个意思，当你kick around an idea，你在思考这个主意。
尽管疼痛很剧烈，当你kick a person upstairs时并没有任何身体实际动作。明升暗降是将人从一个重要的位置转移到另一个看起来更重要的位置上，而实际后一个位置并非那么重要 。