Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.
Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a couch potato. A couch is a piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.
Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in 1976. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Mister Armstrong also helped write a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the "Official Couch Potato Handbook."
Couch potatoes enjoy watching television just as mouse potatoes enjoy working on computers. A computer mouse is the device that moves the pointer, or cursor, on a computer screen. The description of mouse potato became popular in nineteen-ninety-three. American writer Alice Kahn is said to have invented the term to describe young people who spend a lot of time using computers.
Too much time inside the house using a computer or watching television can cause someone to get cabin fever. A cabin is a simple house usually built far away from the city. People go to a cabin to relax and enjoy quiet time.
Cabin fever is not really a disease. However, people can experience boredom and restlessness if they spend too much time inside their homes. This is especially true during the winter when it is too cold or snowy to do things outside. Often children get cabin fever if they cannot go outside to play. So do their parents. This happens when there is so much snow that schools and even offices and stores are closed.
Some people enjoy spending a lot of time in their homes to make them nice places to live. This is called nesting or cocooning.
Birds build nests out of sticks to hold their eggs and baby birds. Some insects build cocoons around themselves for protection while they grow and change. Nests and cocoons provide security for wildlife. So people like the idea of nests and cocoons, too.
The terms cocooning and nesting became popular more than twenty years ago. They describe people buying their first homes and filling them with many things. These people then had children.
Now these children are grown and have left the nest. They are in college. Or they are married and starting families of their own far away. Now these parents are living alone without children in their empty nest. They have become empty nesters.
This VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories, was written by Jill Moss. I'm Faith Lapidus.
1.trademark n. 商标 标志
She has registered a trademark for a new range of perfumes.
2.cursor n. 光标；（计算尺的）[计] 游标，指针
He moves the cursor, clicks the mouse.
3.cabin fever 幽居病
I've got cabin fever. I've got to get out of here.
4.restlessness n. 坐立不安；不安定
Their gossips abraded her into restlessness.
5.cocooning n. 茧式生活（闲暇时闭门不出的生活方式）；茧式涂封 v. 作茧；过茧式生活；将…密封起来（cocoon的ing形式）
There is nowhere to hide when things go wrong, no organization to cocoon you from blame.
1.They describe people buying their first homes and filling them with many things.
fill with 装满，充满
He filled the bottle with wine.
His heart is filled with hope.
罗伯特·阿姆斯特朗是加州的一名艺术家，他于1976年发明了“沙发土豆”这个词。几年后，他在美国政府注册了这个词 。阿姆斯特朗还参与撰写了一本有关电视迷生活的有趣图书，名叫《官方沙发土豆手册》 。
沙发土豆们喜欢看电视，就像“鼠标土豆”们喜欢用电脑一样。电脑鼠标是移动电脑屏幕上光标的一种设备，鼠标土豆这个词是1993年流行起来的 。据悉美国作家爱丽丝·坎发明了这个词，用来描述那些花很多时间在电脑上的年轻人 。
幽闭症并不是真正的疾病，不过如果在房间里呆得太久，人们会感觉厌烦和烦躁。尤其是在冬季，在外面会太冷或下雪 。通常如果孩子们不出去玩，就会患上幽闭症，他们的父母也会如此，一般这种情况下雪会下得太大，学校甚至办公室和商店都会关门 。
有的人喜欢长时间呆在家里，这样家就成了很舒服的地方，这就叫做筑巢或做茧。鸟儿用木棍来筑巢，让鸟蛋和小鸟生活在里面 。有的昆虫在自己周围做茧，让自己在成长和改变时得到保护 。鸟巢和茧给野外生活提供了安全保障，所以人们也喜欢鸟巢和做茧这样的概念 。
现在这些孩子长大了，离开了鸟巢。他们去上大学，或者结婚，在远处组建自己的家庭 。现在这些父母们孤独生活，空空的巢穴没有孩子，他们就成了空巢老人 。