日期:2018-09-10 16:06



A few months ago, I told Anna Matteo I would write a Words and Their Stories program about animals that are also verbs. But I failed to keep my promise.

Instead of accepting responsibility, I told her I was too busy. And that I could not think of enough words. And that somebody else might want to write the program instead.

In other words, I tried to weasel out of it. A weasel is a small, brown mammal with a long body and short legs. It has a face a little like a mouse. A weasel does not appear very threatening; however, weasels can kill and eat animals four times their size.

Weasels sometimes dance before they kill their prey. Maybe that is why Americans say "weasel out" when we mean "try to avoid something in a dishonest way."

By the way, you can also weasel your way into something. That means try every trick to accomplish your goal, even if it something you really do not deserve.

But back to my weasel-y ways. Anna would not accept my excuses. She would not let me avoid the work I promised to do. That is to say, she would not let me duck my obligation.

She hounded me. She dogged me day and night. She told our colleagues about my bad behavior, and they began to badger me about the program, too.

As you can imagine, "to hound" or "to dog" people is to pursue them. For example, hunting hounds find and chase creatures such as foxes, birds and raccoons. And if a hound traps these animals, he will rarely let them go. Hounding someone usually involves asking something again and again.


"To badger" someone has a similar meaning. A badger is related to a weasel but is bigger and fatter. A badger is also not as violent as a weasel; however, if a badger seizes something in its teeth, it holds on tight and won't let go. Americans say they are badgering someone when they are insistent, but not aggressive.

Eventually, everyone's badgering affected me. Besides, I was worried Anna might rat me out and tell our boss I was an unreliable colleague. The word "rat" in this expression probably relates to a belief that rats cannot be trusted. Rats in the U.S. have a bad reputation, whether or not they deserve it.

Anyway, I finally sat down to write the program. Fortunately, like the animal that collects nuts and saves them for the winter, I had squirreled away some ideas. They included fish, such as in the expression "fish for compliments," and worm, as in "I will worm my way into his heart," as if I am tunneling with determination through the dirt.

Americans also shark, or fool, others, especially by pretending they are not good at something when they really are. And of course, we can bug people: bother them like a mosquito or a fly buzzing in an irritating way.

But now I have hogged Anna's program enough -- selfishly taken more than I was really allowed or invited to. So I will close this episode of Words and Their Stories -- but please do write to us if you ferret out a few more examples of animals that are also verbs. I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.


1.weasel out 逃避责任
'Cause there is a lot of people counting on you, so don't try to weasel out of it.

2.duck out 逃避
George ducked out of his forced marriage to a cousin.

3.to badger someone 苦苦纠缠
Why does this man feel so compelled to badger Liz with nicknames and complain about her lousy meditation habits?

4.rat me out 出卖我
Oh, my God! He's gonna rat me out!

5.squirrel away 储存
It is estimated people squirrel away more than 40% of their disposable earnings, some of which will be savings in case of a health emergency.




换句话说,我试图逃避责任(weasel out)。黄鼠狼(weasel)是一种棕色的小型哺乳动物,它身长腿短,面部有点像老鼠。黄鼠狼出现不会很危险,然而它能杀死并吃掉比它大四倍的动物。

黄鼠狼有时候在杀掉猎物前会跳舞。可能这就是为何美国人在指代“试图以欺骗手段逃避某件事情时”会说“weasel out”。

顺便说一句,我们还能说你削尖脑袋想干某事(weasel your way into),意思是使劲浑身解数来达到你的目标,即使这样做不值得。



如你所想,“to hound”或“to dog”是指追逐纠缠某人。例如,猎狗发现并追逐狐狸、鸟类和浣熊等动物。如果猎狗捕获这些动物,它很少会放它们走。纠缠某人通常包括不停地问。

“To badger someone”意思与此相近。獾和黄鼠狼有关,但是却更大更胖。獾也不像黄鼠狼那样暴力。但是如果獾咬住什么东西就会紧紧咬住不放。美国人说他们坚持不懈但不咄咄逼人时就说“badgering someone”。

实际上,大家的催促影响了我。此外我担心安娜可能会出卖我(rat me out),告诉我们老板我不可靠。Rat这个单词在这句话里的可能涉及到不能信任老鼠这种看法。在美国老鼠名声不好,不管它们是不是罪有应得。

无论如何,我终于坐下来写这篇节目。幸运地是,就像动物收集坚果让它们安全过冬,我也储藏(squirrel,松鼠)了一些想法。它们包括鱼类,例如在 “fish for compliments(设法让别人赞扬你)”这句话中的fish,以及“I will worm my way into his heart(我要慢慢占领他的心)”这句话中的worm,就好像我在坚定地挖穿泥土一样。


但是现在我多占(hog,阉猪)了安娜的节目,超出了我所被要求的。所以我要结束这期词汇掌故节目内容了。但是如果你找出(ferret out)更多既是动物又是动词的例子,请给我们写信。我是凯利·吉恩·凯利。