雞鴨鵝

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17/04/2016

雞鴨鵝 毛孟靜

語文是生活,雞鴨鵝都是尋常家禽,與生活息息相關,自然入文,給用作形容、比喻等等。這一篇,跟大家一談chicken、duck 和goose 的日常話。

◆雞Chicken

香港地一句批評「好雞」,是指「唔掂、好流、次貨」之類,亦有索性講「好弱雞」,即冇料到;英文一般會說It’s weak、a cheat、a fraud、not up to it,但就不搭上雞。卻是,chicken 也真有弱的意思,不過是懦弱的弱,批評人缺乏勇氣。叫人做chicken,等於懦夫,是俗語。

例︰ You want to go, don’t you? But you are too chicken to quit. 你想走,是吧?但你沒勇氣離開。

要加重語氣,就講too much of a chicken。

例︰ He was too much of a chicken to ask her out. 他懦弱騰雞,不敢開口追求她。

Chicken 也可以成為動作,to chicken out 縮沙,尤其指臨陣退縮。

例︰ You are not chickening out, are you? 你不是臨陣退縮、縮沙吧?

廣東話「叫雞」即召妓。但英文的prostitute, 另有許多市井的講法, 卻不涉雞。或不時聽到的hot chick,一般是指好身材的年輕女子,縱帶點俚俗貶義,但與妓無關,這一點要留意。

◆ Duck 鴨

老一輩的英國人,會叫人做ducky,是一款暱稱, 等於dear ︰ “Come and sit down,ducky.” 而今日北美,ducky 一字變為解做「好掂、如意」:Everything here is just ducky,即事事okay and fine。

但鴨做動詞,to duck,就沒有什麼特別正面的意思了。中性一說, 是指低頭彎腰, to move your head or body downwards,或因為有需要, 或因為想躲起來, 不為人見, to avoid being hit or seen。

例︰ He had to duck as he came through the door. 他要低頭(及彎腰),方可走進門來。

例︰ As soon as we arrived she ducked into the kitchen. 我們一到,她就躲進廚房去了。

例︰ He managed to duck/dodge quite a few blows. 他成功閃避了好幾拳。

會帶大量負面意思的,是下面duck 等於dodge 的句子,指逃避卸責。

例︰ The official ducked all the reporters’ questions. 官員逃避所有記者的問題。

又我們俚語中叫男妓做鴨,西方沒有這個講法。男妓俗語通常就叫gigolo、toyboy。

◆鵝Goose

英文有叫人做silly goose,就像我們的「蠢豬、傻豬」,視乎語氣,既可以是表示親密,亦可以是真心認為對方傻。Goose bumps 係雞皮疙瘩,留意亦有真講雞皮I got chicken skin。

都聽過會生金蛋的鵝, golden goose:They were killing the golden goose of tourism. 他們殺鵝(中文多講雞)取卵地了旅遊業。

還有to goose 解去刺激再生, to make active; to give (something) a boost; to invigorate。

例︰ The government’s desire to goose the tired housing market has been quite obvious. 政府想重新刺激疲態畢現樓市的心意,昭然若揭。

 

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