Roman holiday

"Roman holiday"と聞けば、オードリー・ヘップバーン主演の有名な「ローマの休日」を思い浮かべる人がほとんどだと思います。しかし、まったく逆の意味があることをご存知の人はそう多くないのではないでしょうか。

映画「ローマの休日」のタイトルはたしかに、"Roman holiday"なのですが、"Roman holiday"には、残虐行為などの見世物、という意味があります。

Veni, vidi, vici — I came, I saw, I conquered. That was Julius Caesar's famous dispatch to Rome after he and his legions dispatched King Pharnaces. While I didn't conquer anything on my trip to Rome, I can say I ate a lot of food, drank a lot of wine and picked up some interesting word origins from ancient Rome.

My trip was a vacation, so let's start with Roman holiday. Since the film Roman Holiday starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn, this phrase has taken on a kinder, gentler meaning, but originally it meant gaining pleasure from seeing others suffer. That's because the ancient Romans got a big kick out of grisly spectacles, like gladiators slaughtering one another, lions attacking elephants, and other cruel exhibitions.
(Britt Hanson. Word Odyssey: A Roman Holiday - Words from Ancient Rome. Tucson Weekly. June 6, 2014.)




Stockholm syndrome

地名を含む興味深い表現を引き続きお送りします。今日は、"Stockholm syndrome"です。



Most people know the phrase Stockholm Syndrome from the numerous high-profile kidnapping and hostage cases - usually involving women - in which it has been cited.


While the term is widely known, the incident that led to its coinage remains relatively obscure.


It was 23 August 1973 when the four were taken hostage in the Kreditbanken by 32-year-old career-criminal Jan-Erik Olsson - who was later joined at the bank by a former prison mate. Six days later when the stand-off ended, it became evident that the victims had formed some kind of positive relationship with their captors.
(Kathryn Westcott. What is Stockholm syndrome? BBC News. August 21, 2013.)

強盗団は4人の人質を取って立てこもりました。立てこもりは6日後には終結し、犯人逮捕となりましたが、事件後の捜査過程では人質が犯人に同情するような言動が見られたことから、犯罪学者や精神医学者が提示したのがこの"Stockholm syndrome"という概念だということです。

被害者は加害者に対して憎しみを抱きこそすれ、同情、まして愛情を抱くなどあり得ないと考えるのが普通かもしれません。しかしながら、"Stockholm syndrome"とは生死の境目に置かれた極限的な状況において、被害者が生き残るためにとるストラテジーであるという見方があります。

In a 2010 interview with the Guardian, Kampusch rejected the label of Stockholm Syndrome, explaining that it doesn't take into account the rational choices people make in particular situations.

"I find it very natural that you would adapt yourself to identify with your kidnapper," she says. "Especially if you spend a great deal of time with that person. It's about empathy, communication. Looking for normality within the framework of a crime is not a syndrome. It is a survival strategy."


Moscow mule


Moscow mule


モスコミュールはウォッカにライムジュースとジンジャーエールを合わせたカクテルです。何ゆえにMoscow muleと呼ばれるようになったかについては、下記のような説があるようです。

The name for this drink was randomly selected. Moscow most likely was used because of the public's tendency to associate vodka with Russia. But mule? Some say mule was added to the name because ginger beer delivers a kick of flavor. But no one really knows for sure.
(Julie R. Thomson. Why In The World Is It Called A Moscow Mule, Anyway? The Huffington Post. November 21, 2014.)



I'm from Missouri.


I'm from Missouri.

というものがあります。そのまま訳せば、“私はミズーリ州の出身です。”となります。ところが、"I'm from Missouri."は、“私は疑り深い人間ですよ”という意味で使われるのです。



I'm from Missouri. Show me.

というフレーズなのだそうです。ミズーリ州は別名、the Show Me Stateと呼ばれるそうなのですが、これはミズーリ州出身者が疑り深いことに由来するそうです。実際にモノを目にしないと信じません、証拠を見せなさい!(Show me!)ということなのですね。


I AM from Missouri.



Philadelphia lawyer


Philadelphia lawyer



A once-prominent Philadelphia lawyer has been disbarred by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after failing to respond to professional and ethical complaints.
(Pa. Supreme Court disbars Philadelphia lawyer Willie Lee Nattiel Jr. Philly.com. February 1, 2015.)

褒め言葉というものは時に逆説的に働くものですが、"Philadelphia lawyer"についても反語的に、つまり軽蔑する意味で使われることもあるようです。

A POLITICALLY active group of legal eagles called themselves trial lawyers; advocates of tort reform prefer to derogate them as the contingency-fee crowd. Others, stopping short of the meanspirited shyster (rooted in German scatology), blow them off as Philadelphia lawyers.
(William Safire. Philadelphia Lawyers. New York Times. October 13, 1996.)


New York minute


New York minute

に出てくるNew Yorkは国名ではなく都市名ですが、興味深い表現です。


New York minuteを辞書で引くと、

a very short amount of time; instant, flash
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


Midweek, San Francisco on the edge of spring. A beautiful day, if you have time to notice.

The 11 o’clock meeting started late and it went on longer than expected, and now you are late meeting a pal for lunch in the Financial District. No cabs, no Uber either, so you duck into the Muni Metro subway, just catch an inbound car, hustle up the steps at the Montgomery Station, take the wrong exit, hustle up Sansome Street, up to Montgomery, making all the green lights, moving as fast as you can go.

Then you notice: Everyone else is walking as fast as you are, fast as a New York minute. Everybody looks like they are late for something. How can that be? Everybody is laid back here on the Left Coast. That’s what they say in New York anyway.
(Carl Nolte. A splendid city — but who even has a minute to notice? San Francisco Chronicle. February 15, 2015.)



China syndrome


China syndrome


While U.S. reactors tend to shut themselves down if power rises too high, Soviet-designed plants keep heating up, possibly leading to a "China Syndrome" meltdown, the most dangerous nuclear scenario.
(Washington Monthly, 1993.)


この表現は、1979年のアメリカ映画"The China Syndrome"に由来します。この映画では、アメリカの原子力発電所でメルトダウン(炉心溶融)が発生し、溶け出した核燃料が地球の中心にまで達し、さらに(アメリカの裏側に位置する)中国にまで達する、という壊滅的な状況を主題にしたものだそうです。

中国は言ってみればアメリカで発生した原発事故の被害者ということになるかと思いますが、事故の名称が"China syndrome"とは物議を醸しそうな命名ではないかと思うのですが・・・。

ついでに取り上げると、"Stockholm syndrome"という表現もありますが、こちらはノルウェーのストックホルムで実際にあった人質事件に由来し、人質が犯人に対してある種の愛情を抱くようになることを意味するものです。


French leave

昨日の"Russian roulette"に引き続きまして、国名(地名)を含む興味深い表現を取り上げたいと思います。


French leave


The star player was fined $100 when he took French leave from the training camp.
(1100 Words You Need To Know. Third Edition. Barron's.)

なぜ"French leave"と言うようになったかについては、辞書の解説を借りるならば、フランス人は上司に挨拶しないでオフィスを後にするからだそうです。


filer a l'anglaise (=to leave English style)



このような行動は明らかに日本式ではないかもしれませんが、働き方が多様化してきている昨今、変わってくるのかも知れません。そうすると、"to leave Japanese style"という意味でのフレーズが生まれるのでしょうか!?


Russian roulette


New York Post紙によると、カリフォルニアに住む17歳がこのロシアン・ルーレットに興じ、銃弾を自分自身の頭に撃ち込んで死亡するという事件があったそうです。

CARSON, Calif. — A 17-year-old boy shot and killed himself early Monday during what authorities are describing as a game of Russian roulette in his apartment with other teens.
(Teen dies playing Russian roulette. New York Post. February 16, 2015.)

今日はこの"Russian roulette"という単語を取り上げます。




Russian roulette was made famous by the 1978 film The Deer Hunter, starring Robert DeNiro. A scene in the film features three soldiers captured during the Vietnam War who are forced to play Russian roulette as their captors gamble on the results
(What is Russian roulette? The Telegraph. July 12, 2011.)



今日の"Russian roulette"に引き続いて、国名(地名)が含まれる興味深い表現を明日以降いくつか取り上げてみたいと思います。


home cooking



Sochi home cooking



home cooking

という表現に着目したいと思います。"home cooking"とは家庭料理のことですが、ここではもちろんその意味ではありません。

韓国の選手が優勝を逃し、ロシアの選手が金メダルを攫っていったということがこの"home cooking"という表現に込められているのです。


つまり、"home cooking"とは、“ホーム”(自国の選手)に有利になるように(フィギュアの採点で)手心を加えた、というくらいの意味になるでしょうか。

さて、次に私が思ったのはこのような採点などで手心を加える行為を"home cooking"ということが定着しているのだろうか、という疑問です。辞書には載っていないようですが、ためしにググってみますと、実例はあるようです。

But even they had questions about the judging, which smelled of home cooking to sate a roaring Russian crowd at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
(Sochi Olympics: Adelina Sotnikova of Russia wins figure skating gold. LA Times. February 20, 2014.)


今日は何の日? ― paraskevidekatriaphobia




Beware superstitious friends: It's Friday the 13th again! Here are some fun facts about the day you might not know:

Fear of the day is likely rooted in Christianity.

Jesus was crucified on a Friday and ever since the day has been associated with "general ill omen," Michael Bailey, a history professor at Iowa State University who specializes in the origins of superstitions, told USA TODAY Network.
(Friday the 13th: What you need to know. USA Today. February 13, 2015.)


It's unclear when Friday and number 13 became linked in the way we think of them today, according to Vyse and Bailey. There are no mentions of Friday the 13th before the 19th century.


It's called paraskevidekatriaphobia.






飲酒運転のことをDriving Under Influence(DUI)、もしくはDriving While Intoxicated(DWH)、と表現することは以前取り上げました。

では、"Driving Stoned"とは何のことなのでしょうか?やはり飲酒運転?

Study: Driving Stoned Won't Make You Much More Likely to Crash

A new study from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (not the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, surprisingly), says smoking pot does not have a significant effect on a person's ability to drive.

Reviewing over 10,000 drivers in Virginia, some involved in crashes and some not, researchers discovered that marijuana didn't pose a major factor in accidents. When accounting for the age and sex of the stoned drivers involved in crashes, marijuana posed no substantial factor, i.e., the high drivers who crashed were predominantly young and male, two factors common in many crash-causers.
(Study: Driving Stoned Won't Make You Much More Likely to Crash. LA Magazine. February 11, 2015.)

本文を読んで分かりましたが、マリファナを吸って運転することを、"driving stoned"というようです。






The researchers did clarify, however, that the report’s findings “do not indicate that drug use by drivers is risk-free,” and urged people to consider their own study’s limitations as well as the findings of other studies.
(Rishi Iyengar. Driving While Stoned Is Much Safer Than Driving Drunk, Says a New Study. TIME. February 12, 2015.)






LGBT Adults Have Better Self Esteem, Less Depression If They Came Out In School: Study

Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have better self esteem and less depression as young adults if they were open about their sexual orientations as adolescents, a new study suggests.

Attempts to hide sexual orientation are generally unsuccessful, and the result is more abuse and more depression, the authors say in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry.
(LGBT Adults Have Better Self Esteem, Less Depression If They Came Out In School: Study. Huffington Post. February 10, 2015.)






月面着陸の“お土産”見つかる ― stash

人類として初めて月面に着陸したNeil Armstrong宇宙飛行士が“お土産”を残していたことが分かったそうです。


That's one small stash for mankind.

More than 45 years after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon, his personal bag of souvenirs from the first lunar landing have moved from the secrecy of his closet to the national spotlight.

Armstrong's widow, Carol, found the white cloth bag — astronauts called it "the purse" — filled with space hardware while cleaning out their suburban Cincinnati home after he died in August 2012 at age 82. He apparently never told anyone on Earth about his mementos.

Turns out the 20 items are among the few artifacts from the Apollo 11 lunar lander that made the trip from Tranquility Base back to Earth. Among them: the 16mm movie camera that recorded the Eagle's final descent and Armstrong's "one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind" on July 20, 1969. It also captured Armstrong and his moon mate, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, planting the American flag.
(Michael Winter. Armstrong's secret moon landing souvenirs surface. USA Today. February 9, 2015.)





That's one small stash for mankind.


"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."



行かず後家になるよりは・・・ ― Mr. Right

"Mr. Right"という表現をご存知でしょうか?わたしは初めて見ました。まずは下記の引用を読んでみましょう。

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Young women in America are often told not to settle for a man who makes them anything less than 100 percent happy. But a new study has found that settling for “Mr. Pretty Good” is a better evolutionary strategy than holding out for Mr. Right.

Michigan State University researchers found that human nature contains a strong element of risk aversion — that is, a tendency to take the safest bet when stakes are high. This encouraged primitive humans to settle for a currently available mate, since waiting for something better to come along increased the risk that the human might never mate at all.
(Matt Farley. Study: Settling for ‘Mr. Okay’ a better strategy than holding out for Mr. Right. Channel 2 News. February 8, 2015.)

"Mr. Right"は記事のタイトルから出てきますが、同じような表現に

Mr. Okay
Mr. Pretty Good


Mr. Perfect

などと出てきます。記事のコンテクストから、また"Mr. Right"と比較してみるに、どうやら、結婚相手に相応しい相手かどうかを云々しているようです。

つまり、結婚相手を品定めして、"Mr. Right"とか"Mr. Okay"とか言っている訳ですが、理想と現実のギャップということでしょう、目の前にいる相手がちょっと理想とはかけ離れていても、"Mr. Right"(あるいは"Mr. Perfect")の出現を待っていたら婚期を逃してしまうかもしれません。ここは、多少難があっても、"Mr. Okay"で妥協するのが得策、(と判断するのが人間)というのが最近の研究でも明らかになったということです。

ちなみに、"Mr. Right"のみ引用符がありませんが、それ以外はいずれも引用符付きです。ということは、"Mr. Right"は単語としての地位を得ているのかと思い、辞書を引くとエントリがありました。

The man who would make an ideal mate
(American Heritage Dictionary)


あなたは、Mr. Rightを待ちますか?それとも、Mr. Okayで妥協???


breathing room


Twitter CEO wins breathing room from Wall Street critics

(Reuters) - Twitter Inc's forecast of re-accelerating user growth helped lift its stock on Thursday, but the goodwill will only temporarily take the heat off embattled Chief Executive Dick Costolo, analysts said.

The Internet company said on Thursday that recently launched products and partnerships have set the stage for it to expand its audience.

The optimistic comments, as well as fourth-quarter revenue that topped analyst forecasts, were well received by investors. Twitter's stock jumped 9 percent to $45 in after hours trading.
(Alexei Oreskovich. Twitter CEO wins breathing room from Wall Street critics. Reuters. February 5, 2015.)


経営者にしてみれば叩かれるのを免れた訳で、"wins breathing room"というわけです。

日本語でも、一息つく、という表現で、小休止する、一休みする、という意味ですが、英語で"breathing room"という表現だとは知りませんでした。

ちなみに、"breathing space"とも言うそうです。(ランダムハウス英和、Merriam-Websterのエントリでは"breathing space"が、American Heritage Dictionaryでは"breathing room"がエントリになっています。)


尤も、"breathing space"には、動くことのできる空間、という意味もあるらしく、

The train was so crowded that there was hardly breathing space.


"breathing room"と"breathing space"は特に使い分けがあるということでもないらしく、また“一息つく(間)”の意味にも、“動くことのできる空間”の意味にも用いられるようです。

そうそう、"breathing spell"とも表現します。


hopping mad


A Wisconsin woman is hopping mad after she and her baby kangaroo were forced out of a local McDonald's.

Diana Moyer had brought 8-month-old Jimmy to Mickey D's in Beaver Dam, Wis., when someone called cops to complain.
(David K. Li. Woman with baby kangaroo forced out of McDonald's. New York Post. February 4, 2015.)


"hopping mad"は、






デザイナー? ― designer



では、"designer babies"という表現はどうでしょう。デザイナーの卵!?


Despite warnings that a new ethical threshold was being crossed, British lawmakers on Tuesday voted to allow the in vitro creation of babies using the DNA of three people, a procedure that could prevent the inheritance of genetic diseases.

The move would make Britain the first country to authorize an in vitro fertilization technique that involves altering a human egg or embryo before transferring it to the womb.

The issue provoked fierce debate, with some opponents likening the procedure to genetic modification and arguing that it would open the way to the creation of so-called designer babies.
(Stephen Castle. Britain Set to Approve Technique to Create Babies From 3 People. New York Times. February 3, 2015.)



designer babies


さて、ここで"designer"は職業としてのデザイナーではなさそうです。"designer baby"というエントリは辞書にはありませんが、Wikipediaによりますと下記のような説明がありました。

The term "designer baby" was originally derived from "designer clothing" and used pejoratively as implying commodification of children. The term can refer to the use of Preimplantation genetic diagnosis to select desired qualities of a child, and has also been used to describe the babies that would result if human gametes, zygotes, or embryos were to be genetically engineered.

"designer"というのは、"designer clothing"という表現に由来するもののようです。これは、"designer jeans"とか言うのと同じで、デザイナーによるデザインの服(ジーンズ)、という意味ですが、そもそもは(デザイナーによる服飾は高価ですから)良い意味での形容表現だったと思われます。


used pejoratively as implying commodification of children

とありますように、悪い意味で用いられているのです。"commodification"とは商業化、商品化、といった意味ですが、デザイナーによる服飾であっても大量生産されるとあっては価値は下がる訳で、その意味では"designer clothing"も褒めているのか、貶しているのか、よく分からないところです。


modified artificially (as by genetic engineering) to fulfill individual specifications or meet a need

とあり、こちらは"designer baby"における意味に非常に近いものとなっています。

"designer baby"が辞書のエントリになるのも近いかも知れません。


スープ? ― soup up

スープにしますか?それともサラダ?(Soup or Salad?)

"soup up"という表現をご存知でしょうか?私は初めて見ました。

The next-gen Raspberry Pi 2 is on sale now, and despite its souped-up memory and CPU performance, it is still just $35.

The Raspberry Pi 2 runs a 900MHz quad-core ARM Cortex-A7 CPU and 1GB LPDDR2 SDRAM, which offers six times the performance and two times the memory of its predecessor, the company said.
(Stephanie Milot. Raspberry Pi 2 Is Faster, But Not Pricier. PC Magazine. February 2, 2015.)

コンピュータ、それもハードウェアの話です。この世界は進歩と変化が目まぐるしいのでちょっと目を離しているとすぐについて行けなくなりますが、"Raspberry Pi"というのはPCの基幹部分にあたるハードウェアのようです。

its souped-up memory and CPU performance

という部分は、"soup up"という表現を知らなくても、恐らく“強化された”、というくらいの意味であると想像がつきます。







ここから転じて、"soup up"が性能アップの意味で使われるようになったようです。


母さん大好き!で無料 ― gratis

"I'm Lovin' It."とかいうのがマクドナルドのキャッチフレーズだったかと思いますが、そのマックが面白いキャンペーンを張っているそうです。


Would you be willing to sing for your supper? What about do a silly dance, give a hug or blow a kiss? If so, McDonald’s may just hand you your Big Mac and fries gratis, starting next week..

Starting Monday and continuing through Feb. 14, randomly selected customers will get the option to “Pay With Lovin’ ” instead of cash. They can call up someone on their cellphones and say “I love you,” do a “silly dance” in the store, send a selfie, give a high five or a “big family hug," or, apparently, do whatever the cashier (aka “Lovin’ Lead") deems to be an expression of “lovin’ ” — “subject to Lovin' Lead's reasonable discretion and completed to Lovin' Lead's reasonable satisfaction,” according to the McDonald’s website.
(Samantha Bonar. Super Bowl ad: McDonald's to accept hugs, selfies as payment for some meals. Los Angeles Times. January 31, 2015.)