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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-07-06 Words and Their Stories

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Now the voa special english programme words and their stories. Some expressions describe people who are important or who at least think they are. One such expression is big wig. In the 17th century, important man in Europe began to wear false hair called wigs .As years passed, wigs began to get bigger. The size of a man' wig depended on how important he was.

 

The more important he was or thought he was , the bigger the wig he wore. Some wigs are so large that they cover a man's shoulder or back. Today the expression big wig is used to make fun of a person who feels important. People never tell someone he is a big wig. They only use the expression behind his back. Big wheel is another way to describe an important person .

 


A big wheel may be the head of the company, a political leader , a famous movie star. They are big wheels because they are powerful. What they do affects many people .Big wheels give the orders, other people carry them out. As in many machines a big wheel makes the little wheels turn. Big wheel begane a popular expression after world war two.

 

It probably comes from an expression used for many years by people who fix parts of cars and trucks. They said a person rode a big wheel if he was important and had influence. The top of something is the highest part, so it is not surprising that top is part of another expression that describes an important person. The expression is top banana.  A top banana is the leading person in a comedy show.

 


The funniest comedian is called the top banana. The next is second banana and so on. Why a banana? A comedy actor in earlier days often include the part ,where one comedian will hit the other over the head with a soft object. The object was shaped like the yellow fruit , the banana. Top banana still is used mainly in show business . Yet, the expression can also be used to describe a top person in any area.

 

A kingpin is another word for an important person. The expression comes from the game of bowling. The kingpin is the NO.1 pin. They have hit correctly with the bowling ball . The kingpin would make the other nine pins fall, and that is the object of the game. So the most important person in a project or business is the king pin.


 

If the kingpin is removed the business of a project is likely to fail .kingpin is often used to describe an important criminal or the leader of a criminal gang . A newspaper may report for example that police have arrested the suspected kingpin of a car stealing operation .

[ 本帖最后由 文丽丽文wl 于 2008-7-9 21:49 编辑 ]
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