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[word-lover] 【整理】2008-10-19 Words and Their Stories

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Now, VOA special Engish program, words and their stories. Americans often use expressions about animals. In 2008, the main candidates for president each used this expression "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig". This means that it is a waste of time to change something from ugly or unpleasantly to beautiful.  There are other expressions about imporving a pig's apperance.  Like this one, A hog in a waistcoat, is still a hog. Hog are similiar to pig, only bigger.

 

American use many other expressions about pigs, hogs and female hogs called sows. Like this one,you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. This means you cannot create something valueable from something has no value. In a pig sight is another unusual expression,it means something that is not so or will not happen. Then it's the expression casting pearls before a swine,  that means wasting something valuable on someone who wil not be thankful or care about it.

 

However, at least one kind of pig can be useful in saving money. It is called a piggy bank. You can buy a small  container  shapes like a pig. It has a hole that children can put money into it.

 

Hogs are very large animals. If you say you eat high on hog during a holiday,  it means you eat very good or costly food. If you went whole hog on your trip,  it means you did everything possible to have fun. But you should never go hog-wild at anytime because that means behaving badly.

Hogs take up a lot of space, but people should not take up more than their share.If one of your children is taking up too much space sitting in front of the TV, other children might say" do not hog the couch". And "A road hog " is a driver who uses more than its share of the road. Such a driver increases dangers for other drivers.

 

Pig terms are also used in American politics. Farmers mark their pig's ears to identify them. In politics, ear marks on money set aside for projects in a congressman's home state or locality, and politicians may say there is a lot of pork in a budget  proposal , meaning wastful spending.

In many areas, pig provide ham, bacon and other pork products to eat. all Americans want to be able to bring home the bacon, that means to earn engough money to provide the necessities of life.  Experts say this term was first used in the 1920's.  But it's believed to come from a much older game of catching a greased pig ,this was a popular event at country fairs in which the winner was awarded the pig.

[ 本帖最后由 lilymao0810 于 2008-10-20 11:15 编辑 ]
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