Colorful Expressions:与色彩有关的英语表达

Colorful Expressions


Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.


Every people has its own way of saying things, its own special expressions. Many everyday American expressions are based on colors.


Red is a hot color. Americans often use it to express heat. They may say they are red hot about something unfair. When they are red hot they are very angry about something. The small hot tasting peppers found in many Mexican foods are called red hots for their color and their fiery taste. Fast loud music is popular with many people. They may say the music is red hot, especially the kind called Dixieland jazz.

红色是一种热情的颜色。美国人经常用红色来表达热度。他们可能会说他们对某件不公平的事情感到red hot。当他们说red hot时说明他们对某件事很生气。墨西哥食品中的小辣椒因为其颜色和强烈的味道而被称为red hots。快节奏的强劲音乐受到了很多人的欢迎。他们称这种音乐很red hot,尤其是迪克西兰爵士乐。

Pink is a lighter kind of red. People sometimes say they are in the pink when they are in good health. The expression was first used in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. It probably comes from the fact that many babies are born with a nice pink color that shows that they are in good health.

粉红色是一种淡红色。人们用in the pink来表示自己非常健康。这个短语20世纪初在美国初次使用。可能源于许多婴儿出生时皮肤粉红,这表明他们身体很健康。

Blue is a cool color. The traditional blues music in the United States is the opposite of red hot music. Blues is slow, sad and soulful. Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded a famous song – Mood Indigo – about the deep blue color, indigo. In the words of the song: “You ain’t been blue till you’ve had that Mood Indigo.” Someone who is blue is very sad.

蓝色是一种冷色调。美国传统的蓝调音乐与劲爆音乐(red hot music)正好相反。蓝调音乐是比较舒缓,忧伤和充满感情的。艾琳顿公爵与他的乐队录制了一首关于深蓝色的歌曲---《靛蓝心情》,这首歌非常有名。有一句歌词是这样的:“没听过《靛蓝心情》这首歌,你就不懂什么是真正的悲伤。”。说某人blue,是指他很忧伤。

The color green is natural for trees and grass. But it is an unnatural color for humans. A person who has a sick feeling stomach may say she feels a little green. A passenger on a boat who is feeling very sick from high waves may look very green.

绿色是代表草木的大自然的颜色。但是用它来形容人就与自然无关了。一个人感觉自己胃不舒服,就可以说它觉得有点难受感觉(feels a little green)。一个在小船上因船摇晃而晕船的乘客,可能会脸色发青(look very green) 。

Sometimes a person may be upset because he does not have something as nice as a friend has, like a fast new car. That person may say he is green with envy. Some people are green with envy because a friend has more dollars or greenbacks. Dollars are called greenbacks because that is the color of the back side of the paper money.

有时候一个人因为朋友有而自己没有的东西---比如一辆新跑出,而感到非常沮丧。他可能说自己green with envy(十分嫉妒)。一些人说自己green with envy是因为朋友比他更有钱或是更多greenbacks。美元被叫做greenbacks,是因为美元背面的颜色是绿色的。

The color black is used often in expressions. People describe a day in which everything goes wrong as a black day. The date of a major tragedy is remembered as a black day. A blacklist is illegal now. But at one time, some businesses refused to employ people who were on a blacklist for belonging to unpopular organizations.

表达中也经常用到黑色。人们把诸事不顺的一天称为black day。发生重大灾难的日子也被称为a black day。现在黑名单是不合法的。但是,曾经有一段时间,一些企业拒绝录用黑名单上的人,因为他们他们属于一个不受欢迎的组织。

In some cases, colors describe a situation. A brown out is an expression for a reduction in electric power. Brown outs happen when there is too much demand for electricity. The electric system is unable to offer all the power needed in an area. Black outs were common during World War Two. Officials would order all lights in a city turned off to make it difficult for enemy planes to find a target in the dark of night.

在某些情况下,颜色也用于描述一种处境。brown out表示电力减少。电力需求过多时就出现brown out的情况。电力系统有时不能供应一个区域的所有用电需求。二战期间,灯火管制(black outs)是非常普遍的一种情况。官方会下令关闭所有电灯,使敌机在黑暗中很难找到攻击目标。

I'm Warren Scheer. Listen again next week for another WORDS AND THEIR STORIES program in special English on the Voice of Americawas written by Jeri Watson.