Sam O’Nella Academy
Today’s episode: “Origins of phrases”.
嘿 小朋友们 你们知道最棒的学科是哪个吗? 昆虫学
Hey, kids. You know what’s cool? Entomology.
我是说 催吐药物学 我是说语…语源学 开始吧
I mean Emetology. I mean Ety… Etymology. There we go.
Today, we’re gonna talk about some words, some combinations thereof, and where they come from.
First is the phrase “white elephant”.
Now for those out of the loop, a “white elephant” is “a possession which its owner cannot dispose of,
and whose cost, particularly that of maintenance, is out of proportion to its usefulness.”
同时 这也是一种假日游戏 为那些更喜欢随机垃圾而不是个性化礼物的人设计
And also a game played during the holidays for people who prefer a random garbage over actual personalized presents.
According to legend, this saying dates back to the Monarchs of Siam.
Whenever one of the Kings courtiers drew his displeasure through whatever means,
he would offer them a gift of a white elephant.
It was considered the ultimate insult to refuse a gift from the king.
So naturally the elephant to you would be forced to accept.
Now if you know elephants as well as I do,
you would know that they are freaking gigantic.
They can consume around 50 gallons of water and 500 pounds of foliage every day,
即使在现代社会 养大象都如此昂贵 何况几百年前
which would be quite expensive to keep up in modern times, let alone hundreds of years ago.
Plus, these ones are albino.
因此 你必须每小时用30SPF的防晒霜把他们从头到脚喷一遍 否则他们会得皮肤癌
So, “you have to hose them down with SPF 30 once an hour or else” will turn into one big tumor.
好吧 其实不必要 但它们的确需要阴凉
Okay, not really, but they definitely needed their shade.
同时 东南亚文化中的白象是神圣的 因此你不能让他们工作
Also, Southeast Asian cultures considered white elephants sacred, so you weren’t allowed to make the animal work.
And you’d have to hire a load of people to care for it on a daily basis.
Basically, the person getting the gift would have to choose between financial ruin,
or letting it die in being socially ostracized, and possibly even killed.
I thought this whole thing was pretty clever, so I started doing my own version.
Whenever someone gets on my nerves, I spray-paint progressive comments all over their house.
That way they’ll have to spend the whole day angrily scrubbing it off.
然后他们的邻居会说 “等等 他是不是喜欢歧视性的词语?”“他们要被打了”
And then the neighbors will be like: “wait, does that mean he likes the n-word?”, “they get hits come.”
Next is “balls to the wall”.
This one harkens back to the days when planes flew in the air.
The throttle of many aircrafts would be controlled with either a lever or a plunger,
either of which were often topped with a sphere for easy handling.
Thus, when you wanted to throw the plane in the max thrust,
you put the balls to a wall in a similar vein the phrase ‘Balls Deep’ comes from pinball machines.
When you want to launch the ball full force, you pull the plunger all the way back,
otherwise known as going balls deep.
不 我开玩笑的 balls deep 就是你想的那样子
No, I’m just kidding. That one actually means what you think it does.
Next is “getting your goat”, a phrase used when someone or something annoys you.
The origin of this phrase is still disputed by etymologists, but one theory traces back to the sport of horse racing.
In order to stop horses from getting nervous before a race,
their owners would stick a goat in the stables to keep him calm.
Apparently, the presence of a goat has some kind of therapeutic effect on horses,
kind of like a therapy dog, except they can’t pet it on account of hooves,
so they just sniff it for a while, I guess.
Cut to a pack of young hooligans, looking for something to do besides bootlegging and getting polio,
they decide to break into the stables at night, and escort the goat to an undisclosed location.
于是 当赛马赛开始时 那匹马不会像正常马一样跑直线
Then, when the race starts instead of running straight ahead like a normal person,
the horse would run into the crowd, and dropkick a grandma or whatever.
那个又老脾气又怪的石油大亨 马的主人 会站起来摇晃他的手杖 生气叫喊
And the old crotchety oil tycoon who owns the horse would stand up, shaking his cane, yelling,
“Those punks really get my goat!”
Thanks to modern medicine, anxious horses today can instead be given horsey xanax to calm them down,
which unfortunately means that the days of hot-blooded goat getting are over.
然而 有人争辩说 偷走马的镇静剂有相同效果
However, some would argue that stealing horse tranquilizers can be equally rewarding in its own way,
but enough of that Mumbo Jumbo.
嘿 说到这 你有没有好奇过鬼扯的话是从哪里来的?
Hey, speaking of which, you ever wonder where Mumbo Jumbo comes from?
不错 继续 山姆 谢谢你 山姆
Nice segue, Sam. Thanks Sam.
总之 系紧安全带 孩子们 下一个词是个好词
Anyway, strap in, kids. This one’s gonna be good.
Mumbo Jumbo originates from the Mandingo people of West Africa.
The Mandingos were a polygamist culture.
And whenever a domestic quarrel broke out, they would soon hear animalistic screaming coming from the woods.
他们过去查看 丛林子里跑出来的这个人 就叫作“巫师”
They look over, and out runs this guy, known as Mumbo Jumbo.
Now, Mumbo Jumbo’s arrival was considered a big deal to the Mandingo.
The whole tribe would sing and dance in the town center until midnight,
at which point mr. Jumbo would settle the dispute.
并且 通过解决争端 具体方式是把女人绑在一个标杆上 用木棒击打她的头顶长达一小时
And by settle the dispute, I mean tied a female to a post, and slap her upside the head with a stick for an hour,
与此同时 其他村民边围观 边疯狂叫嚣
while the rest of the village watched all hooting and hollering.
之后 他就尖叫着跑回深林中 直到下一次争端出现
And then he’d run screaming back into the woods, where he would remain until the next complaint arose.
What the Mandingo women didn’t know is that Mumbo Jumbo is not, in fact, a wild patriarchal deity from the forest,
而仅仅是那个被女人冒犯的丈夫 或丈夫的朋友 穿着用树皮和树叶制作的戏服
but merely the offending woman’s husband, or one of his friends wearing a costume made from tree bark and leaves.
总之 那个人会一直嘟囔着胡话 这就是“鬼扯”的起源
Anyway, the guy would be babbling nonsense the whole time, which is where the phrase Mumbo Jumbo is derived from.
So, next time one of your superiors uses the words Mumbo Jumbo in a jocular fashion,
remember to report them to HR for promoting African wife-beating.
Anyway, that’s all for today until next time.
我是 Sam O’Nella 感谢你的收看
I’m Sam O’Nella. And thank you for watching.
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