2015年9月3日 星期四

demimonde, dodgy, down-and-out, skip, dodge, pawnbroker,paupers

For three decades, art historian Michael Peppiatt boozed with Francis Bacon (artist) after they’d drunk everyone else under the table. He relives his days in a demi-monde of crooks, misfits and dodgy nightclubs
For three decades, art historian Michael Peppiatt boozed with Francis...
THEGUARDIAN.COM

But that was before the collapse of the tea market turned thousands of farmers and dealers into paupers and provided the nation with a very pungent lesson about gullibility, greed and the perils of the speculative bubble.


Predicting the future can be a dodgy activity but that doesn’t prevent a flood of forecasts at this time of year.

British trendwatcher Richard Watson recently set out his predictions for the next 50 years in a book called Future Files. He examines emerging trends and patterns in society, technology, the economy and so on. And he speculates where these developments might lead us. Carol Allen has been leafing through Future Files and here are her thoughts on Richard Watson’s predictions.


Pawnshops go back at least to classical Greece and Rome, and, in the East, to 1,000 BCE in China. The negative view of them comes from their reputation as the last resort of down-and-outers and the suspicion that robbers used them to dispose of stolen goods: pinch something, sell it to the pawnbroker, then just never come back to collect it. There was another dodge too: a man intending to go bankrupt or skip town could buy goods on credit, pawn them, and then take off with the cash.

dem·i·monde
ˈdemēˌmänd/
noun
noun: demi-monde
  1. (in 19th-century France) the class of women considered to be of doubtful morality and social standing.
    • a group of people considered to be on the fringes of respectable society.
      "the demimonde of arms deals"

skip (LEAVE) Show phonetics
verb [I or T] -pp-
to leave one thing or place, especially quickly, in order to go to another:
This part of the book isn't very interesting, so I'm going to skip (over) it.
The teacher kept skipping from one subject to another so it was difficult to follow what he was saying.
We're skipping over/across/off (= making a quick journey) to France for the day.
The police think that the bank robbers must have skipped (= left) the country by now.
She skipped off/out (= left quickly and/or secretly) without saying goodbye.

down-and-out

(doun'ənd-out', -ən-)

or down and out adj.
  1. Lacking funds, resources, or prospects; destitute.
  2. Incapacitated; prostrate.
n. also down-and-out·er (-ou'tər)
One who is down-and-out.


down-and-outer

noun
    An impoverished person: beggar, down-and-out, have-not, indigent, pauper. Seerich/poor.

dodge

v.
, dodged, dodg·ing, dodg·es. v.tr.
  1. To avoid (a blow, for example) by moving or shifting quickly aside.
  2. To evade (an obligation, for example) by cunning, trickery, or deceit: kept dodging the reporter's questions.
  3. To blunt or reduce the intensity of (a section of a photograph) by shading during the printing process.
v.intr.
  1. To move aside or in a given direction by shifting or twisting suddenly: The child dodged through the crowd.
  2. To practice trickery or cunning; prevaricate.
n.
  1. The act of dodging.
  2. An ingenious expedient intended to evade or trick. See synonyms at wile.
[Origin unknown.]


dodgy Show phonetics
adjective UK INFORMAL
1 dishonest:
a dodgy deal
They got involved with a dodgy businessman and lost all their savings.

2 unable to be depended on or risky:
The weather might be a bit dodgy at this time of year.
I can't come in to work today - I've got a bit of a dodgy stomach.
It was a dodgy situation.

3 likely to break or cause pain:
Careful - that chair's a bit dodgy.
Ever since the war I've had this dodgy leg.