2016年1月14日 星期四

cowardice, "curry favour" , reduce sb to sth/ reduce someone to tears

CY Leung denied repeating "One Belt, One Road" 40 times during his address to curry favour with Beijing. He said that Hong Kong people may not have time to understand the importance of the initiative, but the government must respond to it.
Four-year-old girl reduces her cancer-stricken mother to tears with rendition of 'I'm Gonna Love You Through It'

House Speaker John Boehner appeased the extremist members of his party in hopes of keeping his position. In the end, it did him no good, Jeffrey Toobin writes.



The mainstream reaction to Boehner’s forced resignation as Speaker of the House gives him too much credit.
NYR.KR|由 JEFFREY TOOBIN 上傳






















Google under fire over 70% rise in childcare costs
guardian.co.uk - UK
Google's employee-friendly reputation is under fire with claims that members of its workforce were reduced to tears over a near-70% rise in the cost of ...


reduce sb to sth (PERSON) phrasal verb
1 to make someone unhappy or cause them to be in a bad state or situation:
His comments reduced her to tears (= made her cry).
The sergeant was reduced to the ranks (= made an ordinary soldier) for his cowardice.

2 If you are reduced to doing something, you are forced to do it because you have no other choice:

I'd run out of cigarettes and was reduced to smoking the butts left in the ashtrays.




reduce someone to tears

to cause a person to cry through insults, frustration, and belittling. He scolded her so much that she was reduced to tears by the end ofthe meeting.

curry (OBTAIN)
verb DISAPPROVING
curry favour to praise someone, especially someone in authority, in a way that is not sincere, in order to obtain some advantage for yourself:
He's always trying to curry favour with the boss.


上述這一普通"拍馬屁"說法
經過英國的"每周一詞"的追查法語來源
curry 是從"整治" (準備料理)
favour 是從一驢子故事寓言來

Curry favour
Meaning
To attempt to gain favour or ingratiate oneself, by officious courtesy or flattery.
Origin
The BBC is currently (August 2007) running a series of programmes to mark the 60th anniversary of the Partition of India. Given the popularity of Indian food in the UK they have included several cookery programmes and I have now heard the 'curry flavour' pun three times - and counting.
On looking into the source of the originating 'curry favour' phrase (curry source? - now they've got me at it) it appears that it isn't original at all, but is itself a mishearing of another phrase.
To disentangle 'curry favour', or as the Americans prefer it spelled 'curry favor', we need to look at 'curry' and 'favour' separately.
The word curry denoting the spicy food comes from the Indian words 'kari' or 'karil' and was known in the English-speaking world by the late 16th century. A translation of Van Linschoten's His Discours of Voyages into ye Easte & West Indies, 1598, records that:
"Most of their fish is eaten with rice, which they seeth in broth, which they put upon the rice, and is somewhat soure... but it tasteth well, and is called Carriel."
To no great surprise, the curry of 'curry favour' has nothing to do with Indian food. It comes instead from an Old French verb conraier - 'to prepare', 'to put in order'. This is the same source as the name for the rubbing down and dressing of horses - curry-combing.
-->The mishearing that gives us 'curry favour' is of the second word. This was originally not 'favour' but 'favel'. John Palsgrave's Lesclarcissement de la langue françoyse [The clarification of the French language], 1530, records a curryfavell as 'a flatterar'.
curry favourFavel comes from the 1310 poem by the French royal clerk Gervais du Bus - Roman de Fauvel [The Romance of Fauvel]. That morality tale relates the story of Fauvel, an ambitious and vain donkey, who deceives and corrupts the greedy leaders of church and state. The name Fauvel or Favvel, which is formed from 'fau-vel' (in English 'veiled lie'), is an acrostic made from the initial letters of a version of the seven deadly sins: flaterie (flattery/pride), avarice (greed/gluttony), vilanie (wrath), variété (inconstancy), envie (envy), and lacheté (cowardice).
In the poem, the rich and powerful humiliate themselves by bowing down and stroking the coat of the false leader, i.e. by 'currying Fauvel'.
The first citation of 'curry favour' rather than 'curry Fauvel' comes in Alexander Barclay's, The mirrour of good manners, circa 1510:
"Flatter not as do some, With none curry fauour."

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