2015年11月14日 星期六

aver, outrageously, avert, Bake-Off, cock-and-bull story, tall tale

Barack Obama calls Paris attacks an attack on all of humanity.


Source: Edith Wharton: « Ethan Frome » Chapter VI
Denis's commercial instinct compelled him to aver on oath that what Eady's store could not produce would never be found at the widow Homan's; but Ethan, heedless of this boast, had already climbed to the sledge and was driving on to the rival establishment. 

Source: Jules Verne: « 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea » Chapter XIV.-The South Pole
I directed our steps towards a vast bay cut in the steep granite shore. There, I can aver that earth and ice were lost to sight by the numbers of sea-mammals covering them, and I involuntarily sought for old Proteus, the mythological shepherd who watched these immense flocks of Neptune. 

Source: George Eliot: « Middlemarch » Chapter XVIII
Will any member of the committee aver that he would have entertained the idea of displacing the gentleman who has always discharged the function of chaplain here, if it had not been suggested to him by parties whose disposition it is to regard every institution of this town as a machinery for carrying out their own views?

As the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off has come to an end here’s a selection of some of our favourite outrageously decorated cakes readers have sent in to GuardianWitness.
If you’d like to share yours you can still do so by clicking on the link below.
It’s the semi-final of The Great British Bake Off and to celebrate the series so far here’s a selection of some of our favourite outrageously decorated cakes you’ve sent in. If you’d like to share yours with us you can still do so...

Obama to Wall St.: ‘Join Us, Instead of Fighting Us’
President Obama challenged some of the nation’s most influential bankers to embrace a new regulatory structure meant to avert another crisis.

Yes, the New York Times reminds us, that is "the same business unit that brought the company to the brink of collapse last year". Or, as the Los Angeles Times puts it, the division that "created trillions of dollars in murky financial obligations," leading to government fears that "the entire financial system might collapse." A commenter on the NYT's website sums it up well: "This is so outrageous it is almost humorous."

Truth to tell, many of Marco Polo's tales of treasure were just that—tales. Tall tales. Readers who persevere in Polo's often confusing, disjointed text will encounter preposterous supernatural events and an astonishing bestiary, including men with the features of dogs.

outrage Show phonetics
verb [T]
(especially of an unfair action or statement) to cause someone to feel very angry, shocked or upset:
Local people were outraged at the bombing.
A proposed 5% pay cut has outraged staff at the warehouse.

outraged Show phonetics
feeling outrage:
Many outraged viewers wrote to the BBC to complain.

outrage Show phonetics
1 [U] a feeling of anger and shock:
These murders have provoked outrage across the country.
Many politicians and members of the public expressed outrage at the verdict.

2 [C] a shocking, morally unacceptable and usually violent action:
The bomb, which killed 15 people, was the worst of a series of terrorist outrages.
[+ that] It's an outrage (= it is shocking and morally unacceptable) that so much public money should have been wasted in this way.

outrageous Show phonetics
1 shocking and morally unacceptable:
The judge criticized the "outrageous greed" of some of the lawyers.
[+ that] It is outrageous that these buildings remain empty while thousands of people have no homes.
These prices are just outrageous (= much too high).

2 describes something or someone that is shocking because they are unusual or strange:
outrageous clothes/behaviour
an outrageous character

outrageously Show phonetics
outrageously high prices

cock-and-bull story

An absurd or highly improbable tale passed off as being true.

Idioms: cock and bull story
An unbelievable tale that is intended to deceive; a tall tale. For example, Jack told us some cock and bull story about getting lost.

This expression may come from a folk tale involving these two animals, or from the name of an English inn where travelers told such tales.

W.S. Gilbert used it in The Yeomen of the Guard (1888), where Jack Point and Wilfred the Jailer make up a story about the hero's fictitious death: "Tell a tale of cock and bull, Of convincing detail full." [c. 1600]

A cock and bull story

A fanciful and unbelievable tale.
The cock and bullIt is widely reported that this phrase originated at Stony Stratford ("The Jewel of Milton Keynes"), Buckinghamshire, England. Visitors to Milton Keynes might feel the bar for 'jewel' status is set rather low in that region, although Stony Stratford is indeed a rather pleasant market town.
Stony Stratford (the stony ford on the Roman road) is located on the old Roman road of Watling Street, now the A5. In the height of the coaching era - the 18th and early 19th centuries - Stony Stratford was an important stopping-off point for mail and passenger coaches travelling between London and the North of England. This coaching history is the source of the supposed origin of the phrase 'cock and bull story'.
cock and bullThe Cock and the Bull were two of the main coaching inns in the town and the banter and rivalry between groups of travellers is said to have resulted in exaggerated and fanciful stories, which became known as 'cock and bull stories'. The two hostelries did, and still do, exist.
By now, you may have noticed the 'widely reported' and 'supposed' adjectives above and picked up that I don't believe a word of it. Although it is an appealing story, regrettably, it is little more than that. There's no evidence whatsoever to connect the two inns with the phrase, apart from the coincidence of the two names.
cock and bullWhisper it not in Stony Stratford if you want to get out alive, but it's more likely that the phrase comes from old folk tales that featured magical animals. The early 17th century French term 'coq-a-l'ane' was  defined in Randle Cotgrave's A Dictionarie of the French and English Tongues, 1611 as:
An incoherent story, passing from one subject to another.
This was later taken up in Scots as "cockalayne", again with the same meaning. The first citation of 'cock and bull' stories in English is from Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy, 1621:
"Some mens whole delight is to talk of a Cock and Bull over a pot."
This reference to 'a cock' and 'a bull', which is duplicated in all the early 17th and 18th century citations of the phrase, lends support to the view that the stories were about cocks and bulls, i.e. fanciful tales, rather than stories told in the Cock or the Bull. The early date doesn't entirely rule out the coaching inn story, as coaches were used for transport in England prior to 1621 and both establishments were in business before that date but, in my view, that derivation is a 20th century invention.
What is missing from the Stony Stratford tale, and this is commonplace in folk-etymological sources that attempt to connect language with a particular place (see by hook and by crook, for example), is any link between the supposed origin and the meaning of the phrase. Why should patrons of the Cock and the Bull have been any more likely to make up fanciful tales than anyone else?
Neither the Cock nor the Bull has distinguished itself in the making of the English language. The Bull now languishes under the outrageous 'InnFamous Bull' pun on its inn sign. The Cock, in addition to the 'cock and bull story', has another cock and bull story all to itself. It is said to be the source of the nursery rhyme line 'ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross'. The story goes that horses were hired at the Cock Inn by travellers on route to nearby Banbury. Again, this is tosh. A cockhorse has been a nursery term since at least the early 16th century, as this citation from Sir Thomas Elyot's The Image of Governance, 1540, indicates:
"The dotyng pleasure to see my littell soonne ride on a cokhorse."
It isn't clear whether cockhorses were originally sticks with horses' heads that children played with or a reference to children being bounced on the knee of an adult. What they were definitely not were horses hired from a pub thirty miles away.
I must close now; the paramilitary wing of the Stony Stratford tourist office is on my tail...

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BBC電視節目《英式糕點烤起來》(The Great British Bake Off)--翻譯有點問題

 Bake off 指烘烤比賽


Line breaks: bake-off


North American
1contest in which cooks prepare baked goods such as bread and cakes for judging.
1.1informal contest between companies to win acontract.

Bake-Off (bkôf, -f)
A service mark used for a contest in which cooks prepare their own recipes, usually of baked goods, and prizes are awarded for originality and taste. This service mark sometimes occurs in lowercase with the meaning "any contest among cooks."

tr.v., a·vert·ed, a·vert·ing, a·verts.
  1. To turn away: avert one's eyes.
  2. To ward off (something about to happen); prevent: averted an accident by turning sharply. See synonyms at prevent.
[Middle English averten, from Old French avertir, from Latin āvertere : ā-, ab-, away from; see ab-1 + vertere, to turn.]
avertible a·vert'i·ble or a·vert'a·ble adj.

  1. 斷言;主張
    Harry avers that he had nothing to do with breaking the window. 哈里肯定地說他與打破窗戶毫無關係。
  2. Law. to allege as a fact. 【法律】 證明;確證

tr.v., a·verred, a·ver·ring, a·vers.
  1. To affirm positively; declare.
  2. Law.
    1. To assert formally as a fact.
    2. To justify or prove.
[Middle English averren, from Old French averer, from Vulgar Latin *advērāre : Latin ad-, ad- + Latin vērus, true.]
averment a·ver'ment n.
averrable a·ver'ra·ble adj.