2015年12月30日 星期三

frivolous, at bay, keep at bay, grumble, keep...from

When GPS Leads to S O S
Modern technological devices like cellphones and personal locator beacons don’t mean that hikers can afford to be careless or frivolous. 

Facing a financial crisis, Cake Shop, a small club on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, started an Internet fund-raising campaign to keep its doors from closing.

Man Claims Facebook Ownership
A New York judge issued a temporary restraining order restricting the transfer of Facebook assets, amid a man's claim that he owns 84% of the social-networking company. Facebook calls the suit frivolous.

The British press  An empire at bay

founder Max Levchin's latest start-up Slide, which makes helps MySpace and Facebook users make sparkly slide shows, may seem frivolous. But Mr. Levchin expects the lighter side of the Web to generate serious money, even more than PayPal did, which he sold to eBay for $1.5 billion in 2002.

Down-hearted doubters dull and excluded,
Frivolous, sullen, moping, angry, affected, dishearten'd,
I know every one of you, I know the sea of torment, doubt, despair
and unbelief.
---Song of Myself


  • レベル:社会人必須
  • 発音記号[grʌ'mbl]
1 (…のことで)不平を言う, ぶつぶつ言う((at, about, over ...))
Don't grumble aboutatyour food.
I can'tmustn't] grumble.
2 低くうなる;〈雷などが〉ゴロゴロ鳴る, とどろく.
━━(他)…を不平がましく言う, ぶつぶつ言う((out));…と不平を言う((that節))
grumble one's complaint
grumble (out) a reply
1 (…への)不平, 不満, 苦情((at, about, over ...));不満の種.
2 ゴロゴロ[ガタガタ]いう音.

at bay
Cornered, in distress, as in Angry bystanders chased the thief into an alley and held him at bay until the police arrived. This idiom originally came from hunting, where it describes an animal that has been driven back and now faces pursuing hounds. Its use for other situations dates from the late 1500s.

A Phrase A Week apaw@phrasefind

Keep at bay


Prevent, either a person or an event, from advancing nearer.


'Keep at bay' (sometimes used as 'hold at bay') is one of those expressions that we are likely to know the meaning of because we have picked it up from colloquial use in our youth and worked out the meaning from the context it was used in. The nature of how we learn language allows us to gain a knowledge of what an idiom means without necessarily knowing the meaning of the words contained in it - which I guess is why pages like this one get readers.
Anyhow, back to the phrase itself. It seems plausible that 'at bay' is a nautical phrase and that the allusion is to a ship that is anchored in a bay and waiting to enter a port. 'In the offing' has pretty much the same meaning. As it turns out, we only need one expression in English for that circumstance and 'keep at bay' derives from a completely different place.
Keep at bayThe Old French words 'abbay' or 'abai' mean 'barking'. These came into English, first as 'abay' and later as 'at bay'. Hounds that were barking were said in the 14th century to be 'at a bay'. This is recorded in the English romantic story Guy of Warwick, circa 1330:
Into a forest þat swine him ȝede. Into a ficke hegges he gan him hede. Þer he stod at a bay.
(A fat boar went into a forest. He hid in a thick hedge. He [the hound] stood there barking.)
Keep at bayTo keep at bay meant then to be in a standoff with a baying dog that was intent on killing - a scenario which also gave us the expression 'baying for blood'. In more placid moments hounds also 'bay at the moon'.
In recent times the phrase 'keep at bay' has taken on the more general meaning of 'fend off'. The earliest example that I can find of the modern 'keep at bay' (as opposed to 'at a bay') and which doesn't refer directly to hunting with dogs is from The Derby Mercury, February 1759, in a report of England's war with France:

We have seen the French kept at bay for the whole campaign, and they are gone into their winter quarters.

  • [béi]
1 (追跡中の猟犬の長く低い)ほえ声, うなり声.
2 ((通例at, toを前に置いて))(けもの・逃亡者などが)追い詰められた状態;窮境, どたん場;追い詰められて刃向かう状態;絶体絶命の反撃
turn [come] to bay
bring [drive] a criminal to bay
be [stand] at bay
keep [hold] an enemy at bay
3 ((しばしばatを前に置いて))(動物・人などに)刃向かわれて手こずる状態.
━━[動](自)〈猟犬などが〉(…に)長く低くほえる, うなる, わめく((at, for ...)).
1 〈猟犬が〉…にほえつく, ほえて…を襲う.
2 …を追い詰める.
3 〈人が〉…とほえるような声で言う.

"1926年11月底,局勢已是極其困難,丁此時致函胡適:「我細讀你的信,覺得你到了歐洲,的確是吃了一劑補藥,心裏異常的高興。不肯frivolous(隨俗浮沉),真可說是你的覺悟,我們處中國目前環境,真要立定了腳跟,咬緊了牙齒,認真做事,認真做人。」24雖為針對胡氏的思想變化立言,何嘗不是觸景生情有感而發的夫子自道。 "

(frĭv'ə-ləs) pronunciation
  1. Unworthy of serious attention; trivial: a frivolous novel.
  2. Inappropriately silly: a frivolous purchase.
[Middle English, probably from Latin frīvolus, of little value, probably from friāre, to crumble.]
frivolously friv'o·lous·ly adv.

1 つまらない, 取るに足らない.
2 あさはかな, 軽薄な.