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2014-07-10    来源:kandongsee    【      美国外教 在线口语培训


It is often said that the British don't like showing emotion. It's certainly the case that - at least while sober - we do sometimes struggle to display affection towards our nearest and dearest, shunning gushy displays. A very common strategy for dealing with this emotional repression, however, which certainly baffles outsiders, is our tendency to show love through mild abuse. Hearing Brits refer to their family, friends, or even partners with seemingly offensive s may be surprising at first, but, more often than not, these are in fact affectionate, endearing terms. Here are five commonly heard 'insults' that are actually pretty friendly – and will bamboozle any English speakers from outside of the UK.


'Billy' is a common shortening of the boy's name 'William'. King William IV (4th) in the 1800s was well-knownfor his rambling, nonsensical speeches and foolish manner, and so came to be known as 'Silly-Billy'. The phrase caught on, perhaps because of its catchy rhyme, and 'silly-billy' is now used as a term of endearment when someone’s being a little daft. As in - 'He only started his essay this morning and the deadline's in an hour?! What a silly-billy!'


One of my favourites, as my Dad would use it pretty liberally towards me and my brother when we were children. Referring to a person who's done something silly without putting in much thought - perhaps 'Your homework's in the washing machine again?! You chump!’ Apparently, 'chump' can be thought of as a mix of the words 'chunk' and 'lump'- so basically, things that are, like a chump, a bit dense.


根据“在线语源词典”,“twit”曾经是个动词,意识是批评和指责。后来演变为一个名词,指的是某些非得骂上一番的蠢人。英国有一本著名的儿童读物叫《The Twits》,讲述了一对顽皮的老夫妇成天在对方身上搞恶作剧。也许是这本书让带动了这个名词的普及,不过日常应用中,Twits还是一个满怀爱意的词,用来形容那些无比亲近却又像那对老夫妇一样让人烦恼的人。
According to the 'Online Etymology Dictionary', 'twit' was once a verb, meaning to blame or reproach someone. It then developed into a noun - unsurprisingly, describing someone that needed blaming or reproaching for being foolish. There's a popular children’s book in the UK called 'The Twits', which describes a really nasty old couple who just play tricks on each other. This may have brought the word into common usage, but its everyday application is still quite affectionate, used towards someone nowhere near as horrible as the characters.


According to a 2007poll, 'numpty' is Scotland's favourite word, but it's also used throughout thewider UK. It supposedly derives from the now outdated word 'numps', meaningstupid. So, a 'numpty' is a bit of an idiot - 'She walked 3 miles to return thebook but left it at home?! The numpty'.


Someone who's awally is probably also a bit of a chump -they just haven't thought thingsthrough very well. The story behind its originis a little dubious, buturban-legend has it that, at a 1960s music-festival, a festival-goer (or, insome accounts, his dog) named Wally got lost. The search for him lasted allweekend, and left the entire festival audience shouting 'Wally! Wally!'. Itmust have stuck. Interestingly, the US quiz book 'Where's Waldo?' is called'Where's Wally?' in the UK, probably because 'Wally' has the connotations ofbeing silly, just like the book itself. (kandongsee)

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