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新词新译系列-A 2

2014-03-04    来源:网络    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

阿拉佛 (a1 la1 fo2)
arafo

The term, derived from Japanese, is a borrowed word which means "around 40." It refers to well-educated single females aged around 40 who are financially independent and spend lavishly. It has become popular from its use in the namesake Japanese TV series starring Amami Yuki last year.

爱老虎油 (ai4 lao3 hu3 you2)
I love you

The Chinese word which literally means "love tiger oil" is pronounced similarly to "I love you" in English. The saying comes from a Hong Kong kung fu movie in which the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) heroine is tricked by a Western-educated lover to say the words.

阿飘 (a1 piao1)
ghost

The word, literally meaning "float" in Chinese, is a "nickname" for ghosts or phantoms because they are always described to be floating in air and drifting from place to place.

阿拉 (a1 la1)
I (me), we (us)

Most out-of-towners believe this is the most obvious term of the Shanghai dialect. It is perhaps partly because of the resonant pronunciation of "a la," which makes the Shanghai language sound noisy, and partly because of a widespread egotistic image of "arrogant" and "snobbish" Shanghainese.

However, many linguists insist that this term did not originate from Shanghai. Instead, it was imported from Ningbo, a port city in neighboring Zhejiang Province. The native farmers and fishermen living in today's Songjiang District area used, and still use, "我伲" (u ni) to mean "we" or "us."

The "a la" sound came from the typically loud Ningbo merchants in the Shanghai markets. At one time, people from Ningbo formed the largest regional group of business people in the city. Gradually, people in Shanghai began to use "a la" to mean "I (me)" and "we (us)." Today, if you use the aboriginal "我伲" (u ni) to mean "we," people would immediately say you are a bumpkin. City people all use "阿拉" (a la) instead.

肮三 (ang1 sei1) Tricky, thorny, disappointing, disgraceful, shoddy

The first character means literally "dirty" or "filthy," and the second means "three." In Shanghai parlance, the number three often implies a very low level or poor quality.

So, by derivation, the term describes something of low quality or extremely disappointing.

It also suggests something tricky or thorny or someone who's stingy, disgraceful or acting in an underhanded way.

People usually list two English expressions as the origin of this Shanghai colloquial term. One is "out side," the other is "on sale." Both sound onomatopoeically genuine.

The first term "out side" comes from ball games such as tennis when a referee calls an off-side ball no score.

"On sale" brings with it the connotation of something cheap or of lower and substandard quality.

More often used as an adjective, the noun is 肮三货 (ang sei hu), meaning anything or anyone that can be called 肮三 (ang sei).



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