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VOA慢速[词汇典故]圣诞老人的前世今生

2015-01-21    来源:普特英语听力    【      美国外教 在线口语培训
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Now, the VOA Learning English program, Words and Their Stories.
 
Santa Claus is someone who will remain in the hearts of children forever. He is the make-believe person who brings toys and other gifts to children at Christmas. To grown-ups, he is a special symbol of good will and selfless giving.
 
Santa Claus also has some other names: Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.
 
Two of his names -- Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas -- both come from the Dutch who settled in New York long ago.
 
The Dutch believed Saint Nikolaas gave gifts to children. They honored this kindly saint with a yearly festival on December 6th. The English-speaking people who lived nearby greatly enjoyed Dutch festivals. And they brought the saint and the custom of giving gifts into their own celebration at Christmas time.
 
 
The Dutch spoke the name “Saint Nikolaas” very fast. It sounded like “Sinterklaas.” And so, when the English said this word, it sounded like Santa Claus.
 
West of New York, in Pennsylvania, many German farmers had also heard of Saint Nikolaas. But they called him Pelznickel. This word came from “pelz,” meaning fur, and “nickel” for Nicholas. And so, to the Germans of Pennsylvania, Saint Nicholas or Pelznickel was a man dressed in fur who came once a year with gifts for good children.
 
Soon, people began to feel that the love and kindness Pelznickel brought should be part of a celebration honoring the Christkindl, as the Germans called the Christ child. After a time, this became “Kris Kringle.” Later, Kris Kringle became another name for Santa Claus himself.
 
Whatever he is called, he is still the same short, fat, jolly old man with a long beard, wearing a red suit with white fur.
 
The picture of Santa Claus, as we see him, came from Thomas Nast. He was an American painter born in Bavaria. He painted pictures for Christmas poems. Someone asked him to paint a picture of Santa Claus.
 
Nast remembered when he was a little boy in southern Germany. Every Christmas, a fat old man gave toys and cakes to the children. So, when Nast painted the picture, his Santa Claus looked like the kindly old man of his childhood. And through the years, Nast’s painting has remained as the most popular picture Of Santa Claus.
 
Santa can be seen almost everywhere in large American cities during the Christmas season. Some stand on street corners asking for money to buy food and gifts for the needy. Others are found in stores and shopping centers.
 
It is easy to find them by the long lines of children waiting to tell Santa what they want for Christmas.
 
You have been listening to the VOA Special English program Words and Their Stories.
 
Maurice Joyce was your narrator.
 
I’m Shirley Griffith.

文本来源于普特论坛[report整理] SENEWS-2014-12-14


这里是美国之音慢速英语的词汇典故。

圣诞老人永远留在孩子们的心中。他是一个虚构的人物,会在圣诞节带给孩子们玩具和其它礼物。对于成人而言,他是善良和无私付出的特殊象征。

圣诞老人还有一些其他名字:Saint Nicholas, St. Nick, Kris Kringle, Pelznickel.

其中Santa Claus and Saint Nicholas这两个名字均来自很久以前在纽约定居的荷兰人。

荷兰人相信圣诞老人送给孩子们礼物,他们在每年的12月6日纪念这位善良的圣徒。居住在周围的讲英语的人们十分钟爱这个荷兰人的节日。然后他们将圣徒和发礼物的传统融入到他们自己的圣诞节庆祝活动中。

荷兰人念“Saint Nikolaas”这个名字说的很快,听起来像“Sinterklaas.”因此,用英语说这个词的时候听上去像Santa Claus.

纽约西部的宾夕法尼亚州的许多德国农民也听说过Saint Nikolas,但是他们称其为Pelznickel。这个词源自“pelz,”意为皮衣,而“nickel”是指Nicholas。所以,对宾夕法尼亚州的德国人而言,Saint Nicholas或Pelznickel是一位穿着皮衣的老人,每年来一次发礼物给表现好的孩子。

不久,人们开始发觉圣诞老人带来的仁爱和善良应该成为纪念Christkindl的一部分,德国人称其为圣子。此后,这就变成了“Kris Kringle.”之后,“Kris Kringle”成为圣诞老人的另一个名字。

无论圣诞老人被称作什么,他始终是那个矮胖欢乐的老人,留着长长的胡子,穿着一身红色带白色皮毛的外套。

我们看到的圣诞老人的画像出自Thomas Nast,他是一位生于德国巴伐利亚的美国画家,他为圣诞诗歌配图,有人请他画一副圣诞老人的画像。

Nast记起住在德国南部的童年,每个圣诞都有一位胖胖的老人会分给孩子们玩具和蛋糕,所以,Nast作画时,他笔下的圣诞老人看起来像童年中的那位善良的老人。多年后,他笔下的圣诞老人仍然是最后受欢迎的。

在圣诞节期间,美国大城市随处可见圣诞老人,一些站在街角为有需要的人筹钱购买食物和礼物。还有一些圣诞老人在商店和购物中心。

通过排着长队的孩子们不难发现圣诞老人,孩子们等着告诉圣诞老人自己圣诞节想要什么。

你正在收听的是美国之音慢速英语词汇典故节目。

解说员Maurice Joyce。

我是Shirley Griffith。



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