Daily English Vocabulary - Week 2

#english#vocabulary

Day 1

Calvin Coolidge, our thirtieth president, was named "Silent Cal" by reporters because of his laconic speech. One Sunday, after Mr. Coolidge had listened to an interminable sermon, a throng of newsmen gathered around him. An intrepid reporter accosted the Chief Executive: "Mr. President, we know that the sermon was on the topic of sin. What did the minister say?" "He was against it," the reticent Coolidge replied.

laconic

  • using only a few words to express much

形容说话言简意赅的,这个词来源于希腊的一个地名 Laconia,这是古希腊时代斯巴达地区靠近希腊南部的一个地方,这里的人们以说话言简意赅闻名。

throng

  • a large crowd (of people or animals)

intrepid

  • brave

来自于拉丁语 intrepidus,由 in- "not" + trepidus "alarmed" 构成。

accost

  • to approach and speak to in an aggressive or inappropriate way

指以一种带有威胁性的或是不恰当的方式靠近某人说话、攀谈、搭讪。

这个词跟 cost 没有什么关系,而是跟 coast 同源。

Day 2

Casting a furtive glance over his shoulder, the felon slipped out the main prison gate to be swallowed up in the British fog. A plethora of escapes from supposedly secure prisons embarrassed the hapless wardens. To compound their problems, the officials were badgered by irate citizens who accused the guards of accepting bribes from convicts whose motto was: "Stone walls do not a prison make. nor iron bars a cage."

这段文字稍微还有点难度,花了点时间才做出来(

furtive

  • secret, stealthy

furtive glances/looks: 偷偷摸摸、鬼鬼祟祟的看

felon

  • a person guilty of a major crime

指的是犯了重大罪行的人,当然也可以用来称做了很糟糕的事情的人。

plethora

  • excess

源自希腊语 plēthōrē "fullness",在更早期的时候指的是身体血液盈余的状态,听上去像是某种可怕的传统医学理论...

词根来自原始印欧语的 *pele-(1) "to fill",所以这个词跟前面的 replete, fill, full 等一众单词也是同源的...

hapless

  • unlucky, unfortunate

唯一一个自己能靠词源猜出来的单词(

这个词跟 happen 是同源的,词根 hap 是从原始日耳曼语传承下来的表示运气的词,但现代英语里已经基本不会直接用 hap 这个词了,取而代之的是可能来自于中古荷兰语的 luck 以及来自于拉丁语的 fortune 这两个词。

由于英国历史上民族之间的交融过于繁杂,所以英语单词的来源也比较乱,比较重大的两个历史结点有维京入侵跟诺曼征服。前者带来了部分古诺斯语(Old Norse)的词汇,后者带来的直接或间接源自拉丁语的词汇则成为了我们现在学英语时所谓的“高级词汇”。什么时候有时间我好想仔细读一下相关的历史(

irate

  • angry, incensed

image

来自拉丁语 ira (跟着神秘时代一起学习拉丁语

Day 3

Under the pretext of being a surgeon he gained entry to the hospital. When interviewed by the director, he had to fabricate a tale of his medical experience, but he was so adroit at lying that he got away with it. It was not until the phony "doctor" began to gesticulate wildly with his scalpel. that a vigilant nurse was able to detect the fraud. In the annals of medical history there have been a number of such cases.

pretext

  • excuse

fabricate

  • to lie; to construct

既可以指编造谎言、借口,也可以指建造、修建。

词根来自拉丁语 fabrica,再一次跟着神秘时代学拉丁语

image

adroit

  • clever and skillful

形容人精明能干的,来自于法语的 à droit "according to right.",本来的意思跟相关。

类似的来自拉丁语的 dexterous 也表示灵巧、熟练的意思,词根的本义也是的意思。

则一般视为不好的意象,例如与 dexterous 对应的 sinister 是邪恶的意思,词根的本义是的意思。

gesticulate

  • move the arms energetically

很明显跟 gesture 这个词有些关系,意思是带有激动的情绪地打手势

vigilant

  • giving careful attention to what is happening, so that you will notice any danger or illegal activity