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词汇掌故:捆干草的铁丝

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词汇掌故:捆干草的铁丝
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Welcome to Words and Their Stories, from VOA Learning English!

词汇掌故:捆干草的铁丝

Today, we are going on a make-believe trip to the countryside to learn about a word that comes from something used on a farm – haywire.
欢迎来到美国之音慢速英语词汇掌故节目。
Like it sounds, haywire is a strong, thin wire. Farm workers often use it to tie up hay grown in the fields. They roll up the long, cut grass and store it in large bundles.
今天我们将要进行一场虚幻的乡村之旅,来学习一个农场中用到的单词:haywire。
Later, when farm animals need to be fed, the wire is cut. You need to use a hatchet or something else with a very sharp edge to cut the wire. Haywire does not break easily. But it can get easily twisted together by accident.
就像它听起来那样,haywire是一种坚固的细铁丝。农场工人经常用它来捆扎田地里的干草。他们把割下来的长长的草卷起来然后堆放到一起。
So, that is the farm material called haywire. But what does it mean to go haywire? The expression “to go haywire” has several meanings.
然后,当需要喂食家畜时,就把这根捆干草的铁丝剪断。你需要使用短柄小斧或者其它有着锐利边缘的东西来剪断这个铁丝。捆干草的铁丝不容易被剪断,但是它很容易就会缠在一起。
“To go haywire” can mean to turn crazy, unreasonable or wild, as in this example: “If I don’t take a break from work soon, I am going to go haywire!” Here, the expressions flip out or freak out have a similar meaning. These are all informal or for everyday use. If you want to be more formal, you could use the word berserk.
所以,这就是它被叫做haywire的原因。但是to go haywire是什么意思呢?它有几种含义。
“To go haywire” also means to start malfunctioning or failing to operate normally. We often use this expression for machines that don’t work as they should.
To g haywire可以指变得疯狂、不合道理。例如在这个例子中:“如果我不尽快休息一下,我就要疯掉了。”在这句话中,也可以使用flip out和freak out来表达相同的意思,它们都是非正式用语或是口头用语。如果你想表达得更为正式,可以使用berserk这个单词。
For example, let’s say we are visiting a peanut butter factory. A machine used to pump peanut butter into jars suddenly goes haywire. It squirts peanut butter everywhere – on the floor, on walls and on factory workers. Soon the whole area is covered with the tasty, but sticky food! So, the machine is not only broken, it made a huge mess.
To go haywire也可以指出现故障或是不能正常运行。我们经常使用这个表达式来描述一些无法照常工作的机器。
“Haywire” can also mean to become out of control. When a process fails to work as planned, you can also say it ran amok. This expression is more formal. Here is an example of this meaning of “haywire.”
例如,假设我们正在参观一家花生酱工厂。一台用于罐装花生酱的机器突然出现了故障。它把花生酱喷得到处都是,喷到了地板上、墙上以及工人身上。很快整个区域都被这种美味但是粘稠的食物所覆盖。所以,这台机器不但坏了,还制造了巨大的混乱。
“Urgh. Plans for my outdoor party just went haywire! The supermarket can’t bring the birthday cake. The musicians refuse to play. There’s no place to leave a car because of unannounced street repairs in front of my house. Oh … great. And it’s going to rain. It’s going to rain hard!”
Haywire还可以指失控。当一项进程未能按计划进行时,你也可以说它乱了套,这种表达更为正式。以下是haywire用作这种含义的一个例子。
But how did this simple farm word come to mean “go wild”? Language experts say there are two stories that help explain where this meaning came from.
“哦,我的户外派对计划刚才失控了。超市提供不了生日蛋糕,音乐家们拒绝表演。因为我家门口没发通知就在维修街道,导致没有地方停车。哦,真是太糟糕了,马上就要下雨了,要下雨了。”
As we said earlier, Americans use haywire to describe a state of disorder, extreme messiness – in other words, a situation where everything seems to be going wrong.
但是这个简单的农场单词怎么就成了变疯的意思呢?语言专家说,有两个故事可以帮助解释这种含义的出处。
Years ago, farmers used haywire to temporarily fix a damaged fence, gate or barrier. But the wire was never a good choice for permanent repairs because it breaks down easily. The metal iron turns reddish brown and wears down when attacked by oxygen in the air or water. It other words, it rusts!
正如我们前面所说的,美国人使用haywire来描述一种无序和极度混乱的状态。换句话说,这是一种处处出错的场面。
This fact, however, did not stop people from using it for repairs. As a result, many fences and buildings where lots of wire were used for repairs look messy. They have gone haywire.
几年前,农民们用捆干草的铁丝临时修复了一道损坏的栅栏和栅栏门。但是这种铁丝从来不是永久性修理的好选择,因为它很容易损坏。当它遇到空气或水中的氧气就会变成红褐色并且慢慢消蚀。换句话说,它生锈了。
Another story about “haywire” comes from the material itself. When you cut tightly wound wire, you should do so carefully. It can suddenly spring back at you like a snake. It can circle your body and then stab you with its sharp ends. This can happen quickly, often catching a person off guard.
然而这个事实并未阻止人们用它来维修。结果,使用大量铁丝修复的很多篱笆看起来乱七八糟,因为它们乱套了。
Word experts may not agree on the origin. But they can agree that anything that has “gone haywire,” has gone crazy or is a big, hot mess!
另一个关于haywire的故事来自于这种材料本身。当你剪断紧紧缠绕的铁丝时要小心,它们会像蛇一样突然弹回你身上,然后用锐利的尖端刺伤你。这一切发生得很快,经常会把人弄得措手不及。
And that’s the end of this Words and Their Stories.
词汇专家可能不认同这种原始含义。但是他们认同,任何乱套的事情都是一团糟。
I’m Anna Matteo.
________________________________________________________________
Words in This Story
以上就是本期词汇掌故节目的全部内容。

安娜·马特奥报道。
hay – n. grass that has been cut and dried to be used as food for animals
bundle – n. a group of things that are fastened, tied, or wrapped together
berserk – adj. to become very angry, crazy, and violent : to become very excited
jar – n. a widemouthed container made typically of earthenware or glass
squirt – v. to come forth in a sudden rapid stream from a narrow opening
mess – n. a very dirty or untidy state or condition — usually singular

amok – adv. in a wild or uncontrolled manner — used in the phrase run amok
off guard – verbal phrase in an unprepared state : not ready

hot mess – n. informal : something or someone that is
emphatically a mess: such as something in a state of extreme disorder or disarray
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