又中又英——The economy has tanked

  Is the world winning the war against the coronavirus? There are so many unknowns about the coronavirus that not even the best experts can say for sure that we are winning the war. What we know for sure is that the coronavirus has caused more damage to the global economy than even the 2008 financial crisis, which became known as the Great Recession. Some economists fear the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus could be worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s. I am not an economist but I don’t think the current economic crisis will be worse than the Great Depression.

  Many interesting slang words are being used to describe the economic damage caused by the coronavirus. American economists like to say the US economy has “cratered”. This is a slang word that comes from the word “crater”. A “crater” is the hole at the top of a volcano. Large holes in the ground are also called “craters”. But if you say the coronavirus has “cratered” the economy, it means the virus has completely destroyed or ruined the economy. Some people like to say the economy has “tanked”. The word “tank” can mean a large military vehicle with large guns, the container in a vehicle for gas (petrol in British English), or a container for fish.

  But if you say the economy has tanked, it means the economy has failed completely. It is similar to the slang word “cratered”. If very few people go to see a new movie and it loses a lot of money, you can say the movie has “tanked”. US President Donald Trump often says he is confident the American economy will come “roaring back” at the end of the year. The expression “roaring back” means to come back with great success after a period of failure. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner said the US economy will be “really rocking again” by July. The word “rock” used as a slang means very good or impressive. By saying the economy will be “really rocking again”, Kushner meant it will be doing very well again.

*****

  在對抗新冠病毒一戰中,世界是否正邁向勝利?對於新冠病毒,仍有許多未知之數,即使最優秀的專家也不能說準我們是否真的戰勝了這一仗。我們可以肯定的是,新冠病毒給全球經濟所帶來的破壞,甚至比那被稱為經濟大衰退的二○○八年金融危機猶有過之。一些經濟學者憂慮,新冠病毒所引致的經濟危機會比一九三○年代的經濟大蕭條更惡劣。我不是經濟學家,但我不認為現時的經濟危機會比經濟大蕭條更嚴重。

  有許多有趣的俚語出現,用來形容新冠病毒所引致的經濟損害。美國經濟學家愛說,美國經濟已“cratered”。它是一個俚語,來自“crater”一字。“Crater”就是火山口;地上的隕石坑或大坑洞也叫作“craters”。但若你說 the coronavirus has “cratered” the economy,意即新冠病毒已經重創或大大摧毁經濟。一些人喜歡說經濟已“tanked”。“Tank”可以是指坦克車、盛載燃油的燃料箱,又或養魚的魚缸。

  但當你說 the economy has tanked,意思是經濟遭受重創、徹底慘敗。它跟俚語“cratered”的意思相近。若一齣新上畫的電影非常少人去看,虧了許多錢,你便可以說the movie has “tanked”。美國總統特朗普不時說,他很有信心,美國經濟在年終將會come “roaring back”。習語“roaring back”意即經過一段時間的失敗後強勁反彈以至逆轉勝。特朗普的女婿傑瑞德.庫什納說,美國經濟於七月將會“really rocking again”。“Rock”作為俚語,有很棒、很厲害之意。說the economy will be “really rocking again”,庫什納的意思是經濟將會復甦,再度表現得非常強勁。中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd