又中又英——“the cupboards were bare”

  In my previous two columns I wrote about the expressions and idioms some leaders in the US Democratic Party used during the party’s convention to formally nominate Joe Biden as its candidate for November’s presidential election and Kamala Harris as candidate for vice president. Today I will explain some expressions leaders in the Republican Party used during their convention last week to formally nominate Donald Trump as its presidential candidate and Mike Pence as candidate for vice president. Trump spoke on the first day of the convention, and as expected, he fiercely criticized his opponent Biden. He said it would be a “kick in the ass” if Biden won.

  This American slang expression can be used in several ways. Trump used it because he boasted he had done a lot for the US as president, including confronting China, improving the economy, and lowering the price of medicines. He claimed if Biden won, he would take credit for all of Trump’s achievements. That’s why he said it would be a “kick in the ass” if Biden won. The expression, as used by Trump, means a big disappointment or unfairness. Trump also used the expression “the cupboards were bare”. He has used this expression many times. The word “bare” used this way means empty. Trump used this expression to criticize former president Barack Obama.

  He claimed when the coronavirus reached the US, the government didn’t have enough facemasks, ventilators and protective equipment. He blamed Obama for not making sure there were enough medical supplies in case of emergencies. That’s why he said “the cupboards were bare (empty)” when the pandemic reached the US. Republican Party leaders used several other interesting expressions during last week’s convention. The most interesting was from Nikki Haley, Trump’s former US ambassador to the United Nations. I will explain her expression in my next column. Kamala Harris is half Indian. Her mother was an Indian immigrant. But Nikki Haley is full Indian. Both her parents are Indian immigrants.

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  在上兩篇專欄中,我寫過一些美國民主黨領袖在黨大會上用到的一些習語和成語,該次大會正式提名拜登為參選十一月總統大選的民主黨候選人,賀錦麗則為副總統候選人。共和黨上周舉行大會,正式提名特朗普為其總統候選人,彭斯則為副總統候選人。今天,我將會解說共和黨領袖在大會上所用到的一些習語。特朗普在大會首天講話,亦一如所料,猛烈批評他的對手拜登。他說若拜登勝出,那將會是a “kick in the ass”。

  這個美式俚語可以有幾種用法,特朗普用這個俚語,因為他自誇他做總統為美國做了許多事,包括大膽面對中國、改善經濟,以及降低藥物價格。他聲稱,若拜登勝出,特朗普的這一切的成就都會給拜登搶盡功勞。因此,若拜登勝出,那就真是a “kick in the ass”——特朗普用這個習語,意思是很大的失望、挫折又或太不公平了。特朗普也用到習語“the cupboards were bare”。他已多次用到這個習語。“Bare”在這裏是指「空的」。特朗普用這個習語去批評前總統奧巴馬。

  他聲稱,當新冠肺炎來到美國的時候,政府並沒有足夠的口罩、呼吸機及防護裝備。他責備奧巴馬並沒有確保國內有足夠的醫療供應,以備緊急情況之需。因此他說當疫情襲美的時候,「廚櫃是空的」(“the cupboards were bare”),像兩手空空的毫無準備。共和黨領袖在上周的大會還用了另外幾個有趣的習語,最有趣的習語是來自特朗普的前美國駐聯合國大使妮基‧黑莉。我會在下一篇文章中解說她所用的習語。賀錦麗是半個印度人,她的亡母是個印度移民;但妮基‧黑莉就是不折不扣的印度裔,她的父母都是印度移民。中譯:七刻

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


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