As a journalist, my morning routine is to read as many news websites as I can. I do this even on holidays and weekends to keep informed about issues I discuss on my TV shows and in my columns. Such a daily routine can sometimes be tedious, especially on days when the news is not very exciting. The word "tedious" means boring, dull, or monotonous. Last week, while reading about US President Donald Trump's refusal to admit his challenger Joe Biden won the election, and about Beijing's disqualification of four opposition legislators, I came across two interesting expressions. One was "hissy fit", and the other was "fig leaf".
The New York Daily News used the American slang expression "hissy fit" in a headline to describe Trump's refusal to admit defeat. It means to become suddenly very angry in an uncontrolled way, just like when a child suddenly behaves in an angry and silly way. The usual expression is "throw a hissy fit". It is similar to the more common expression "throw a tantrum", which means a sudden period of uncontrolled anger, like a young child's. The New York Daily News columnist used "throw a hissy fit" to say Trump is behaving like a child, privately losing his temper and getting angry because Biden won the election.
A fig leaf is a leaf from a fig tree that painters sometimes draw in paintings to cover a naked person's sexual organs. But the expression "fig leaf" can also mean something that hides something else that is dishonest or embarrassing. The US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien used this expression in a press statement to criticize Beijing's disqualification of four opposition legislators. O'Brien said one country, two systems is now just a "fig leaf" to hide Beijing's increasing one-party dictatorship in Hong Kong. Put simply, O'Brien meant one country, two systems is dead and is just an excuse, or fig leaf, to hide the truth that there is now only one country, one system.
身為新聞工作者，我每早的慣例就是盡我所能去讀新聞網站，有幾多讀幾多。即使是假日和周末，我都會這樣做，好讓我對於在電視節目和專欄裏探討的議題，保持消息靈通。這樣的日常例行工作有時頗為tedious，尤其是在某些日子裏，那些新聞並不是很有趣。Tedious是解單調乏味的、沉悶的。上星期，當讀到美國總統特朗普拒絕承認其挑戰者拜登當選，以及北京取消四名反對派立法會議員的資格時，我遇到兩個有趣的習語，一是“hissy fit”，另一個是“fig leaf”。
《紐約每日新聞》在一則標題中用上美式俚語“hissy fit”，去形容特朗普拒絕承認落敗。它的意思是突然間失控地發脾氣，就像小孩忽然大吵大鬧。這個習語通常會說成“throw a hissy fit”，它跟更常見的習語“throw a tantrum”相近，意思是像個小童般胡鬧、發脾氣。《紐約每日新聞》的專欄作者用了“throw a hissy fit”去說特朗普的行為就像個小孩一樣，因為拜登勝出，他就暗自發脾氣和發怒。
A fig leaf就是無花果樹的葉子，畫家有時會畫無花果樹葉來遮蓋裸體人像的性器官。但習語“fig leaf”也可解作「遮醜布」，用以遮掩一些不誠實又或尷尬的事。美國國家安全顧問羅伯特‧奧布萊恩就在一則新聞稿中，以此習語批評北京取消四位反對派議員的資格。奧布萊恩說，「一國兩制」現在已變成了“fig leaf”，用來遮掩北京對港增強黨的獨裁專政。簡單來說，奧布萊恩的意思是，「一國兩制」已亡，它只是一個藉口，或「遮醜布」（fig leaf），去掩飾現在只有「一國一制」的事實。[email protected]
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧