• 2022年1月29日 星期六
  • 20º
  • 75%
  • facebook
  • Weibo
  • RSS

又中又英—— fluffernutter

  Most languages, including English, evolve over time. Some English dictionaries, such as Oxford and Merriam-Webster, regularly add new words to show how the English language has evolved. Last month Merriam-Webster added over 400 words to its online dictionary. It added new words in areas such as online and communications, tech and science, politics, and food. The most interesting word to me is from the food section. The word is fluffernutter. A fluffernutter is a sandwich made with white bread. Peanut butter is spread on one slice and marshmallow crème on the other slice. The two slices are put together to make a sandwich. Marshmallow crème is made with corn syrup, sugar syrup, vanilla flavour, and egg whites. It tastes like marshmallows.

  Crème is a French word for cream. Fluffernutters originated in 1913 in New England, a term for six states in the Northeastern US. Merriam-Webster added it as a new word because it has become more popular. Another word I like is from the political section. The word is whataboutism. If you criticize someone for doing something wrong and that person responds by criticizing you or someone else, it is called whataboutism. The person will reply by saying“what about you?”or“what about him?”The US often criticizes China’s human rights record and China responds by saying“what about your human rights record?”This word dates back to the 1970s but has become more popular. That is why Merriam-Webster added it.

  Merriam-Webster added“deplatform”to the communications section of its dictionary because of the word’s growing popularity. Nowadays it is used to describe a person or a group that is banned from platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Former US President Donald Trump was deplatformed by all three of these platforms. A funny new word in Merriam-Webster’s pop culture section is dad bod. It describes the body of an average and middle-aged father who is a bit overweight and not very muscular. The word comes from dad (father) and body.

*****

  大部份的語言,包括英語,都會隨着時間而演變。一些英文字典,例如牛津和韋氏字典,會定期增添一些新字詞,去反映英語如何演變。上個月,韋氏就給其網上字典新增了超過四百字。它增加了一些網上與傳訊、科技、政治以及食物等範疇的新字。對我來說,最有趣的新字是來自食物部份,那字是 fluffernutter。A fluffernutter是用白麵包製成的三文治,一片麵包塗上花生醬,另一片則塗上棉花糖醬(marshmallow crème),將兩片麵包夾在一起就製成三文治。Marshmallow crème是用玉米糖漿、糖漿、雲呢拿香油以及蛋白製成,味道就像棉花糖一樣。

  Crème是忌廉的法語。這花生醬棉花糖三文治(fluffernutters)起源於一九一三年的新英格蘭(New England),即包括了美國東北部六個州的區域。韋氏將之收錄為新字,因為它愈來愈受歡迎。另一個我喜歡的新字來自政治範疇,這個字就是 whataboutism。若你批評某人做錯事,而那人的回應是反過來批評你或其他人,這就叫做「那又怎麼說」論(whataboutism);那個人會用「那你又怎樣?」或「那他又怎樣?」來反駁。美國常批評中國的人權紀錄,中國的回應則是說:「那你們的人權紀錄又怎樣?」這個字可追溯至一九七○年代,但現已日趨流行,因此韋氏新增了這個字。

  因應“deplatform”一字愈來愈普及,韋氏又將之加進字典的傳訊部份裏。現時它是用來形容一個人或一群人被禁絕於臉書、 Instagram和推特等平台。前美國總統特朗普就全被這三個平台驅逐(deplatformed)。韋氏字典的流行文化部份亦有一個有趣的新詞是 dad bod——它形容一般中年父親的身形:略為肥胖,也不健碩。此詞由老爸(dad)和身材(body)組合而成。中譯:七刻

  mickchug@gmail.com

Michael Chugani 褚簡寧


hd