怎样打发你的时间?你是沙发土豆还是幽居病?

怎样打发你的时间?你是沙发土豆还是幽居病?

Now, the VOA Special English program WORDS AND THEIR STORIES.
现在是美国之音慢速英语词汇掌故节目。

Some unusual words describe how a person spends his or her time. For example, someone who likes to spend a lot of time sitting or lying down while watching television is sometimes called a couch potato. A couch is a piece of furniture that people sit on while watching television.
有些非常用词用来形容一个人怎样打发他/她的时间。例如,喜欢长时间坐着或躺着看电视的人,有时就被称做“电视迷”(沙发土豆)。沙发是一种供人们坐着看电视的家具。

Robert Armstrong, an artist from California, developed the term couch potato in nineteen seventy-six. Several years later, he listed the term as a trademark with the United States government. Mister Armstrong also helped write a funny book about life as a full-time television watcher. It is called the "Official Couch Potato Handbook."
Robert Armstrong是一位来自加利福尼亚州的艺术家,他在1970年创造了“电视迷”这个词。若干年后,他在美国把这个词注册为商标。Armstrong先生还帮助撰写了一本关于全职电视迷生活的诙谐书籍,这就是所谓的“职业电视迷手册”。

Couch potatoes enjoy watching television just as mouse potatoes enjoy working on computers. A computer mouse is the device that moves the pointer, or cursor, on a computer screen. The description of mouse potato became popular in nineteen ninety-three. American writer Alice Kahn is said to have invented the term to describe young people who spend a lot of time using computers.
“电视迷”喜欢看电视,就像“电脑迷”(鼠标土豆)喜欢玩电脑。电脑鼠标是在电脑屏幕上移动光标的一种设备。“电脑迷”这种说法在1993年开始流行开来。据说这个词是美国作家Alice Kahn创造的,用于形容长时间玩电脑的年青人。

Too much time inside the house using a computer or watching television can cause someone to get cabin fever. A cabin is a simple house usually built far away from the city. People go to a cabin to relax and enjoy quiet time.
长时间使用电脑或看电视会使人患上幽居病(cabin fever )。小木屋(cabin)是一种简易房,通常远离市区。人们会去小木屋放松一下,享受一段清静时光。

Cabin fever is not really a disease. However, people can experience boredom and restlessness if they spend too much time inside their homes. This is especially true during the winter when it is too cold or snowy to do things outside. Often children get cabin fever if they cannot go outside to play. So do their parents. This happens when there is so much snow that schools and even offices and stores are closed.
幽居病其实不是真正意义上的病。不过,如果人们太长时间呆在家里会感到厌烦和烦燥。冬季由于太冷或是因为下雪,不能到户外活动,尤其会有这种症状。孩子们如果不能到户外玩耍,通常会得幽居病。他们的父母也是一样,这种情况通常发生在下大雪,致使学校,甚至办公室和商场关门之时。

Some people enjoy spending a lot of time in their homes to make them nice places to live. This is called nesting or cocooning. Birds build nests out of sticks to hold their eggs and baby birds. Some insects build cocoons around themselves for protection while they grow and change. Nests and cocoons provide security for wildlife. So people like the idea of nests and cocoons, too.
有些人喜欢花很多时间在家里整饰家居环境,这被叫做筑巢或作茧。鸟用树枝筑巢来安置鸟蛋和雏鸟,有些昆虫在生长和蜕变时作茧自保。巢和茧为野生动物提供了安全保障。因此,人也喜欢筑巢和作茧这种做法。

The terms cocooning and nesting became popular more than twenty years ago. They describe people buying their first homes and filling them with many things. These people then had children.
作茧和筑巢这两个词在20多年前开始流行,形容的是首次购房的人,他们在家里添置许多家具, 然会生儿育女。

Now these children are grown and have left the nest. They are in college. Or they are married and starting families of their own far away. Now these parents are living alone without children in their empty nest. They have become empty nesters.
这些孩子现在已长大成人,离巢而去。有的上了大学,有的结婚,在很远的地方建立了自己的家庭。而他们的父母却空巢孤居,成为空巢老人。

名词解释

couch potato :用于形容喜欢花大把时间坐着或躺着看电视的人,我们称为“电视迷”,couch指坐卧两用的长沙发,potato指土豆,所以“沙发土豆”实际上是个不折不扣的“电视迷”。

mouse potatoes :多用来描述那些将大量时间花费在用电脑上的年轻人,可以称作“电脑迷”。

cabin fever  : 幽居病(由于缺乏外界刺激而导致的不快或痛苦,如住在一个偏僻的,人烟稀少的地区或一个很小的、封闭的空间里)

empty nest :照字面意思来看empty nest是空巢。鸟儿筑巢下蛋孵出一窝吱吱喳喳的小鸟。在鸟爸鸟妈的精心哺育下小鸟羽翼丰满就离开父母纷纷飞去独立生活,留下老爸老妈独守空巢,就是empty nest。这个习惯用语常常用来比喻人的生活,用来形容子女长大成人离开老家后父母的落寞感受。

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