Mickey Mouse

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“Mickey Mouse”, 不就是“米老鼠”嘛。是的,“Mickey Mouse”作为“米老鼠”的意思是为大家所熟知的,但“Mickey Mouse”绝不仅有“米老鼠”的意思。

人们在日常用语中用“mickey mouse”来指胆小怕事和愚蠢的人,例如: “There are many Mickey Mice in office across the country,from bothparties and at all levels of government.” (Business Week July27,1974)在澳大利亚,mickey mouse用来指便宜或者不可信的产品。在美式和英式英语中,mickey mouse通常是形容词,用来形容乏味的或者琐碎的活动。

例如: “The big reason that they don’t have enough men(police officers) on the highways is because they’re doing too much other Mickey Mouse” (Kansas City Star January 8 1974). 此外,学生们用这个词来形容那些完成起来易如反掌的课程或者作业: “The athletes…are encouraged to take specially-tailored mickey-mouse courses so asnot to jeopardize their athletic standing.” (Rapoport and Kirshbaum, Is theLibrary Burning? 1969)

“mickey mouse”还被用于军事领域,例如越战时期的“Mickey Mouse ears”radio–一种二战中的战斗机上炸弹投放设备;二战时期还有一部介绍性病的教学影片名位Mickey Mouse,例如: “a two minute Mickey Mouse would be added, a trailer of clinicalshots showing diseased organs in full color” (W. Stevens Gunner89 1966, ref. to WWII).

而我们目前经常使用的意思是“(企业、公司)规模小的,过于简陋的”(small and unimportant),常含贬义,例如: “He callshimself the managing director but his company is just a Mickey Mouse operation that he runs from his own house.” (他自称为总经理,但他的公司就是再他自己家里经营的一个微不足道的商号。)

“Mickey Mouse”可怜的米老鼠!也许你会认为从这样一个深受人们喜爱的经典卡通形象派生出来的词义一定很美妙。但是事实上“mickey mouse”这个词并没有“甜美、可爱”的意思;相反它的意思是“胆怯、愚蠢、乏味、毫无意思的、吹毛求疵的或者不可*的”。

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