11 August 2016

不久前不是刚过七夕节么,那天看到 China Daily 有介绍中国情人节牛郎织女的故事,其中有提到神牛的来历:

The cow, however, was a former god who had violated imperial rules and was sent to earth in bovine form.1


在文中见到一个新单词 bovine。

1 Bovine

  1. of, relating to, or resembling bovines and especially the ox or cow
  2. having qualities (as placidity or dullness) characteristic of oxen or cows

1) 和牛相关的;2)和牛一样蠢笨迟钝的。

  • California declared free of bovine tuberculosis. 加州宣称没有牛肺结核病。2
  • But is there something vaguely bovine, dull, about the state of being unstressed? Is there something slow, unfruitful, stagnant or dense about calm?3 摘自 ft.com 关于如何享受压力的一篇文章:“但是,是不是会在没有压力的时候感觉依稀有些像牛一样笨拙,迟钝?是不是会在平静的时候觉得有些慢悠悠,没成果,停顿不前,又愚钝呢?”很明显作者是个驱动(Driver)型的人。(关于社交风格类型的讨论详见前几天的文章:August 3, 2016 » 管理技能:溝通中的迎合能力
  • Mr Mad Eyebrows said: “What worries me is the impression given by the 40% who say they won’t. At best it suggests closed minds, a certain bigotry. At worst it conveys an image of bovine stupidity.” 4疯眉毛先生说:“让我担心的是 40% 说不会的人对我的印象。好的方面表示心灵闭塞,某种程度的顽固不化。坏的方面传递了一个如牛一般蠢笨迟钝的形象。”

2 Derivation / 衍

2.1 bovid


  • Bovidae is the biological family of cloven-hoofed, ruminant mammals that includes bison, African buffalo, water buffalo, antelopes, gazelles, sheep, goats, muskoxen, and domestic cattle. A member of this family is called a bovid.5
  • Neanderthals just wore cape-like clothing mainly from bovids and animals of the deer family.6 尼安得特尔人穿牛科动物或者鹿类皮毛做的斗篷。

2.2 beef


看起来好像和 bovine 差别有些大,但是如果知道法语里牛肉是这么写的: bœuf,就感觉和 bovine 接近了一些了,如果进一步把 f 改成 v 就差不多了。

beef 除了是牛肉的意思,还有“抱怨,大发牢骚”之意,这倒是有些出其不意:

  • Instead of beefing about what Mrs Martin has not done, her critics might take a look at what she is trying to do. 批评者不要老是抱怨马丁太太没有做什么事情,不妨看看她正要做什么事情。

3 Synonym / 同

3.1 cow


3.2 heifer


3.3 bull


3.4 bullock

阉小公牛。但是 Sandra Bullock 就不一样了:-) 她是个美女。

3.5 calf


3.6 ox


3.7 bison


不过 GNU Bison 是 GCC 的语法分析生成器。7