Friday, January 31, 2014

May the Moon be with You

If the moon be with thee, thou needest not to care about stars.
--- Arab Saying

The allusion of this romantic Arab proverb might be that if the most beautiful thing is with you, you must not need to care about other beautiful things; or if your dearest wife or girlfriend stays with you, you must not need to care about other women; or if your best friend stays with you, you must not need to care about other friends.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Aus Scherz

Aus Scherz kann leicht Ernst werden.
--- Deutsch Sprichwort

Japan is a country of rakugo (Japanese-style comic talk show) where a horse comes out of a gourd. Germany is a country of Märchen (Fairy Tale) & philosophy where even a joke turns into seriousness. These proverbs are partly equivalent to a Japanese idiom of a truth out of a lie.

Will-O'-the-Wisp

will-o’-the-wisp

Word DNA ~~~~~~~~~
WORD HISTORY
 I
i) [17th c.] noun “faint fire found in a swamp; jack-o’-lantern.” figurative “something faintly illusional; misleading hope.”
ii) [17th c.] verb “to appear, lead or mislead like a will-o’-the-wisp.”
iii) [19th c.] adjective (will-o’-the-wispy)
iv) [20th c.] adjective (will-o’-the-wispish)

II [19th c.. The resemblance of the appearance.] noun “alga.”

FORMATION
will of a wisp.
various forms will-with-a-wisp, will-with-the-wisp, will-in-the-wisp, wi’t’wisp, Will. etc.

DECIPHERMENT IN JAPANESE
「火の玉、鬼火、狐火」: (用例: The will-o'-the-wisp leads you to the crossroads. It suddenly disappears, but you feel someone's presence near... A beautiful young lady entered my life and swiftly disappeared like a will-o'-the-wisp... strange will-o'-the-wisp light... )

「はかない幻のようなもの、惑わす希望」: 比喩 (Telemachus for whom Odysseus remains only a vague memory or a will-o’-the-wisp... )

NOTE
plural will-o’-the-wisps / will-o’-the-wisp
~~~~~~~~ 言葉の遺伝子

will-o'-the-wisp は「火の玉、鬼火、狐火」の類で、Jack-o’-lantern と同義語であり、ラテン名では ignis fatuus という

湿地帯にみられる will-o’-the-wisp の類は妖精の小さな松明の明かりと考えられていた。

標準語形を比較してみると、 Jack-o’-lantern には定冠詞 the がついていないのに、 will-o'-the-wisp には定冠詞がついている。 Jack-o’-lantern と同様に、will-o'-the-wisp には様々な語形がある。

「藻」を指して will-o’-the-wisp と呼ぶのは、藻も湿気の多いところに、神出鬼没に現れるからである。

ignis fatuus
Jack-O'-Lantern


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Cheap Meat Stinks

If you buy cheap meat, when it boils you smell your saving.
--- Arab Saying

If you buy a cheap thing, you lose your money, the Japanese say. The cheaper, the worse, people also say. The English-speaking people say, cheapest is dearest. The Arabian give us a concrete example. If a portion of meat is cheap, it stinks during boiling as a sign of that the meat is rotten and not eatable. It means that you have paid money for a totally useless thing.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Don't Curse Anyone

A thousand curses never tore a shirt.
--- Arab Saying

If a thousand curses can’t tear a shirt, the Arabian curse is really less powerful than the Japanese one. The Japanese think that one curse can kill two people… saying “If you curse someone, you have to dig two (grave) holes.” --- Oops, my smart brain seems to have something wrong…  

The Japanese proverb means that if you curse someone, he or she will be killed by your curse, but you will also be killed by it. The Arabian say: “Don’t curse anyone, or you only will feel pain, & your curse doesn’t work.” Deleting the secondary element,  the essence of the two proverbs remains. The Arabian & the Japanese have the different logics, but they have the same common sense.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Scottish Ballad Shiki Quotes

Shiki Masaoka (1867-1902), Japanese poet & essayist who coined the word haiku & translated the English word baseball to yakyu in Japanese, wrote an essay titled After Death, in which he says he does not want to be put in a narrow coffin & to be buried without burning, nor to be buried after burning, nor to be buried into water, nor to be abandoned at the top of a mountain, nor to become any kind of mummy, after his death. In this essay, he quotes the lyrics of  the Scottish ballad, Sweet William's Ghost, in which William who has died far away  from home & been a ghost, haunts his wife. In the song, the living wife asks her dead husband if there is any room in the coffin for her to rest in peace with him:
“Is there any room at your head, Willie?
Or any room at your feet?
Or any room at your side, Willie,
Wherein that I may creep?”

“There's nae room at my head, Margret,
There's nae room at my feet,
There's nae room at my side, Margret,
My coffin is made so meet.”

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Plenty Sits Still

Plenty sits still, hunger is a wanderer .
--- Zulu Saying

The Japanese say: ”The poor have no free time.” The poor have to work ceaselessly. The Zulu people have a similar proverb: “The rich sit still, the poor wander around.”

日本人は、貧乏暇なし、という。貧乏人は休みなく働かなければならない。ズールー族には似たようなことわざがある。金持ちはゆったりくつろぎ、貧乏人はさまよい歩く。

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Proverb Data

Zulu Saying
Plenty sits still, hunger is a wanderer .

逐語的邦訳
豊かはくつろぎ、腹ぺこは放浪者。

類似する日本のことわざ
貧乏暇なし。
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About "Life is a Joke"

瓢箪から駒 (上方いろはと江戸いろはの「ひ」)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Mathematical Chan Master

In the sphere of science, no matter how a scientist thinks or feels about an event, it is just as it is, & it can be only expressed by a law. It means that scientists should be objective to comprehend phenomena. On the other hand, religious people generally tend to add some mysterious factor to an event. But Linji Yixuan, Chinese Chán (Zen) master, who founded the new sect of Linji in the time of Tang Dynasty, or the 9th century CE, was in a way of thinking as if he was an Indian mathematician. A phenomenon is a phenomenon, & whether you understand it or not, it can’t change anyway.
If you understand, things are just as they are; if you don’t understand, things are just as they are.

きんぴら

きんぴらは牛蒡やうどや人参や蓮根などを細長く切って炒めた料理。現代では炒める際に油を用いるが、昔は醤油などで煮詰めるだけのものであったという。語源は坂田金平だとされている。金平は坂田金時、即ち、金太郎の息子である。金平は豪快だが、無邪気な性格で、江戸時代の浄瑠璃では人気のあるキャラクターであった。より詳しいことは不明だが、金平牛蒡を食すと精が出るなどと、この料理の考案者が宣伝したためかもしれない。

きんぴらは料理の他にも、きんぴら娘などの用例があり、「板田金平のような元気な娘」を指した。



Thursday, January 23, 2014

Jack-O’-Lantern

Jack-O’-Lantern

Word DNA ~~~~~~~~~
WORD HISTORY
I (17th c.) “Jack who has a lantern; night patrol officer.” 

II i (17th c.) noun “will-o’-the-wisp.” Figurative sense “something that misleads.”
ii (19th c.) verb “to be in the irregular movement.”

III (19th c.) “lantern made  by carving the rind of a pumpkin or turnip into a human face, used on the Halloween night, Oct. 31st.”

FORMATION
Jack of a lantern.
Jack “man, guy.”
variants Jack-a-Lantern, Jack-with-a-Lantern, Jack-with-the Lantern, Jack-Lantern, etc..

NOTE
plural Jack-O’-Lanterns

外来語
ジャック・オー・ランタン
~~~~~~~~ 言葉の遺伝子


その昔、万聖節の前夜のアイルランドでは、死者の魂が周囲をうろついて何がしかの悪さをすると信じられていた。人々はそういった死者の魂を近づけない為に、かぶを彫って人の顔に作り、中に蝋燭を入れて、窓辺に灯しておく風習があった。

アメリカに移住したアイルランド人は、かぶのかわりにパンプキンの皮を使うようになった。しかし、「ジャック・オー・ランタン」は最新の語義で、十九世紀にできたものである。

Jack-O’-Lantern の初義は夜の見回りをする「角灯の人、夜回り」である。 Jack は単に「男、人、やつ、あいつ」といった意味である。

暗闇の中て明かりがゆらゆらと動くさまは湿地帯などに見られる火の玉がゆらゆらと動いているようにも見えたから、「火の玉、狐火、鬼火」の意味にもなった。この意味を指すラテン語由来の ignis fatuus は Jack-O'-Lantern より若干古くから使われている。


ignis fatuus

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Every River Sounds

There is not a river that flows without a sound.
--- Zulu Saying

In Japan, people say that spats prove love between a couple or even a dog does not eat a quarrel of the married couple. If people are not familiar, they will be just modest to speak, & not spat each other. A quarrel happened in home is as natural as a sound of the river flow. This proverb of the Zulu people alludes to that every home has its quarrel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Daughter Goes, Bride Comes

One house falls, another flourishes.
--- Zulu Saying

This Zulu proverb in South Africa denotes the emotional situations of the two families brought by marriage, which one house loses the daughter & another gains the bride. Her parents feel grief about missing her. & the groom & his parents are glad to welcome her.

Logic of Parents

The child hates the one who gives it all it wants.
--- Wolof Saying

This saying is of Wolof origin, which is one of African languages spoken in Senegal and Gambia. The equivalent English proverb is Spare the rod, spoil the child. These are the sayings formed by the logic of parents, but not the children’s mind. Kids in any nation might love the one who gives them all they want & really hate the rod --- if the adult were honest to say on this viewpoint, they would reveal that they also love the generous & hate the bossy guys. But they say:
The child hates the one who gives it all it wants.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

One Cloth for Two Children

Two children cannot be held in a single cloth.
--- Kuria Saying

The Kuria people live in Kenya & Tanzania. This proverb is their version of if you chase two hares, you will catch neither. In short, this proverb suggests that you should do one thing in one time:

リア族はケニアとタンザニアに住んでいる。このことわざは、二兎を追う者は一兎をも得ずのクリア族ヴァージョンである。つまり、このことわざは一度にひとつのことをやるべしと言っている。

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Proverb Data

Kuria Saying
Two children cannot be held in a single cloth.

Corresponding English Proverb
If you chase two hare at the same time, you will catch neither.

逐語的邦訳
二人のこどもは一枚の布でくるめない。

真意
一度にひとつのことをせよ。
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Friday, January 17, 2014

Mwenye Moyo wa Huraha

Mwenye moyo wa huraha humzaidia raha.
--- Swahili Saying

Are merry people merry from birth? Their worry goes away & joy is on the increase. This proverb of East Africa shows that one who has the "heart of pleasure" enjoys oneself more & more.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Journey of a Snail

The journey of a snail and its house.
--- Koande Saying in Zambia

The English-speaking people can associate the snail with its slow pace. It can remind the French of the edible kind, escargot. The word snail is the summer word of a haiku in Japan. The Koande people in Zambia look at its shell & call it the house. . In their imagination, the snail always journeys with its house, in which contains the necessities of life, including its owner’s wisdom. The Koande say about such an appearance of the snail with the following words:
The journey of a snail and its house.

Kindle Fire

It is easy to defeat people who do not kindle fire.
--- Tugen Saying

It is the Tugen culture in Kenya that the elderly people hold an assembly to discuss issues sitting around the fire. As our democratic system, their discussion is the symbol of unity & harmony. A group of people who don’t kindle fire or hold such an assembly, builds a community of disorder & can be easily defeated, they think. Their common  sense almost accords with ours.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Shortest History of Modern Poland

Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true.
--- Polish Proverb

A history of a nation can be compacted into their proverb. That kind of proverb can be considered their shortest & thinnest history, & to state a universal truth. For example, the 20th-century Polish thought as some peoples of the satellite states of Soviet Union in the Eastern Europe, that any economic system was the same. 

Wisdom is Like a Baobab Tree

Wisdom is like a baobab tree, no individual can embrace it.
--- Akan Saying in Ghana

A baobab tree is growing in the tropical zone in Africa which has the trunk too huge for no one to be able to embrace it alone. The tree is the symbol of wisdom for the Ghana people as the oak is the symbol of wisdom for the celtic people. The Ancient Jews considered that she (wisdom) is the tree of life to whom that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her (Proverb 3:18). These nations show that the tree is a symbol of life & wisdom. In Japan, the tree is worshipped in a more abstract way. In Ghana, the Akan people might think that wisdom is made up of all the knowledge of the people in a village or community, & when you need to decide something,  it is better to talk with someone than to decide by oneself without any talk.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Cat is Honest

A cat has absolute emotional honesty.
--- Ernest Hemingway

We, human beings, tend to think that we are the most superior creature on the Earth. But the bestseller novelist Ernest Hemingway  (1899-1961) indicates that we are not superior to the cat on the viewpoint of honesty:
A cat has absolute emotional honesty: human beings, for one reason or another, may hide their feelings, but a cat does not.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Men See, Women Hear

Love enters a man through his eyes, a woman through her ears.
--- Polish Saying

Men are falling in love with a woman by seeing her looks, & women are falling in love with a man by hearing his words, the Polish say.

Friday, January 10, 2014

If It Were Done

If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly…
--- W. Shakespeare, Macbeth 1-7


When you try something difficult, you would remember the first two lines of the Scottish assassin’s soliloquy told at Act 1 Scene 7 of Macbeth. Whether your action is fair or foul, you need your motivation & resolution to do it. If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well it were done quickly --- I render it simply: “if I can do it well, I have to do it quickly.” But Macbeth hesitates his action worrying about karma, because he can recognize that his ambition is foul that he will murder the king, who believes him:

MACBETH
If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: if the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch
With his surcease success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'ld jump the life to come. But in these cases
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor: this even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poison'd chalice
To our own lips.

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Nemesis (hypothetical dwarf)

ネメシス (Nemesis) はギリシャ神話の女神だが、天体に名前を付ける際は神話から引っ張ってくることが多く、ネメシス理論では未だ発見されていない太陽の伴星の赤色 (または褐色) 矮星のことを指す。恒星が双子や三つ子、あるいは、連星で互いの重力で引っ張り合いながらくるくる回っている例は珍しくなく、この事実はネメシス仮説に信憑性を与えていたが、熱や光の発散が少ない星も発見できる赤外線観測衛星を用いた探索でも、ネメシスは発見されなった。よって、太陽は今も独り星のままである。

そもそもネメシス理論は古生物学者のロープ  (David Raup) とセプコスキー (Jack Sepkoski) が一九八四年に、地球上の大量絶滅には2,600万年の周期性があると指摘したことに端を発している。天文学者の二つのグループがそれぞれ、古生物学者の指摘に基づいて、太陽に伴星があると仮定した。それによると、「死の星」ネメシス (“Death Star” Nemesis) なるものが太陽から約95,000天文単位 (1.5光年) 先の周回軌道上にあり、2,600万年毎に太陽系外縁部のオオルトの雲 (Oort Cloud) の小天体をはじき飛ばして、多数の彗星を発生させ、その彗星の一部は地球に衝突して、地球上の環境が激変し、その変化に対応しきれない生物種は絶滅する、というものである。恐竜が絶滅したおおよそ6,500万年前のK-T境界時には75%の種が地球上から姿を消したという。この出来事によって我が世の春を謳歌していた大型爬虫類は絶滅し、こつこつと生きていた哺乳類の時代がやってきた。一説に、恐竜の時代が存続していたら、人類の誕生はなかったともいわれている。

ネメシス仮説の証明に必要なのはネメシスの発見だけである。現在もし、小さくて暗い星のネメシスが太陽の軌道上の計算通りのところにあれば、この仮説は真であり、なければ、偽である。一方、印欧祖語は再建されたものしか現存しない。もしオリジナルの印欧祖語が太古のどこかにあったとしても、時間が食い尽くしてしまっている。時間の壁のせいで確実性は失われている。言語の寿命は星の寿命に比べて極めて短い。言語の命は長くて千年といわれている。たった十世紀で、どんな言語も自然に放置していると変化してしまい、別の言語になってしまうのである。現代の英語話者は古英語を理解できないし、現代の日本人は『万葉集』を古語の学習なしに理解することはできない。

Nemesis

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Nemesis Theory

Nemesis

ネメシス (Nemesis) はギリシャ神話の報償と報復の女神。こつこつと地味な努力をする者に報償を与え、幸運を独り占めして奢りたかぶる行動をとる者に天罰を下す。つまり、ネメシスの物語はギリシャ版の因果応報論を説くものである。

ギリシャ名 νέµεσις は動詞 νέµειν 「相応のものを与える (to give something appropriate)」ことからできている。

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

夜目

夜目は馬の脚の前膊部に見られる目のような部分。鎌倉時代、馬が闇夜を走れるのは、脚に夜でも見える目が付いているからだと解釈されていた。夜目は前方を見ているというよりは内側に向いているので、この解釈は理解しづらいが、当時の文献には闇夜でも八丈を見通せるなどと記してある。

 夜目は学術的には附蝉と呼ぶ。これは脚に蝉がくっついているように見えるため。附蝉は馬の親指の退化したものとの指摘もあり、人間の親指の指紋に対応する紋があるので、個体識別に用いられることもある。

 夜目は日本語では「」または「」というが、英語では「」即ち chestnut または castor という。 castor はラテン語の castanea 」から出来た言葉だという。



Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Not Pygmalion Likely

Not Pygmalion likely.
--- a variation of not bloody likely

Not Pygmalion likely! is a humorous, gentle variation of Not bloody likely! “certainly not!” --- the colloquial phrase which occurs in Act 3 of George Bernard Shaw’s  (1856–1950) play Pygmalion

Monday, January 06, 2014

ピュグマリオーン

ピュグマリオーン (Pygmalion) はキュプロス島の伝説の彫刻師。

 オウィディウス (Ovid) の『変身物語 (Metamorphoses)』によると、キュプロスの彫刻師ピュグマリオーンは象牙を彫って作った美女の彫像に熱く恋していた。ほかの生身の女性には目もくれなかった。

 アプロディーテー (Aphrodite = Venus) のお祭の日に、祭壇で、ピュグマリオーンが象牙の像にキスをして、胸に触れると、冷たい唇にはぬくもりが帯びてきて、硬い象牙の膨らみには柔らかさが生じてきた。アプロディーテーは彫刻師の思いを聞き入れて、象牙の像に命を吹き込んだのだった。ピュグマリオーンはこの女性と結婚してこどもをもうけた。

 この伝説はオウィディウスの創作ではなく、更に古いキュプロス島の伝説である。この伝説は数千年間にわたって西洋の芸術家たちのインスピレーションを刺激し続けてきた。

Saturday, January 04, 2014

ignis fatuus

igmis fatuus

Word DNA ~~~~~~~~~
WORD HISTORY
16th c. “Will-O’-the-Wisp,  jack-o’lantern.” Figurative “misleading hope, etc.”

FORMATION
Latin igmis “fire” +  fatuus “foolish”

NOTE
Plural form: ignes fatui.
~~~~~~~~ 言葉の遺伝子

ignis fatuus のラテン語の字義は「ばかげた火」で、湿地帯に見られるという火の玉、鬼火、狐火の類を指す (用例: (An Ignis Fatuus bewitches and misleads men into pools... Villiers felt that he was following an ignis fatuus, yet knew not how to give up his pursuit... )

有機体が腐食するとそこからガスが発生して、かすか炎を醸し出すという。中世 (あるいはもっと前からか?) の欧州では妖精の松明 (wisp 9f the torch of a fairy) と考えられていた。この火の玉は夜になっても宿に着かない旅人を惑わして底なし沼などに誘い落とすと信じられていた。


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Jack-O'-Lantern

Friday, January 03, 2014

Feel, Don't Think

Remember. Concentrate on the moment. Feel. Don’t  think. Trust your instincts. May the force be with you.
---Star Wars Episode 1: the Phantom Manace
directed by George Lucas, 1999

Just before the podrace on Tatooine, Qui-Gon Jinn gives young Anakin Skywalker advice, which sounds like Bruce Lee’s instruction under influence of Shaolin Zen belief in Enter the Dragon (1973):
Remember. Concentrate on the moment. Feel. Don’t think. Trust your instincts. May the force be with you.

Thursday, January 02, 2014

蛇は寸にして人を呑む

蛇は寸にして人を呑む
日本のことわざ

は寸にして人を呑むは西洋人のいう神童 (child prodigy) という表現に似ている。一寸と取り替えて、蛇は一寸にして人を呑むともいう。その長さは蛇が卵から孵ったときのもの。蛇は卵から孵ったばかりのほんのちいさなものでも人をぎょっとさせる。

 蛇の道は蛇 (ジャ) は「悪い人」を指すが、蛇は寸にして人を呑むは他者を圧倒する「迫力ある人、すぐれている人」を指す。これは鬼という言葉の使い方に似ている。

About "Life is a Joke"
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蛇の道は蛇

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『英語語源物語』購読

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メルマガ登録・解除
life is a joke
   
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