Archive for Vocabulary

Plastered and potted: a steinful of drunkonyms

I've often wondered why we use such seemingly random, yet colorful, terms to describe a state of drunkenness.  The list of words for drunkenness goes on and on and on:

stoned; tipsy; bashed; befuddled; buzzed; crocked; flushed; flying; fuddled; glazed; high; inebriate; inebriated; laced; lit; muddled; plastered; potted; sloshed; stewed; tanked; totaled; wasted; boozed up; feeling no pain; groggy; juiced; liquored up; seeing double; three sheets to the wind; tight; under the influence; under-the-table


And there are so many others, such as pickled and soused and bombed and high as a kite, which make immediate and obvious sense — to an English speaker.

Lately, I've been seeing official illuminated signs by the roadside that say "BUZZED DRIVING IS DRUNK DRIVING", which I take to be directed at people who are high on drugs or the response of law enforcement officers to people who are obviously in an alcoholic stupor and say to the police, "I'm fine, just a little bit buzzed."

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (17)

Xi's peculiar vocabulary

From another tweet / X-effusion by the Master Muckraker, Fang Zhouzi / Fang Shimin:

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (3)

Vicious smears, part 2

The CCP's favorite word for characterizing opinions with which they disagree seems to be "smear", which I wrote about here:  "Vicious smears" (9/10/20).

Recently, for whatever reason, we now have a plentiful new crop of "smearisms" in official Chinese media, for examples of which see here, here, here, here, and here (all from Global Times, CCP's major ideological mouthpiece, whose Chinese and English versions have since 2009 been under the editorship of the formidable firebrand, Hu Xijin; in recent months Hu has repeatedly said that he would be stepping down as editor-in-chief of GT, but, judging from his still frequent interventions, he evidently continues to wield enormous power in the propaganda apparatus).

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (13)

Japanese translation bumbles, fumbles, and stumbles

New article in Japan Times (1/21/22) by Eric Margolis:  "Translator trip-ups: What do they mean for learning Japanese?"  It is so rich in insights that I will quote from it liberally (well, the whole kit and caboodle, broken up a bit):

In the recent issue of the literary magazine Monkey, which publishes new and old Japanese writing translated into English, a dozen literary translators dished out their thoughts on the hardest words to translate from Japanese into English. These choices ranged from the omnipresent いらっしゃいませ (irasshaimase), which is used as a greeting when entering a store, to sentence endings like the emphatic よ (yo) and the interrogative かしら(kashira, I wonder?).

Examining the words chosen by these translators can shed light on why communication between languages requires so much more than one-to-one translation. It also demonstrates how important it is to have a high level of cultural understanding for speaking fluent Japanese.

I want to take a look at five of these words and dive into why they’re significant and how Japanese learners can embrace and grow by using them. These words are: いらっしゃいませ、おじさん/おばさん (ojisan/obasan, mister/missus), 懐かしい (natsukashii, nostalgic), はあ(, an interjection) and 心 (kokoro, heart). Why did translators choose these words as being hard — even impossible — to translate? As we’ll soon see, the parenthetical definitions are woefully insufficient. We’ll need to dive deeper.

Read the rest of this entry »

Comments (27)