专家免费评估 留学案例 雅思保分 免费备考资料 留学热线 400-880-6200


  • 2020-01-08     
  • 242 人浏览
  • 分享
  • 收藏



  Like little pebbles in a stream, words get worn down with age; the more we use them, the less they come to resemble their original meanings. But there is still pleasure to be found in exploring some of our most commonly and casually used words. Here’s a short list of the full definitions behind some of our favourite adjectives.




  Let’s start with a word that is currently in very popular use, the adjective ‘incredible’. ‘Incredible’ has three main meanings. It is popularly used to describe something extremely good or great, especially in size or scale: ‘the party was incredibly good fun’; ‘that’s incredible news!’. But the word itself stems from ‘credibility’, the extent to which something can be believed. Its true meanings, therefore, are the strong one – not credible, cannot be believed, beyond belief – or the weaker one, which is closer to the popular use – difficult to believe, hard to realize.

  让我们以一个非常流行的形容词‘incredible’作为开篇。‘Incredible’有三层含义。它通常被用来描述在大小或者规模上非常好或者很伟大的事物:‘晚会非常有趣’;‘这是个令人难以置信的消息!’。但是这个词本身起源于‘credibility’。用来指某物可以被相信的程度。因此,它的真正的含义表达的含义是很强烈的,不可相信的,不能被相信,难以置信– 或者它表示的含义不是那么强烈,更受大众所欢迎 – 难以置信,难以实现。



  ‘Wonderful’ is similar to ‘incredible’. It means, quite literally, ‘full of wonder’, and describes when either an object inspires in us feelings of excitement or astonishment, or when we ourselves feel those sensations.




  ‘Marvellous’ is a close synonym of ‘wonderful’, and means ‘to excite wonder or astonishment; surprising; having extraordinary properties’. This last definition means it can be applied to apparently mystical experiences. In its weakened state, though, ‘marvellous’ means simply ‘extremely good or pleasing’.

  ‘Marvellous’是 ‘wonderful’的近义词,它意为:‘使惊讶,使惊奇;惊讶的;拥有非凡的性能’。很明显,最后的定义可以用来描述神秘的体验。在语气较弱的状态下,‘marvellous’仅仅意为‘非常好或者令人愉悦的’。



  On the theme of the supernatural, let’s look at the word ‘awesome’. ‘Awesome’ means ‘full of awe’ and is defined as ‘profoundly reverential; appalling, dreadful, weird’. This might seem like a strange mix of characteristics, between what we now call ‘awful’ things and apparently religious or reverential experiences. This can be explained with reference to the related concept of the ‘sublime’: the ‘sublime’ is an experience of very large, potentially dangerous things that remind us of our insignificance in the world, and how large and powerful the universe is.




  The word ‘fantastic’is also one that come to mean ‘excellent, good beyond expectation’. This seems to be especially the case within professional contexts; imagine a shop assistant replying with ‘fantastic’ when you produce a loyalty card, for example. But the word actually means ‘pertaining to fantasy’: ‘existing only in imagination; proceeding merely from imagination; fabulous, imaginary, unreal; fanciful’.




  ‘Fantastic’ leads us straight to ‘fabulous’, a word in its weakened state, often used as a synonym for ‘terrific’ or ‘marvellous’ – especially when it’s shortened to ‘fab’. Actually, it refers to anything relating to a fable or story. This could include a ‘fabulous’ author or a reader of their works; the events or characters of a fable; or real-life events or people that seem as if they are straight out of a work of fiction. To judge something ‘fabulous’, therefore, does not necessarily mean it is good.

  ‘Fantastic’这个词直接让我们想到了‘fabulous’这个词,‘fabulous’的语气没有‘fantastic’强,通常用作‘terrific’或者‘marvellous’的同义词 – 尤其是当‘fabulous’被缩写成‘fab’的时候。事实上,它指的是任何与寓言故事有关的事情。这可能包括一个极好的作者或者他们作品的读者;可以是寓言的时间或者人物;或者是那些现实生活中的事件以及那些看起来像从小说里走出来的人物。因此,判定某事是‘难以置信的’不一定意味着这一定是好事。



  Another literary word that has strayed far from its original meaning is ‘epic’. The OED chiefly defines epic as ‘a poem, typically derived from ancient oral tradition, which celebrates in the form of a continuous narrative the achievements of one or more heroic characters; a book, film, or other creative work likened to an epic’. Think of the epics of Homer, the Iliad or the Odyssey. But ‘epic’ in its modern use tends to draw only on the grandeur of those classic poems, which were thousands of lines long, featured feats of superhuman endeavour, and had narratives that spanned a great many years. The dictionary records the weakened use of ‘epic’ as ‘particularly impressive or remarkable; excellent, outstanding’.




  When we talk about a book or film we like, or about a friend’s examination scores, we might reach for the word ‘brilliant’. The OED records this kind of use as simple synonyms for the weakened ‘amazing’ or ‘fantastic’, and notes that the word ‘brilliant’ often relates to the intellect.




  ‘Amazing’ is a word we use a lot to mean ‘great beyond expectation’ or ‘wonderful’, but which also has a good deal of other meanings annexed to it. An ‘amazing’ thing can be one that causes distraction or consternation, or which tends to confuse us – again, it is not simply the case that ‘amazing’ means good or positive.

  我们常常使用‘amazing’来表示‘好到超出预期’或者是‘极好的’,但是‘amazing本身还有许多其他含义。’‘不可思议的’东西可能会让我们分心或者惊愕,甚至会让我们感到困惑 – 再次强调,‘amazing’不仅仅意味着好的或者积极的情况。



  And last, but not least, is ‘lovely’. It might be its own fault that ‘lovely’ is so frequently used, as it has an extremely broad field of signification. At its broadest, it relates to ‘love’ and ‘loveable’, and means ‘loving, kind, affectionate’, but also ‘loveable and attractive’, ‘beautiful’, ‘pleasing to the senses’. Its weakest use, in the terms of the dictionary, is when it is used to mean ‘excellent; delightful, pleasant, nice’.


  That last point is perhaps the most important one of all. All the words on this brief list can be used to mean ‘good or great’. There’s a simple truth to the fact that we have pulled so many words towards one point of meaning, the judgment that something is ‘good or great’ – it’s that we’re looking for as many ways as possible to say good things to each other.

  最后一点也许是最重要的一点。这个列表里所有的单词都可以用来表示‘好或者伟大的’。有一个简单的事实是我们把这么多的单词都归结为一个意义,用它们来表示判断,即某物是‘好的或者伟大的’– 这是我们在寻找尽可能多的表达方法来向彼此传达积极的事物。


 . '文章底图' .


  • 点击刷新验证码
  • 获取验证码