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英語世界:掛起拳套 退下崗位

2021-02-05

聽到某某足球員掛靴,都一定知道這球員要退休了,不再踢足球。掛靴來自英文的hang up one's boots(掛起球靴)。此語源於足球員踢完球賽多會把球靴掛起。不是所有運動都有球靴,所以短語中的boots很多時會用其他運動的相關物品代替,例如拳擊用的是拳擊手套,當拳手退役,會說hang up one's gloves(掛起拳套)。現在hang up one's boots和hang up one's gloves都成了常用語,比喻從工作崗位退下來,或者終止從事某種活動。

He has served the company for years but he is hanging up his boots now.

他在公司服務多年,現在要退休了。

She has hung up her gloves for years; it's unlikely that she will sing again in concerts.

她已經告別樂壇多年,不大可能再出席音樂會獻唱了。

You have done your best and there is nothing to regret when you finally hang up your gloves.

你已經做到最好,當你最終退下來的時候,不會有任何遺憾。

拳擊用的拳套,令拳手看起來孔武有力,但原來拳套不是用來加強攻擊力,反而是減震墊,用來緩和衝擊力,有保護對手的作用,防止大家嚴重受傷 。Take the gloves off(脫下拳套)說的並不是停止比賽,而是肉搏決鬥、激戰,貫注全力打擊,毫不留手、不客氣。描寫一個情形為the gloves are off(拳套已脫下),或者the gloves come off(拳套甩掉),即是說有關人士準備開戰,互相攻擊,不留餘地,嚴厲的決鬥和爭論。

He took the gloves off and argued fiercely with his opponent during the debate.

他毫不留情,在辯論中與對手激烈爭辯。

It seems that the gloves are off in the trade war between the two nations. They set tariffs and impose barriers on each other.

這兩個國家似乎在這場貿易戰中激烈相搏,他們互相實施關稅和施加貿易壁壘。

The discussion was gentlemanly in the beginning, but then the gloves were coming off. There were serious confrontations.

這次討論起初彬彬有禮地進行,但後來大家都不留情面,產生嚴重的對立。

拳擊手用的拳套大多數用皮革做成,較為堅硬,kid gloves則是軟皮。這類手套以小山羊皮製造,較為小巧柔軟,外觀亦較優雅,當然不適用於拳擊比賽,故此說handle someone / something with kid gloves(以小羊手套處理某人 / 某事),即是面對某些人或處理某些事的時候要小心、乖巧、謹慎,以免激怒當事人或弄垮事情。

We have to handle the boss with kid gloves today. He is not in a good mood.

我們今天面對老闆時一定要留心機警一些,他的心情不好。

The government should handle the case with kid gloves. The situation is rather complicated.

政府應該小心靈活處理這件事,因為情況相當複雜。

These little children are very sensitive. Teachers need to handle them with kid gloves.

這些小孩子十分敏感,老師必須細心照顧他們。

運動場有如日常生活,拳擊也可比喻各種事情,機靈小心地待人處事就是 handle someone / something with kid gloves,準備決一死戰則是take the gloves off,千萬不要混淆了hang up one's gloves,這是退役退休的意思。

隔星期五見報

● Lina CHU

[ linachu88@gmail.com ]

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