你有没有“刮过桶底”? 分享到
Have You Ever ’Scraped the Bottom of the Barrel?’ 2018-06-2955354

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Now, Words and Their Stories, a program from VOA Learning English.
这里是美国之音——单词与其故事节目。
Today we talk about a problem we have all faced.It is when you have to make a decision, but the choices you have are not very appealing.In fact, some of those choices are really bad.
今天我们谈论一个我们都面临的问题。就是当你必须做出决定,但摆在你面前的选择并不是很吸引人。事实上,其中一些选择非常糟糕。
We have all had to choose from leftovers that no one else wanted.In other words, we had to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
我们不得不在大家对某事都不不屑一顾的时候做出选择。换句话说,我们不得不刮桶底。
As you probably know, a barrel is a round, usually wooden container.It has curved sides and flat ends.
正如大家所知晓的,桶是一个圆形的,通常是木质的容器。它有弯曲的边和平坦的两端。
Barrels are often found on farms.They are usually strong and good for holding tools.Some makers of alcoholic drinks, such as wine and bourbon, let their products age in oak barrels.Some people say the right wood gives the final product a smoky quality.
桶在农场中随处可见。它们通常坚固且适合装工具。一些酒类饮品制造商,如葡萄酒和波旁酒,会将他们的产品在橡木桶中陈酿。有些人说,使用正确木材酿的酒味道最佳。
Hundreds of years ago, barrels had another -- much more important -- purpose.This was long before the United States became independent.Before then, people often stored preserved food in barrels and then put the barrels in cold rooms.This would keep the food from going bad.
几百年前,桶有另一个更重要的目的。其历史比美国独立还要久远。美国独立前,人们经常将保存的食物存放在桶中,然后将桶放在冷室中。这样可以防止食物变质。
A professor at the University of Connecticut studied this custom.D. M. Kinsman’s report is called Meat Preparation and Preservation in Colonial America.
康涅狄格大学的一位教授研究了这个习俗。金斯曼报告题目为《美国殖民地的肉类制备和保存》。
Kinsman writes that many colonial families got through cold winters by keeping their meat supplies in a barrel filled with salted water, or brine.Then they kept the barrel in a cold room.
金斯曼写道,许多殖民地家庭在寒冷的冬季中将肉食品放在装满咸水或盐水的桶中。然后他们把桶放在冷室里。
He added that the salted meat “barrel … and the icy chilliness of winter cold rooms saw many a northern colonial family through what might otherwise have been a disastrous year.”
他补充说,盐渍肉“桶......北方冬季寒冷,许多北方殖民家庭在如果没有寒冷的屋子,一年都可能不会好过。”
Over time as people ate from the barrel, the food stored would slowly disappear.Finally, when supplies were nearly gone, hungry people had to take whatever they could find from the bottom of the barrel.This was probably the worst food available.
过去人们用木桶保存食物,木桶中储存的食物慢慢减少。最终食物所剩无几,饥饿的人们不得不从桶底找一些剩余的东西。这可能是最糟糕的食物。
And this is where the expression "to scrape the bottom of the barrel" comes from.
这就是“刮底桶”这个词的来源。
You can also simply say the “bottom of the barrel.”When you have used up all of the good choices, you have hit the bottom of the barrel.So, hitting the bottom of the barrel means you will probably have to settle for a less desirable option.
你也可以简单地说成“桶底”。当你没什么好选择时,你就会碰到桶底。所以,击中桶底意味着你可能不得不面临一个不太理想的选择。
You are choosing something simply as a last resort.When nothing else is available or works, we simply choose the last resort.
选择一些东西仅仅是作为最后的手段。当没有其他可用或有效的方法时,我们只需选择最后的手段。
These are all great ways to describe times when your choices are less than perfect.
当你的选择不够完美时,这些都是好表达。
Now, let’s hear how to use these expressions in a conversation.
现在,让我们听听如何在对话中使用这些表达。
Two friends are on vacation.They have gone to a quiet seaside town for a week.However, the clouds are moving in.Let’s listen as they discuss their options for some quiet reading time indoors.You can also learn some useful beach terms!
两个朋友正在度假。他们已经去了一个安静的海滨小镇,要待上一个星期。然而,慢慢出现了乌云。让我们一边听他们讨论他们的选择,一边在室内安静地阅读。你也可以学习一些有用的沙滩词汇!
Too bad it’s raining.
太糟糕了,下雨了。
Well, it’s a good thing we spent all day yesterday enjoying the sun and swimming in the ocean.You’re right.
嗯,我们昨天一整天都在享受阳光和在海里游泳,那倒挺不错的。是啊。
I think I’ll sit back with a good book.
我想看会儿书。
Good idea. Hey, there are some books on this bookcase.
好主意。 嘿,书架上有些书。
Perfect. I love how people on vacation leave behind their beach reads.Can you read some of the titles?
太棒了。我喜欢人们在度假的时候留下他们的海滩阅读。你能读一些书名吗?
Let’s see. Would you rather read Love at Low Tide or Sandcastle Romance?
让我们来看看。你是愿意阅读《低潮时期的爱情》还是《沙堡浪漫》?
I’m not really in the mood for a romance novel. What else is there?
我现在不太想看浪漫小说。还有什么选择?
Hmm. There’s some self-help books: Surviving a Coast-to-Coast Relationship and When it Comes to Love Are You Lost at Sea?
嗯。有一些关于自我帮助的书籍:《怎么维持异地恋》《当爱情来临时,你会感到迷惘吗?》
No, thanks.
不用了,谢谢。
Romance on the Waves?
《海浪中的浪漫》?
Are you serious?!
你是在开玩笑吗?!
Okay. As a last resort, you could read The Sexiest Sunburn.
好吧,我们最后的选择,你可以阅读《最性感的晒伤》。
Who thinks of these titles?! There has to be something else other romance novels.
谁想的书名啊?!肯定有别的浪漫小说。
Nope. We are really scraping the bottom of the literary barrel with these choices.We may have to settle on reading some take-out menus.
没有了。我们真的已经没有其他选择了。我们可能不得不读一些外卖菜单。
Oh, I give up!We’re on vacation. Hand me Romance on the Waves.If we’ve reached the bottom of the barrel, I might as well enjoy it! What about you?
哦,我放弃了!我们正在度假。给我《海浪中的浪漫》。如果没有其他的选择了,我可能会喜欢这本书!你呢?
I wasn’t kidding about reading the take-menus.I’ll find us something good for dinner.
关于读菜单,我不是在开玩笑。我要找找马上晚饭要吃什么好东西。
And that’s Words and Their Stories.
这就是今天的表达及其故事。
When you listen to our programs, we really hope you don’t feel as if you’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.
当你听我们的节目时,我们当然希望你不是没有其他好选择了才来听这个节目。
I’m Anna Matteo.
我是安娜·马特奥。

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