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Л. Ф.

Шитова

PROPER NAME IDIOMS


and Their Origins
СЛОВАРЬ ИМЕННЫХ ИДИОМ

Санкт-Петербург
ББК 81.2Англ
Ш55

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Шитова Л. Ф.
Ш55 Proper Name Idioms and Their Origins = Словарь именных
идиом. – СПб. : Антология, 2013. – 192 с.
ISBN 978-5-94962-217-9
Последняя из тематического цикла книга идиом, содержа-
щая на сей раз имена собственные, заимствованные из Библии,
мифологии, истории, литературы и реальной жизни. Богатый
справочный материал, сопровождающий устойчивые выраже-
ния, призван удовлетворить читательский интерес и помочь
активному использованию идиом в речи.
ББК 81.2Англ

© Шитова Л. Ф., 2013


ISBN 978-5-94962-217-9 © ООО «Антология», 2013
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
(W. Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”,
Act II, Scene 2)

Что в имени? Как розу ни зови –


В ней аромат останется всё тот же.
(В. Шекспир, «Ромео и Джульетта»,
действие 2, сцена 2)

Что в имени тебе моем?


(романс Н. А. Римского-Корсакова
на слова А. С. Пушкина)

ПРЕДИСЛОВИЕ

В продолжение издаваемой серии книг по идиоматике


(«350 идиом и их происхождение» и «350 географических
идиом») выходит настоящая книга идиом и устойчивых
выражений, содержащих имена собственные. Как пра-
вило, здесь не рассматриваются эпонимы (т.е. названия яв-
лений, понятий, структур или методов по имени человека,
впервые обнаружившего или описавшего их, например,
свеча Яблочкова). Что же остаётся в сфере наших интере-
сов? Широкий спектр рассматриваемых единиц состав-
ляют персонажи библейских и мифологических сюжетов,
а также имена персонажей, пришедшие из художественной
литературы и ставшие именами нарицательными. Значи-
тельное место занимают разговорные выражения, содер-
жащие имя собственное.
Каждая словарная единица сопровождается описа-
нием её значения, происхождения и употребления. Со-
провождающий текст выполняет разъяснительную
функцию. Так, мы старались подробно комментировать
имена, события или даты, появляющиеся в объяснитель-
ном тексте, для облегчения восприятия прочитанного.

3
Предисловие

Источником собранного материала послужили словари,


перечисленные в соответствующем разделе, а также мно-
гочисленные интернет-ресурсы. Иногда возникающая
спорность предлагаемых интерпретаций снималась срав-
нением как минимум трёх различных источников и выбо-
ром либо преобладающей трактовки, либо приведением
нескольких толкований, имеющих, на наш взгляд, равные
шансы считаться адекватными значению и/или про-
исхождению идиомы.
При наличии идиоматического эквивалента в русском
языке он приводится после английского выражения; при
отсутствии эквивалента предлагается подробное объясне-
ние выражения для успешного употребления идиомы го-
ворящим, что непременно сделает его речь более богатой
и запоминающейся. Не секрет, что уместное использова-
ние в речи библейских, литературных или мифологических
аллюзий несомненно повышает рейтинг говорящего, сви-
детельствует о его интеллектуальном уровне и может спо-
собствовать его карьерному росту. Кроме того, новые
знания станут вашим личным багажом, приобретённым,
надеемся, без больших усилий.
Abbreviations
a.k.a. – also known as humil – humiliating
Am – American inf – informal
Austr – Australian Lat – Latin
Br – British New Zeal – New Zealand
c./ca. – circa (around) sl – slang
disappr – disapproving usu – usually
facet – facetious

Сокращения
амер. – американский первонач. – первоначально
астр. – астрономия посл. – пословица
архит. – архитектурный презр. – презрительный
библ. – библейский пренебр. – пренебрежительный
бот. – ботанический прил. – прилагательное
букв. – буквально проф. – профессиональный
воен. – военный разг. – разговорный
жарг. – жаргон редк. – редко
ирон. – иронично собир. – собирательный
искаж. – искажённый ср. – сравните
ист. – исторический сущ. – существительное
карт. – карточный устар. – устаревшее
книжн. – книжный фольк. – фольклорное
миф. – мифологический фр. – французский
мор. – морской шутл. – шутливый
неполиткор. – неполиткорректный экон. – экономика
обыкн. – обыкновенно юр. – юридический
особ. – особенно

/ – слово-синоним
// – синонимичное выражение
(...) – пояснения, дополнения
A
Aaron’s rod – жезл Аарона; символ власти; страсть к обо-
гащению
In the culture of the Israelites, the rod would be a natural
symbol of authority, as the tool used by the shepherd to
correct and guide his flock. The rods of both Moses and
Aaron, the older brother of Moses and a prophet of God,
were endowed with miraculous power during the Plagues of
Egypt. In Exodus 7 God sends Moses and Aaron to
Pharaoh, instructing Aaron that when Pharaoh demands to
see a miracle, he is to “cast down his rod” and it will become
a serpent. When he does so, Pharaoh’s sorcerers counter by
similarly casting down their own rods, which also become
serpents, but Aaron’s rod/serpent swallows them all. Walt
Whitman (1819–1892), an American poet, essayist and
journalist, indicates the type of reference in modern times:
“the magician’s serpent in the fable ate up all the other
serpents, and money-making is our magician’s serpent,
remaining sole master of the field.” D.H. Lawrence (1885–
1930), an English novelist, poet, playwright, essayist, literary
critic and painter entitled a novel, Aaron’s Rod, in 1922. Also,
the name given to various flowering plants.

Abelard and Heloise – Абеляр и Элоиза; символ бессмерт-


ной трагической любви
Pierre Abelard (1079–1142) was a brilliant French
philosopher and scholastic theologian, and a very popular
lecturer at Notre-Dame. He espoused Aristotelian logic over
Platonic theory. But his popular fame rests in his tragic love
affair with Heloise. They were secretly married, over

6
Achilles’ heel

Heloise’s objections, after the birth of their son. When the


affair became known, Heloise became a nun and Abelard a
monk. Their correspondence survives. Centuries after, in
1817, the lovers were buried in a single tomb. They are
included today in references to immortal, tragic lovers.

According to Cocker – «согласно Кокеру»; правильно,


точно, по всем правилам
Edward Cocker (1631–1676) was an English engraver,
who also taught writing and arithmetic. Cocker was the
reputed author of the famous Arithmetick, the popularity of
which has added a phrase (“according to Cocker”) to the list
of English proverbialisms. Cocker’s Arithmetick, the fifty-
second edition of which appeared in 1748, and which passed
through over 100 editions in all, was not published during the
lifetime of its reputed author, the first impression being dated
1678.

According to Hoyle – «согласно Хойлу»; согласно строгим


правилам
In accord with the highest authority; in accord with a
strict set of rules. The life and views of the celebrated but
controversial English astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle has led
many to suggest that this phrase refers to him. Although Fred
Hoyle might be a plausible initial guess when tracing the
origin of this phrase, the Hoyle in question here is Edmond
Hoyle (1672–1769), the English barrister and writer who was
the author of several works on card-games. He was, and still
is, cited as the final authority when disputes on the rules of
card games arose: His divinely inspired plan had gone exactly
according to Hoyle. He’d fooled them.

Achilles’ heel – (миф.) ахиллесова пята; слабое, легко


уязвимое место
A person’s weak spot is their Achilles’ heel. It is a deadly
weakness in spite of overall strength that can actually or
potentially lead to downfall. In Greek mythology, when
Achilles was a baby, it was foretold that he would die in battle

7
Adam style

from an arrow in the foot. To prevent his death, his mother


took Achilles to the River Styx which was supposed to offer
powers of invincibility and dipped his body into the water.
But as she held Achilles by the heel, his heel was not washed
over by the water of the magical river. Achilles grew up to be
a man of war who survived many great battles. But one day, a
poisonous arrow shot at him was lodged in his heel, killing
him shortly after. Still, Achilles is remembered as one of the
greatest fighters who ever lived. The use of Achilles’ heel as an
expression used for “area of weakness, vulnerable spot” dates
only to 1840.

Adam style – (архит.) «стиль Адама», английская нео-


классика
Adamesque and Style of the Brothers Adam is an 18th
century neoclassical style of interior design and architecture,
as practiced by the three Adam brothers from Scotland. The
Adam brothers were the first to advocate an integrated style
for architecture and interiors. Commonly and mistakenly
known as “Adams Style,” the proper term for this style of
architecture and furniture is the “Style of the Brothers
Adam.” The Adam style found its niche from the late 1760s
in upper-class and middle-class residences in 18th-century
England, Scotland, Russia (where it was introduced by
Scottish architect Charles Cameron), and post-
Revolutionary War United States.

Adam’s ale/wine – (шутл.) вода


A cant phrase for water as a beverage. Adam’s ale is a jokey
reference to the only drink available to Adam – the first man,
in the biblical and koranic traditions. It alludes to the
simplicity and purity of life in the biblical Eden before the
fall. This is in contrast to the association of strong drink with
evil and the devil. “The demon drink” was a metaphor
frequently used by supporters of the Temperance Movement.
The term is now used less than previously, although it was in
common use until the mid- to late 20th century. Also known
as Adam’s wine.

8
Alice band

Adam’s apple – адамово яблоко; кадык


The Adam’s apple is a bulge in the throat, mostly seen in
men.

Adam’s rib – (ирон.) женщина; адамово ребро


“And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam
and he slept: and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the
flesh; And the rib which the Lord God had taken from the
man, made He a woman. And Adam said, This is now the
bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called
Woman, because she was taken out of man.” (Genesis 2:21-
23). This story is the origin of the false notion that men have
one rib fewer than women. Today, a lightly ironic term for
woman.

Aladdin’s lamp – волшебная лампа Аладдина (талисман,


выполняющий желания своего владельца); символ
богатства и власти
Aladdin, meaning “glory of religion” is a Middle Eastern
folk tale. It is one of the most famous tales in “The Book of
One Thousand and One Nights (Arabian Nights)”. The hero
of the tale gets hold of a magic lamp that contains a genie
who will do Aladdin’s bidding. Through the genie Aladdin
amasses great wealth and in the end marries the sultan’s
daughter. Aladdin’s lamp is symbolic of any vehicle that will
bring instant power and fortune: To people of the time an
electric light was a blazing miracle – “a little globe of sunshine,
a veritable Aladdin’s lamp”, as a journalist reported.

Alice band – лента Алисы; цветная головная повязка или


лента; обруч, ободок
Headbands are a clothing accessory worn in the hair or
around the forehead, usually to hold hair away from the face
or eyes. They are used for both fashion and practical/
utilitarian purposes. Horseshoe-shaped headbands are
sometimes called Alice bands after the headbands that Alice
is often depicted wearing in “Through the Looking-Glass”.

9
Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland – Алиса в стране чудес


The book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” (commonly
shortened to “Alice in Wonderland”) is an 1865 novel written
by English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson who invented
the pen name “Lewis Carroll” by translating his first
two names “Charles Lutwidge” into Latin as “Carolus
Lodovicus”, then anglicising and reversing their order. It tells
of a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit hole into a
fantasy world (Wonderland) populated by peculiar creatures.
It is considered to be one of the best examples of the literary
nonsense genre. Although he was a mathematician, he is best
known as the author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
(1865) and “Through the Looking Glass” (1872), children’s
books that are among the most popular of all time. Dodgson
wrote mathematical works under his own name but for his
children’s books he used his pen name Lewis Carroll.

All my eye and Betty Martin (sl) – Сущий вздор! Чепуха!


The origin of this dated phrase is unknown, but may be
nautical, meaning rubbish, humbug. The phrase or saying,
all my eye and Betty Martin means that something is total and
complete nonsense. It is found in British English from the
eighteenth century on, but is hardly known today. By the
1780s, the phrase was clearly well established. All my eye, with
the same sense, is at least half a century older. As for Betty
Martin, it was pretty obviously tacked on to the end of the
existing all my eye some time later. In similar vein, Londoners
created all my eye and elbow, all my eye and grandmother, and
all my eye and Tommy, among others, as well as shortening it
to the exclamation my eye!, which remained common,
especially in the US, until comparatively recently.

All Sir Garnet (inf dated) – полный порядок


Highly satisfactory. Sir Garnet Wolseley (1833–1913),
leader of several successful military expeditions, was
associated with major reforms in the army. His reputation for
efficiency led to the late 19th-century English phrase
everything’s all Sir Garnet, meaning “all is in order”. He was

10
Alnaschar dream

the model for the modern Major-General in Gilbert and


Sullivan’s1 “The Pirates of Penzance”.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy (saying) – Мешай
дело с бездельем, проживёшь век с весельем
It is a proverb meaning that without time off from work,
a person becomes both bored and boring. Though the spirit
of the proverb had been expressed previously, the modern
saying appeared first in James Howell’s Proverbs in English,
Italian, French and Spanish (1659), and was included in later
collections of proverbs. Some writers have added a second
part to the proverb, as in Harry and Lucy Concluded (1825)
by the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth:
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,
All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.

Alnaschar/Al-Naschar dream – пустые мечты, фантазии


(по имени героя одной из сказок «Тысячи и одной
ночи»); цыплят по осени считают
The phrase renders the idea of a parable about counting
your chickens before they are hatched.
Alnaschar in the “Arabian Nights” daydreamt of the
wealth he would make by selling his glassware. In the story,
Alnaschar was lying at a high perch and daydreaming, with
the basket containing glassware at his feet. He would sell his
glassware to make profit, invest the money to buy more
glassware and sell it to make more profit. This process would
go on and on till he became rich enough to marry the Sultan’s
daughter. In his dream Alnaschar had a tiff with his wife and
gave her a kick. Only in reality he kicked the basket
containing glassware which fell from the high perch and the
glassware tinkled into pieces: Coleridge (1772–1834), an

1
Gilbert and Sullivan refers to the Victorian-era theatrical partnership
of the librettist W. S. Gilbert (1836–1911) and the composer Arthur
Sullivan (1842–1900). The two men collaborated on fourteen comic
operas between 1871 and 1896, of which H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates
of Penzance and The Mikado are among the best known.

11
Andromeda nebula

English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher has been


called Alnaschar of Modern Literature, because he “dreamt”
his “Kubla Khan”, and wrote it out next morning.

Andromeda nebula xñåDÇêmãèÇèz – (астр.) туманность


Андромеды
The phrase may refer to:
• Andromeda Galaxy, a spiral galaxy in the Andromeda
constellation
• “Andromeda”, a 1957 science fiction novel by Ivan
Efremov
• “The Andromeda Nebula”, a 1967 Russian film based
on the above novel.
Andromeda is a princess from Greek mythology who, as
divine punishment for her mother’s bragging, the Boast of
Cassiopeia, was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster.
She was saved from death by Perseus, her future husband.

Anna Kournikova – Анна Курникова, бывшая российская


теннисистка и фотомодель, бывшая первая ракетка
мира, ныне гражданка США; (неполиткор.) коктейль
с обезжиренным молоком
A variation of a White Russian cocktail made with skim
milk is known as an Anna Kournikova.

Annie Oakley – Анни Оукли, американская женщина-


стрелок; (устар.) пригласительный билет или про-
пуск, контрамарка
Annie Oakley (1860–1926), born
Phoebe Ann Moses, was an American
sharpshooter. Oakley’s amazing talent
and timely rise to fame led to a starring
role in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show,
which propelled her to become the
first American female superstar.
Oakley’s most famous trick is perhaps
being able to repeatedly split a playing
card, edge-on, and put several more

12
Appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober

holes in it before it could touch the ground, while using a .22


caliber rifle, at 90 feet. She would throw six glass balls and
shoot them before they fell to the ground. She was
phenomenal! A musical called Annie, Get Your Gun, the story
of her life, was later produced on Broadway.

Another Richmond in the field – «Ещё один Ричмонд на


поле боя» (о неожиданно появившемся, нежданном
человеке; иногда о конкуренте)
The phrase alludes to Henry of Richmond (later Henry VII
of England), chronicled in Shakespeare’s “Richard III”
(Act V, Sc. 4): I think there be six Richmonds in the field;
five have I slain today. Whatever the origin, today it simply
refers to an unforeseen participant or attendant.

Any Tom, Dick or Harry – обычные, заурядные люди; пер-


вый встречный, всякий, каждый, все без разбора,
каждый встречный и поперечный (ср. Иванов, Пет-
ров, Сидоров)
If something could be done by any Tom, Dick or Harry, it
could be done by absolutely anyone.
The phrase Tom, Dick and Harry is a placeholder for
multiple unspecified people or it plays the same role for one
unspecified person. The phrase most commonly occurs as
every Tom, Dick and Harry, meaning everyone, and any Tom,
Dick or Harry, meaning anyone. Sometimes, the name Harry
is replaced by the name of the person being spoken to, for the
sake of implying that said person is not a cut above the rest
or doesn’t deserve something that is being talked about:
Football scholarships aren’t awarded to just any Tom, Dick or
Matthew (“Matthew” being the person spoken to).

Appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober – просить кого-л. о


пересмотре принятого им необдуманного решения
When Philip became the king of Macedonia, he soon
showed that he was a wise ruler. He treated his people with
fairness, and they became very fond of him. One day, after
he had been drinking, he was acting as a judge and gave a

13
Applejack

decision against a woman. His sentence seemed so unfair to


her that she thought he was under the influence of liquor. “I
appeal,” she cried. “I am the king. To whom do you
appeal?” asked Philip. “I appeal from Philip drunk to Philip
sober,” she replied. The next day Philip considered her case
again and decided in her favor.

Applejack – яблочная водка, самогон


It is a strong alcoholic beverage produced from apples,
popular in the American colonial period. Applejack was
historically made by concentrating hard cider. The term
derives from jacking, freeze distillation. The modern product
sold as applejack is no longer produced using this traditional
process: Rick came up to us with a bottle of applejack that he
claimed to have brewed himself with fruit from his grandfather’s
orchard.

Archimedes’ Law/Principle – закон Архимеда: на всякое


тело, погружённое в жидкость, действует сила, равная
весу вытесненной им жидкости
Archimedes of Syracuse (c. 287 BC – c. 212 BC) was a
Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and
astronomer. Although few details of his life are known, he is
regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity.
Law of buoyancy, discovered by Archimedes states that any
object that is completely or partially submerged in a fluid at
rest is acted on by an upward, or buoyant, force. The
magnitude of this force is equal to the weight of the fluid
displaced by the object. There was involved a bathtub and a
crown in which gold had been replaced by silver and of
course Archimedes himself behaving as a streaker and
shouting “Eureka”.

Around Robin Hood’s barn – вокруг амбара Робин Гуда;


кружными путями; обходной дорогой
All over the place; the long way around; a roundabout or
circuitous route. Reference to Robin Hood, the legendary
outlaw, whose barn was simply the fields and pastures

14
Ask Paxton

surrounding Sherwood forest, his


home: When Celia is the driver, we go
all around Robin Hood’s barn.

As game as Ned Kelly (Austr) – отча-


янный как Нед Келли
Very brave. Ned Kelly (1855–1880)
was a famous Australian outlaw, the
leader of a band of horse and cattle
thieves and bank raiders operating in
Victoria. He was so “game” or The Robin Hood
tenacious, that he impressed everyone Memorial in
in the country – rather like Robin Nottingham
Hood and became a folk hero. He was
eventually hanged at Melbourne.

As old as Methuselah – стар как Мафусаил; долгожитель


Methuselah (“Man of the dart/spear”) is the oldest person
whose age is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Extra-biblical
tradition maintains that he died at the age of 969, seven days
before the beginning of the Great Flood. According to the
Bible (Genesis 7:4), God delayed the Flood specifically
because of the seven days of mourning in honor of the
righteous Methuselah. Methuselah was the son of Enoch and
the grandfather of Noah. The name Methuselah, or the
phrase old as Methuselah, is commonly used to refer to any
living thing reaching great age. Now proverbial for longevity,
this idiom is from W. Shakespeare.

As tight as Dick’s hatband – тесный как лента/креп на


шляпе Дика
Very tight: I’ve got to lose some weight. My belt is as tight as
Dick’s hatband. * This window is stuck tight as Dick’s hatband.

Ask Paxton – «Спросите Пэкстона» (ср.: Спроси что-ни-


будь полегче)
This catchphrase arose for any problem that proved
intractable. Joseph Paxton was the creator of the Crystal

15
Astonish the Browns

Palace at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London. Paxton


was very lucky in his timing, for just at the moment of the
Great Exhibition, glass suddenly became available in a way
it never had before. Glass had always been a tricky material.
It was not particularly easy to make, and really hard to make
well, which is why for so much of its history it was a luxury
item. The finished building was precisely 1,851 feet long (in
celebration of the year), 408 feet across, and almost 110 feet
high. Yet thanks to Paxton’s methods, the final cost came in
at an exceedingly agreeable £80,000. From start to finish,
the work took just under thirty-five weeks. By the way, St
Paul’s Cathedral had taken thirty-five years.

Astonish the Browns – удивить Браунов; бросить вызов


укоренившимся в обществе предрассудкам
Do or say something regardless of the annoyance it may
cause or the shock it may give to Mrs Grundy (see p. 115);
challenge deep-rooted social prejudice.
All to Astonish the Browns
(extract from a street ballad by John Ashton, 1888)
Whatever was done by the B’s,
The C’s tried to do more than equal,
But as they had not the same means,
They failed, as you’ll see by the sequel.
Jokery, jeering, quiz,
Many folks in this world’s ups and downs,
Very often astonish themselves,
When they try to astonish the Browns.

Augean stables – (миф.) авгиевы конюшни; запущенное,


загрязнённое место; clean the Augean stables – расчи-
стить авгиевы конюшни, т.е. внести коренные изме-
нения, совершить радикальные перемены
In Greek mythology, Augeas is best known for his stables,
which housed the single greatest number of cattle in the
country and had never been cleaned. The fifth Labor of
Heracles was to clean the Augean stables. This assignment

16
Aunt Sally

was intended to be both humiliating and impossible, since


the livestock were immortal. However, Heracles succeeded
by rerouting two rivers to wash out the filth. Augeas was irate
because he had promised Heracles one tenth of his cattle if
the job was finished in one day. As he refused to honor the
agreement, Heracles killed him after completing the tasks.
Hence, the task of clearing up a gigantic mess is termed
cleaning the Augean stables; sometimes applied to the efforts
of a reform government upon succeeding a corrupt one.

Augustan Age – век Августа; золотой век литературы и ис-


кусства
The phrase may refer to:
• The period in Roman history when Caesar Augustus
was the first emperor.
• The period in the history of the Latin language when
Caesar Augustus was emperor and Golden-age Latin
was in use.
• Augustan literature and Augustan poetry, the early
18th century in British literature and poetry, where the
authors highly admired and emulated the original
Augustan Age.

Aunt Jemima/Jane/Mary/Sally/Thomasina – негритянка-


подхалимка; (амер. презр.) негритянка, предающая
интересы негров
A black woman who “kisses up” to whites, a “sellout”,
female counterpart of Uncle Tom (see p. 167). The phrase is
taken from the popular syrup of the same name, where “Aunt
Jemima” is represented as a black woman.

Aunt Sally – «тётка Салли» (ярмарочная игра); предмет


насмешек или оскорблений; подставной объект для
критики
A traditional throwing game played in British pubs and
fairgrounds. An Aunt Sally was originally a figurine head of
an old woman with a clay pipe in her mouth, or subsequently
a ball on a stick. Also, Aunt Sally is a character in Mark

17
Average/Ordinary/Regular Joe

Twain’s novel “the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” who


attempts to adopt and civilize Huck. The term Aunt Sally is
sometimes used in Great Britain as a colloquial political
idiom, indicating a false adversary or straw man set up purely
for attracting negative attention and wasting an opponent’s
energy. So, the term is often used metaphorically to mean
something that is a target for criticism.

Average/Ordinary/Regular Joe (Br) – обыкновенный чело-


век
An ordinary man. The terms Average Joe, Ordinary Joe,
Joe Sixpack (for males) and Ordinary, Average, or Plain Jane
(for females), are used primarily in North America to refer
to a completely average person, typically an average
American. Parallel terms in other languages for local
equivalents exist worldwide. Average Joes are common fodder
for characters in television or movies, comics, novels or radio
dramas.

B
Babbittry (Am) – мещанство; (книжн.) мораль и вкусы
среднего американского буржуа
An excessive feeling of self-satisfaction, bourgeois
mentality, provincialism, small-mindedness, smugness.
“Babbitt”, first published in 1922, is a novel by Sinclair
Lewis. Largely a satire of American culture, society, and
behavior, it critiques the vacuity of middle-class American
life and its pressure on individuals toward conformity. George
F. Babbitt is the principal character of the novel.

Bacchus has drowned more men than Neptune – Вакх утопил


больше людей, чем Нептун (т.е. вино погубило
больше людей, чем море)
Bacchus, Roman God of Wine has “drowned” more men
than the God of the Sea. This is not literal but means that

18
Barmecide feast

many more men have ruined themselves through alcohol


abuse than have drowned in the sea.

Baedeker – Бедекер (название популярных путеводите-


лей по разным странам)
Karl Baedeker is a Germany-based publisher and pioneer
in the business of worldwide travel guides. The guides, often
referred to as simply Baedekers (sometimes the term is used
about similar works from other publishers, or in reference to
any kind of guide), contain important introductions,
descriptions of buildings, of museum collections, etc.,
written by the best specialists, and are frequently revised in
order to be up to date. For the convenience of travelers, they
are in a handy format and in small print.

Barbie Doll – кукла Барби: привлекательный, но глупый


человек (мужчина или женщина)
An attractive but mindless person (man or woman).

Barkis is willing – «Баркису хочется»; символ желания или


готовности сделать что-л.
This idiom means that someone is willing to get married.
The expression first appeared in Charles Dickens’ well-
known classic “David Copperfield” (1850). Barkis is the
name of one of the characters in the novel. He keeps sending
a message through David to Clara Peggotty, the maid of
David’s mother. The message that David is to give Clara is
Barkis is willing. In other words, Barkis is willing to marry
Clara. The expression is used nowadays to indicate one’s
willingness or readiness to do something.

Barmecide feast – бармецидов пир, видимость угощения;


притворное гостеприимство; любая привлекательная
иллюзия
Plentiful or abundant in appearance only; illusory. From
a tale in the “Arabian Nights” in which Barmecide, a wealthy
Bagdad nobleman serves empty plates to beggars, alleging
that they held sumptuous food.

19
Beau Brummell

Beau Brummell – Красавчик Браммел; щёголь, денди, за-


конодатель мод
The model dandy in British society was George Bryan
“Beau” Brummell (1778–1840), in his early days, an
undergraduate student at Oxford.
Brummell was not from an aristocratic
background; indeed, his greatness was
based on nothing at all. Immaculately
bathed and shaved, and dressed in a
plain dark blue coat, he was always
perfectly brushed and fitted. From the
mid-1790s, Beau Brummell was the
early incarnation of “the celebrity”, a
man chiefly famous for being famous.
By the time William Pitt (1708–1778),
a British Whig statesman who led
Britain during the Seven Years’ War, taxed hair powder in
1795 to help pay for the war against France, Brummell had
already abandoned wearing a wig, and had his hair cut in the
Roman fashion, “а la Brutus”. In 1799, upon coming of age,
Beau Brummell inherited from his father a fortune of thirty
thousand pounds, which he spent mostly on costume,
gambling, and high living. In 1816 he suffered bankruptcy,
the dandy’s stereotyped fate. He fled his creditors to France,
where he lived the remainder of his life. He died penniless
and insane from strokes in Caen in 1840. A statue of
Brummell was erected on London’s Jermyn Street in 2002.

Bed of Procrustes // Procrustean bed – (миф.) прокрустово


ложе; мерка, под которую искусственно подгоняются
искажаемые явления и факты; подгонка под про-
извольные стандарты
In Greek mythology, Procrustes or “the stretcher” was a
rogue smith and bandit from Attica who physically attacked
people by stretching them or cutting off their legs, so as to
force them to fit the size of an iron bed. He had the bed, in
which he invited every passer-by to spend the night, and
where he set to work on them with his smith’s hammer, to

20
Before you can/could say Jack Robinson

stretch them to fit. In later tellings, if the guest proved too


tall, Procrustes would amputate the excess length; nobody
ever fitted the bed exactly, because secretly Procrustes had
two beds. Procrustes continued his reign of terror until he was
captured by Theseus, travelling to Athens along the sacred
way, who “fitted” Procrustes to his own bed. Killing
Procrustes was Theseus’s last adventure on his journey. In
general, when something is Procrustean, different lengths or
sizes or properties are fitted to an arbitrary standard.

Becky Sharp – Бекки Шарп, персонаж сатирического ро-


мана В. Теккерея «Ярмарка тщеславия»; авантю-
ристка, охотящаяся за богатым мужем
The anti-heroine of William Makepeace Thackeray’s
satirical novel “Vanity Fair” (1847–48). A cynical social
climber who uses her charms to fascinate and seduce upper-
class men. Her name (“sharp” having connotations of a
“sharper” or con-man) and function suggest that Thackeray
intended her to be unsympathetic, and yet she became one
of his most popular creations.

Before you can/could say Jack Robinson – быстрее, чем ус-


пеешь сказать «Джек Робинсон»; очень быстро, не-
медленно, моментально, в два счёта, в мгновение ока;
и ахнуть/опомниться не успел; не успел и глазом
моргнуть
The term Jack Robinson represents a short amount of time.
When you do something before you can say Jack Robinson, you
do it very quickly. The phrase is of unknown origin, but of
course, there are several theories as to how it came to be. The
most popular seems to be that it refers to a man who paid such
brief visits to friends and neighbors, that it was impossible to
say his name before he went back out the door. The term
appeared in Grose’s “1785 Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar
Tongue”. A song entitled “Jack Robinson” appeared in the
early 19th century, and somewhat later it became a slang term
for penis.

21
Bend the bow of Ulysses

Bend the bow of Ulysses – (миф.) согнуть лук Улисса; вы-


полнить исключительно трудную работу
Penelope, Ulysses’ wife, promised her numerous
suitors (who were taking advantage of the fact that her
husband was missing, presumably dead) that she would
marry the one who would make the best shot, using her
husband’s bow. None of them even managed to bend it (in
order to shoot the arrow), let alone hit the target. The
modern day meaning of the phrase to be unable to bend
Ulysses’ bow is that there is an extremely challenging task
ahead of you.

Benjamin of the family – поскребыш; последний, поздний


ребенок в семье; любимчик
The Benjamin of the family is a phrase used in several
languages to refer to the youngest son – especially when he
is much younger than his brothers; sometimes the name is
chosen for a son born to mature parents unlikely to have
more children. Both of these usages derive from the biblical
son of Jacob of that name, who occupied that position in his
family. Benjamin is a popular given name for males. Like
many biblical names, it is popular in the Jewish, Christian
and Muslim faiths alike.

Benjamin’s portion/mess – (библ.) порция Бенджамина,


самая большая порция; львиная доля (в назидание
людям довольствоваться тем, что у них есть); избегать
фаворитизма, быть беспристрастным
In the Bible, Benjamin was the youngest son of the
Jewish patriarch Jacob. When Jacob’s sons encountered
their long-lost brother Joseph (the Messiah) in Egypt,
where he had become a high official, they failed to
recognize him, but Joseph generously entertained them:
And he took and sent messes (servings of food) unto them from
before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as
any of theirs (Genesis 43:34). Joseph showed special regard
for Benjamin to see whether his brethren would envy him.
It must be our rule, to be content with what we have, and

22
Bess o’ Bedlam

not to grieve at what others have. On the other hand, our


children (or loved ones) can become idols and favoring one
over others is sin. God does not show partiality.

Bertie Wooster – Берти Вустер (молодой английский ари-


стократ в произведениях П. Г. Вудхауса), (добродуш-
ный и глуповатый) богатый бездельник
Bertram Wilberforce Wooster, Bertie Wooster, is a
recurring fictional character in the Jeeves novels of
P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975), a British humorist, whose
body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems,
song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed
enormous popular success during a career that lasted more
than seventy years and his many writings continue to be
widely read. Bertie Wooster, an English gentleman, one of
the “idle rich” appears in his books alongside his valet,
Jeeves, whose genius manages to extricate Bertie or one of
his friends from numerous awkward situations.

Bess o’ Bedlam – Бесс из Бедлама; сумасшедшая, без-


умная, помешанная (прозвище неизлечимых сума-
сшедших, которых отпускали из Бедлама, лон-
донского дома умалишенных, просить милостыню)
A female lunatic vagrant. Bedlam is a common name for
a madhouse, and Bess is a national name for a woman,
especially of the lower order. The male lunatic is a Tom o’
Bedlam. The Bethlem Royal Hospital is a lunatic hospital
located in London. Although no longer based at its original
location, it is recognized as the world’s first and oldest
institution to specialize in mental illnesses. It has been
variously known as St Mary Bethlehem, Bethlem Hospital,
and from colloquial pronunciation, Bedlam. So, the word
bedlam, meaning uproar and confusion, is derived from the
hospital’s prior name. Although the hospital is now at the
forefront of humane psychiatric treatment, for much of its
history it was notorious for cruelty and inhumane
treatment.

23
Betty lamp

Betty lamp – лампа Бетти, керосиновая лампа (самой


простой конструкции)
The Betty lamp is thought to be of German, Austrian, or
Hungarian origin. They were commonly made of iron or
brass and were most often used in the home or workshop.
Betty lamps are being made today as they are popular with
living history buffs. The Betty lamp came over to America on
the “Mayflower”, was improved upon by Benjamin Franklin
and today is prized by collectors. This better lamp design,
named the Betty, from the German word, “besser” or “bete”,
meaning “to make better”, produced a very good light for its
time. The Betty lamp was used widely by the American
colonists and by Europeans. In rural areas it was in use until
the end of the 19th century.

Between Scylla and Charybdis – (миф.) между Сциллой и Ха-


рибдой; в безвыходном положении; между двух огней
Being between Scylla and Charybdis is an idiom deriving
from Greek mythology. Several other idioms, such as
“between the devil and the deep blue sea”, “between the
hammer and the anvil”, and “between a rock and a hard
place” express the same meaning of “having to choose
between two evils”: So I’m sailing between the Scylla of
protecting the wholly reasonable privacy of friends and colleagues
and the Charybdis of causing you, the reader, to sick up (Steven
Fry, 2011). Scylla and Charybdis were mythical sea monsters
noted by Homer; later Greek tradition sited them on opposite
sides of the Strait of Messina between Sicily and the Italian
mainland. Scylla was rationalized as a rock shoal (described
as a six-headed sea monster) on the Italian side of the strait
and Charybdis was a whirlpool off the coast of Sicily. They
were regarded as a sea hazard located close enough to each
other that they posed an inescapable threat to passing sailors;
avoiding Charybdis meant passing too close to Scylla and vice
versa. According to Homer, Odysseus was forced to choose
which monster to confront while passing through the strait;
he opted to pass by Scylla and lose only a few sailors, rather
than risk the loss of his entire ship in the whirlpool.

24
Big Bertha

Big Ben – Большой Бен (часы на здании английского


парламента)
The nickname for the great bell
of the clock at the north end of the
Palace of Westminster in London,
generally extended to refer to the
clock or the clock tower as well.
The clock tower holds the largest
four-faced chiming clock in the
world and is the third-tallest free-
standing clock tower. It celebrated
its 150th anniversary on 31 May
2009, during which celebratory
events took place. The tower was
completed on 10 April 1858 and
has become one of the most Big Ben is in the Clock
prominent symbols of both London Tower (Elizabeth Tower)
and England. The main bell,
officially known as the Great Bell, is better known by the
nickname Big Ben. It was named in honor of Sir Benjamin
Hall, the President of the Board of Works, during whose
tenure of office it was cast, and his name is inscribed on it.
On 10 May 1941, a German bombing raid damaged two
of the clock’s dials. Despite the heavy bombing the clock ran
accurately and chimed throughout the Blitz. Unfortunately,
the Big Ben clock tower has been tilting as a result of the
excavation of tunnels near Westminster. The tower has tilted
an additional 0.9 mm each year since 2003, and the tilt is
now visible to the naked eye. In June 2012, the clock tower
was renamed ‘Elizabeth Tower’ in honor of the sixty-year-
long reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

Big Bertha – Толстая Берта, прозвище гаубицы времён


Первой мировой войны
Dicke Bertha (German); literal translation “Thick (Fat)
Bertha”. The name of a type of super-heavy howitzer
developed by the famous armaments manufacturer Krupp in
Germany on the eve of World War I.

25
Big John

Big John (Am) – (воен. жарг.) новобранец; просторное


туалетное сиденье
American military slang for a recruit. Also, a roomy toilet
seat.

Bill Jim – (воен. жарг.) Билл Джим (прозвище австралий-


ских солдат)
A nickname for Australian soldiers.

Bird of Jove – орёл


Any of various large keen-sighted
diurnal birds of prey noted for their broad
wings and strong soaring flight; eagle.

Bird of Juno – павлин


A very large terrestrial south-east Asian pheasant often
raised as an ornamental bird.

Bird of Minerva – сова


A nocturnal bird of prey with hawk-like beak and claws
and large head with front-facing eyes; bird of night, owl.

Bismarck herring – сельдь Бисмарка, маринованная сельдь


(филе)
The history of the original Stralsund Bismarck herring
begins in the 19th century when the trader and brewer Johann
Wiechmann established his fish cannery. In the backyard his
wife Karoline aside other goods manufactured a specialty. She
pickled fresh, filleted Baltic herring and dispatched it in small
wooden barrels. Because Wiechmann much admired Otto von
Bismarck he sent him a barrel of pickled herrings to his
birthday. Bismarck expressed his thanks in a personal writing.
On the occasion of the establishment of the German Reich in
1871 another barrel was sent to the Imperial Chancellor – this
time together with a letter from Wiechmann. In this he
“subserviently” asked for allowance to sell his pickled herring
as Bismarck herring in future. In his reply Otto von Bismarck
agreed and so the Bismarck herring from Stralsund was born.

26
Blind Tom

Black-eyed Susan – (бот.) рудбекия, гибискус; черногла-


зая Сьюзен
Besides the flower, the phrase may refer to the names of
songs and plays and films and people.

Black Jack – чёрный пиратский флаг


The black pirate flag.

Black Maria – тюремная карета; тюремный автомобиль;


«чёрный ворон», «воронок», «маруся»
The police or prison van is American in origin. The Boston
story is about Maria Lee, a large black woman who kept a
boarding house in the 1820s with such severity that she became
more feared than the police, who called on her to help them
catch and restrain criminals. The story almost certainly became
attached to her much later because she was well-known, black,
and was named Maria, but there’s no evidence that she was
actually the source of the name for the police vans. The first
reference we have to such a vehicle in Boston is dated 1847,
which might seem to be rather too long after her heyday for
there to be a direct connection. Also, this name had Thomas
Edison’s movie production studio in West Orange, New Jersey.
It is widely referred to as America’s First Movie Studio.

Blind Tom – слепой Том, афро-американский пианист-


вундеркинд; жмурки (игра)
Blind Tom had a national reputation and appeared in New
York City and other large cities each year for about 40 years.
Thomas “Blind Tom” Wiggins (1850–1908), who was born a
slave, became an African American autistic savant and
musical prodigy on the piano. Little is known about his early
training, nor of the gift of repeating musical selections. He
was also supposed to be able to “play two melodies
simultaneously.” He was born in 1850, of slave parents, near
Columbus, Georgia, and gave his first exhibition about 1861.
He had numerous original compositions published and had a
lengthy and largely successful performing career throughout
the United States. During the 19th century, he was one of the

27
Bloody Mary

most well-known American performing pianists. Also,


another name for a children’s game “blind-man’s-buff”.

Bloody Mary – кровавая Мэри; одноименный коктейль


из водки и томатного сока
It may refer either to the Queen of England and Ireland
in the Tudor era, Daughter of Henry VIII, or to Bloody Mary,
a ghost said to appear in mirrors when summoned. The most
common way to make her appear is to stand before a mirror
in the dark and repeat her name three times. In some versions
of the legend, the summoner must say, “Bloody Mary, I killed
your baby.” In these variants, Bloody Mary is often believed
to be the spirit of a young mother whose baby was stolen from
her, making her mad with grief, eventually committing
suicide. In stories where Mary is supposed to have been
wrongly accused of killing her children, the querent might
say “I believe in Mary Worth.”
A Bloody Mary is a popular cocktail containing vodka,
tomato juice, and usually other spices or flavorings such as
Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, beef consomme or
bouillon, horseradish, celery, olive, salt, black pepper,
cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt. It has been
called “the world’s most complex cocktail.”

Bobbsey twins – близнецы Бобси, ироничное прозвище


неразлучных друзей; (ср.: Бобчинский и Добчинский,
персонажи комедии Н. В. Гоголя «Ревизор»)
A facetious name for two people who are often seen
together and look or act alike. From the central characters
in a series of children’s books by Laura Lee Hope, pen name
of a literary syndicate. The first of 72 books was published in
1904, the last in 1979, with a separate series of 30 books
published from 1987 through 1992. The books related the
adventures of the children of the middle-class Bobbsey
family, which included two sets of fraternal twins: Bert and
Nan, who were 12 years old, and Flossie and Freddie, who
were six: We called them the Bobbsey twins, because they
always had the same opinions.

28
Brand/Curse/Mark of Cain

Bob’s your uncle – И дело с концом! Вот и всё! И все дела!


Everything is fine, problem solved. This expression is
commonly used mainly in Britain and Commonwealth
nations. Typically, someone says it to conclude a set of simple
instructions to mean, “And there you have it”, or “You’re all
set”. For example, “To make a ham sandwich, just put a
piece of ham between two slices of buttered bread, and Bob’s
your uncle”. It is sometimes elaborately phrased Robert is your
father’s brother or similar for humorous effect.

Bow down in the house of Rimmon – (библ.) кланяться в доме


Риммона; подчиниться действиям, которые не одоб-
ряешь, поступить вопреки своим принципам; подчи-
нить свои религиозные убеждения политической
необходимости
Rimmon was the name of a Syrian god – the Bible verse
refers to someone bowing to worship that god. Thus, to bow
down in the house of Rimmon implies to conform to a
reprehensible custom to save one’s life.

Box and Cox – то Бокс, то Кокс; делать что-либо пооче-


редно (особ. a Box and Cox arrangement/existence/
life/etc.)
Take turns. The term comes from the comic play Box and
Cox – A Romance of Real Life in One Act, by John Maddison
Morton (1811–1891). This was first produced at the Royal
Lyceum Theatre, London, in November 1847. Box and Cox
were two lodgers who shared their rooms – one occupying
them by day and the other by night: These two opponents lived
a Box and Cox existence in the city.

Brand/Curse/Mark of Cain – (библ.) проклятие Каина,


Каинова печать (особый знак Каина, убившего Авеля
и проклятого богом за братоубийство)
Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain, the
elder, killed his brother out of jealousy that God seemed to
favor him more. The two are therefore the archetype of
brotherly discord, and Cain appears throughout literature as

29
Break Priscian’s head

the personification of the original sin of murder. The mark/


curse/brand of Cain, though placed on him by God to protect
him and warn others that killing Cain would provoke the
vengeance of God (Genesis 4:5), is now used to mean an
identifying stigma.

Break Priscian’s head – ломать голову; (редк.) нарушать


правила грамматики
Write or speak false grammar. Priscian was a famous
Latin grammarian, who flourished at Constantinople in the
year 500; the author of “Grammatical Commentaries” in
18 books, a standard work during the Middle Ages, and in
universal use at that time. The grammar is divided into
eighteen books, of which the first sixteen deal mainly with
sounds, word-formation and inflexions; the last two deal
with syntax. He was so devoted to his favorite study that to
speak false Latin in his company was as disagreeable to him
as to break his head.

Brother Jonathan – (пренебр.) янки, американец; (собир.)


янки (об американской нации)
A fictional character created to personify the entire
United States, in the early days of the country’s existence.
Brother Jonathan was usually depicted as a typical American
revolutionary, with tri-cornered hat and long military
jacket. A popular folk tale about the origin of the term holds
that the character derives from Jonathan Trumbull (1710–
1785), Governor of Connecticut. It is said that George
Washington often uttered the words: We must consult
Brother Jonathan when faced with a difficult question;
however, that origin is doubtful, as neither man made
reference to the story during their lifetimes. The character
was adopted by Americans from 1783 to 1815. During
the War of 1812, the term Uncle Sam appeared. Soon
the increasingly popular Uncle Sam (see p. 168) replaced
Brother Jonathan. Indeed, this character can be seen as an
intermediate step between Yankee Doodle and Uncle Sam as
a representation of the everyday American. However,

30
Buckley’s chance

Brother Jonathan, and variants of the name Jonathan


continued to be used as slang references to Americans
through the American Civil War.

Brown Bess – кремнёвое ружьё (состоявшее на вооруже-


нии английской армии в XVIII веке)
A nickname of uncertain origin for the British Army’s
Land Pattern Musket and its derivatives. This musket was
used in the era of the expansion of the British Empire and
acquired symbolic importance at least as significant as its
physical importance. It was in use for over a hundred years
with many changes in its design. One hypothesis is that the
Brown Bess was named after Elizabeth I of England,
but this lacks support. More plausible is that the term
Brown Bess derived from German, as King George I who
commissioned its use was from Germany. Another
suggestion is that the name is simply the counterpart to the
earlier Brown Bill.

Brown, Jones and Robinson – Браун, Джоунз и Робинсон;


простые, рядовые англичане (ср.: Иванов, Петров,
Сидоров)
Brown, Jones and Robinson can be identified with lower
classes, humbler classes, rank and file, the crowd, the
peasantry, proletariat, etc. In the pages of “Punch”, a British
weekly magazine of humor and satire established in 1841,
they are three middle-class Englishmen on their travels
abroad.

Buckley’s chance (Austr, New Zeal inf) – шанс Бакли; тщет-


ная надежда; дохлый номер
A forlorn hope; no chance at all. The phrase is often
shortened simply to Buckley’s. Who or what Buckley was
remains uncertain: the name is sometimes said to refer to
William Buckley, a convict transported to Australia in 1802
who escaped and lived with the Aborigines for many years,
despite dire predictions as to his chances of survival.

31
Buggins’ turn

Buggins’ turn – черёд Баггинза; получить повышение по


службе по возрасту или ротации, а не за успехи в работе
The method of appointing people to positions based on
rotation rather than on merit. Unlike the Hobson of
Hobson’s choice (see p.71), Buggins wasn’t a real person.
Buggins is one of the generic names, like John Smith, Joe
Blow etc., that were given to the typical man in the street:
No man likes to be known as Buggins, or Noggs, or
Shufflebottom (“The New York Times”, 1859). There’s
something of a negative connotation about a position
gained by this method – the implication being that, after
everyone of merit has had a go, now it is Buggins’ turn.
Mayors of English towns and cities have long been selected
this way. Each year a new mayor is appointed and isn’t
chosen by the people or on merit but simply by picking the
next from the list of the town’s notables. The name Buggins
may have been coined by sailing folk. The first instances of
the term Buggins’ turn in print come from the British
admiral John Fisher, who used it more than once in his
letters.

Burden/Labor of Sisyphus xëfòfDÑ^ëz – (миф.) сизифов труд;


тяжёлый и бесплодный труд
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was a king. He promoted
navigation and commerce but was avaricious and deceitful.
He also killed travelers and guests, violating the hospitality
laws of the goddess named Xenia. He took pleasure in these
killings because they allowed him to maintain his iron-fisted
rulership. King Sisyphus was punished by being compelled
to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll
back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. Hence,
a ceaseless and fruitless task that must be repeated is called
a burden/labor of Sisyphus or a Sisyphean task.

Buridan’s ass – буриданов осёл; философский парадокс


свободы выбора
An illustration of a paradox in philosophy in the
conception of free will. It refers to a hypothetical situation

32
By Jove/George

wherein an ass is placed precisely midway between a stack of


hay and a pail of water. Since the paradox assumes the ass will
always go to whichever is closer, it will die of both hunger and
thirst since it cannot make any rational decision to choose
one over the other. The paradox is named after the 14th
century French philosopher Jean Buridan, whose philosophy
of moral determinism it satirizes. A common variant of the
paradox substitutes two identical
piles of hay for the hay and water;
the ass, unable to choose between
the two, dies of hunger.

Political cartoon c. 1900,


showing the United States Congress
as Buridan’s ass, hesitating between
a Panama route or a Nicaragua route
for an Atlantic-Pacific canal.

Busy Lizzy – «деловая Лизи», комнатное растение семей-


ства бальзаминовых; разновидность герани
A type of flower belonging to the
genus Impatiens, of the balsam
family, having irregular, spurred
flowers; so called because the elastic
capsules burst when touched, and
scatter the seeds with considerable
force; called also touch-me-not.

By Jove/George – Клянусь!
Exclamation of astonishment or determination: By Jove/
George I’ll do my best! Jove is probably an anglicization of the
Old Latin Jovis which translates into English as Jupiter, the
Roman King of Gods. Even today young English people may
be taught Roman history directly from original Latin texts
which is why the name Jove for God has probably continued
to flourish in some circles. The Greeks call him Zeus. The
expression seems first to have appeared in the 1500s. Putting
it into a simpler way, it is like saying My God / By God!

33
By the Lord Harry!

By the Lord Harry! – Чёрт возьми! (Lord Harry – шутливое


прозвище дьявола)
Can be used as an expletive. Lord Harry and Old Harry
are yet more veiled reference to Satan. Sources are split over
whether it is a corruption of Hairy (from satyr-like
depictions) or from the same root as harry and harrow in their
torment, ravage, pillage senses.

C
Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion (saying) – Жена Цезаря
вне/выше подозрений; человек, занимающий высо-
кую должность, должен быть безупречен, чтобы даже
подозрение не могло на него пасть
Pompeia (born 1st century BC) was the second wife of
Julius Caesar. In 62 BC she hosted the festival of the Bona
Dea (“good goddess”), which no man was permitted to
attend, in their house. However Clodius, a young patrician,
managed to gain admittance disguised as a woman, apparently
for the purpose of seducing Pompeia. He was caught and
prosecuted for sacrilege. Caesar gave no evidence against him
at the trial, and he was acquitted. Nevertheless, Caesar
divorced Pompeia, saying that “my wife ought not even to be
under suspicion.” Hence the modern expression that, like
Caesar’s wife, a person in high office must act in such a way
that no suspicion can fall on them.

Calamity Jane (Am) – «паникёрша Джейн»; человек,


вечно делающий пессимистические предсказания;
пессимист, паникер
Pessimistic, panicking, panic-stricken person;
prophesying disaster. The phrase is better known related to
Martha Jane Cannary (or Canary) Burke (1852–1903),
nicknamed Calamity Jane. She was an American
frontierswoman and professional scout who gained fame
fighting Native Americans. She is said to have also

34
Cassandra warnings

exhibited kindness and compassion, especially to the sick


and needy. This contrast helped to make her a famous and
infamous frontier figure. Born in Princeton, Missouri in
1852, she would later grow up to look and act like a man,
shoot like a cowboy, drink like a fish, and exaggerate the
tales of her life to any and all who would listen. It was in
1873 that Calamity Jane reportedly earned her name. As
Calamity told the story, it happened
at Goose Creek, Wyoming. Captain
Egan was in command of the Post
and the troops were ordered out to
quell an Indian uprising. After a
couple of days, when the soldiers
were heading back to camp, they
were ambushed by a large group of
Indians. Captain Egan was the first
to be shot and fell from his horse.
Calamity Jane was riding in advance,
but upon hearing gunfire, she turned Calamity Jane, 1895
in her saddle and saw the Captain
fall. Galloping back, she lifted him onto her horse and got
him safely back to the Fort. Captain Egan on recovering,
laughingly said, I name you Calamity Jane, the heroine of
the plains.

Cask of Danaides – (миф.) бочка Данаид; бездонная бочка


According to Greek mythology, the fifty daughters of
Danaus, who at their father’s command murdered their
bridegrooms on their wedding night, were condemned in
Hades to pour water eternally into a jar with a hole in the
bottom: The concern was like the cask of Danaides into which
the public had been pleased to pour its deposits.

Cassandra warnings – (миф.) предостережения Кассандры;


дар предвидения; предостережения, которыми нера-
зумно пренебрегают
The Cassandra metaphor/syndrome/complex is a term
applied in situations in which valid warnings or concerns are

35
Catch Jesse

dismissed or disbelieved. The term originates in Greek


mythology. Cassandra was a daughter of Priam, the King of
Troy. Struck by her beauty, Apollo provided her with the gift
of prophecy, but when Cassandra refused Apollo’s romantic
advances, he placed a curse ensuring that nobody would
believe her warnings. Cassandra was left with the knowledge
of future events, but could neither alter these events nor
convince others of the validity of her predictions. Thus, while
Cassandra foresaw the destruction of Troy, she was unable to
do anything to forestall the tragedy since no one believed her.
The metaphor has been applied in a variety of contexts such
as psychology, politics, science, the corporate world, and in
philosophy, and has been in circulation since at least 1949
when French philosopher Gaston Bachelard coined the term
Cassandra Complex referring to a psychological phenomenon
in which an individual’s accurate prediction of a crisis is
ignored or dismissed.

Catch Jesse (Am sl) – «поймать Джесси», получить наго-


няй; быть избитым (см. Give somebody Jesse, с. 61)
Can be used in such phrases as If you don’t watch out, you
are going to catch Jesse. The origin of the term is obscure.

Charles’s Wain // The Big Dipper (Am) – Большая Медве-


дица (созвездие)
The Big Dipper is an asterism of seven stars that has been
recognized as a distinct grouping in many cultures from time
immemorial. The component stars are the seven brightest of
the constellation Ursa Major. The Dipper is significant
because the North Star (Polaris) can be found using it. Polaris
is part of the “Little Dipper”, Ursa Minor. Known as Charles
his waine in some areas of England, the Dipper was formerly
called by the old name Charles’ Wain (“wain” meaning
“wagon”), as it still is in Scandinavia, Karlsvognen. A folk
etymology holds that it was named after Charlemagne, also
known as Charles the Great, King of the Franks from 768
AD and Emperor of the Romans.

36
Chippendale (feet)

Charlie – Чарли, уменьшительное имя от Чарльз (Charles)


• (Br inf) a silly person; fool (shortened from Charlie
Hunt, rhyming slang for cunt (obscene))
• (Electronics & Computer Science/Communications &
Information) a code word for the letter C
• (Drugs sl) cocaine
Cheap Jack/John (Am sl) – ночлежка, бардак, кабак

Cheapjack/cheapjohn – (сущ.) странствующий торговец,


лоточник; (прил.) дешёвый, низкого пошиба; «де-
шёвка»
As a noun, it means a haggling huckster, a dealer in cheap
merchandise, a peddler. As an adjective, it means shabby, or
low quality: The street was lined with cheap-john shops.

Checkpoint Charlie / Checkpoint C – контрольно-пропуск-


ной пункт «Чарли»
The name given by the Western Allies to the best-known
Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West
Berlin during the Cold War. The Soviet Union prompted
the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 to stop Eastern
Bloc emigration westward through the Soviet border from
East Berlin to West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became a
symbol of the Cold War, representing the separation of east
and west. Soviet and American tanks briefly faced each
other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961. After
the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification of
Germany, the building at Checkpoint Charlie became a
tourist attraction. It is now located in the Allied Museum
in Berlin.

Chippendale (feet) – ножки Чиппендейла (характерная


форма ножек стульев работы этого мастера)
Chippendale furniture is named after Thomas
Chippendale of England. Chippendale was a cabinetmaker
by trade and was well known for his mastery in wood carving
and design. A very distinct feature of Chippendale furniture

37
Cleopatra’s needle

is the ball and claw foot: The world may one day produce better
chair makers than Chippendale, but it will never produce finer
chairs.

Cleopatra’s needle – «Игла Клеопатры» (прозвище египет-


ских обелисков, установленных в Лондоне, Париже и
Нью-Йорке)
The popular name for each of three Ancient Egyptian
obelisks re-erected in London, Paris, and New York City
during the nineteenth century. The London and New York
ones are a pair, while the Paris one comes from a different
original site, where its twin
remains. Although the needles
are genuine Ancient Egyptian
obelisks, they are somewhat
misnamed as they have no
particular connection with
Queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt,
and were already over a
thousand years old in her
lifetime. The London “needle” Cleopatra’s Needle in Paris
is one such example and it was at the Place de la Concorde
falsely named Cleopatra’s
needle. The Paris “needle” was the first to be moved and re-
erected and the first to acquire the nickname.

Clever Dick (Am) – самоуверенный всезнайка; наглец,


нахал, хлыщ (see Smart Alec, p. 152)

Coal-oil Johnny (Am sl) – мот, транжира


John Washington Steele (1843–1920), also known as
Coal Oil Johnny, was one of the first oil millionaires
acquiring their wealth from the oil discovered in
Pennsylvania in the mid-19th century. In 1864, soon after
wealth came to him through inheritance from the
McClintocks, his foster or adoptive family, the orphan John
Steele left the farm and began a lavish and picturesque life,
rapidly spending his way through his fortune. He was often

38
Cracker Jack/jack

seen in Philadelphia riding in his carriage with “the picture


of an oil derrick, an oil tank, and a flowing well” painted
on its doors. After his lavish life-
style, Steele fell into bankruptcy.
He shuttled around, moving
to the Mid-West, eventually
becoming a railroad station agent.
According to his autobiography,
written in 1901, after his fall he
was hounded by the public and the
press and became a recluse to
avoid them.

Colonel Blimp (Br old-fashioned) – полковник Блимп, са-


модовольный реакционер
An extremely conservative, pompous, reactionary person,
opposed to reform. After Colonel Blimp, a cartoon character
invented by David Low (1891–1963). An old man who has
old-fashioned ideas and believes he is important: He’s very
much a Colonel Blimp with his comments about foreign
influences dividing our society.

Cordelia’s gift – дар Корделии; тихий, нежный женский


голос, подобный голосу Корделии – героини траге-
дии В. Шексира «Король Лир»
The phrase refers to a soft, gentle, woman’s voice: It is her
voice that he hears prevailing over those of the rest of the
company, for she has not Cordelia’s gift.

Cracker Jack/jack // crackajack – (прил.) отличный, бле-


стящий, классный; (сущ.) отличный парень, классная
штука; первый американский джанк-фуд
This term dates back to the late 1800s, and means
“superb” or “excellent”. A person who is particularly
noteworthy for his or her ability, deserving admiration; a
person or thing of exceptional quality or ability; something
excellent of its kind: He drifted into seal hunting and became
a crackerjack. Also, Cracker Jack is a US brand of snack

39
Crêpe Suzette

consisting of popcorn and peanuts, well known for being


packaged with a prize of nominal value inside. Some food
historians consider it the first junk food. In 1896 the name
was trademarked for the caramel popcorn product. In 1908
Jack Norworth wrote the lyrics for Take Me Out to the
Ballgame, which mentioned the name of the candy
propelling it to fame.

Crêpe Suzette – блинчик Сюзетт; тонкий блинчик, жаре-


ный на масле, политый горящим ликёром, с ягодной
начинкой
Crêpe Suzette is a French dessert. The most common way
to make Crêpe Suzette is to pour liqueur (usually Grand
Marnier) over a freshly cooked crêpe with sugar and light it.
This will make the alcohol in the liqueur evaporate, resulting
in a fairly thick, caramelized sauce. In a restaurant, a Crêpe
Suzette is often prepared in a chafing dish in full view of the
guests. The origin of the dish and its name is somewhat
disputed. One claim is that the dish was created out of a mistake
made by a fourteen-year-old assistant waiter in 1895 at Monte
Carlo’s Café de Paris. He was preparing a dessert for Edward,
Prince of Wales, the son of Queen Victoria, whose guests
included a beautiful French girl named Suzette. The other
claim states Crêpe Suzette was named in honor of French
actress Suzanne Reichenberg (1853–1924), who worked
professionally under the name Suzette. In 1897, Suzette
appeared in the Comédie
Française in the role of a maid,
during which she served crêpes
on stage. Monsieur Joseph,
owner of Restaurant Marivaux,
provided the crêpes. He
decided to flambé the thin
pancakes to attract the
audience’s attention and keep Crêpe Suzette with raspberries
the food warm for the actors
consuming them.

40
Cut the Gordian knot

Cup of Joe (Am sl) – чашка кофе


How American coffee came to be called joe is not well
documented, but the leading theory connects it to the once-
popular song Old Black Joe written by Stephen Collins Foster
(author of “Oh! Susannah” and “Camptown Races”) in
1860. The name joe appears to have been primarily used in
the military, and particularly the navy, during the first half of
the twentieth century: Coffee is the marine’s best friend and
the Corps might well adopt the good old “joe-pot” for its emblem.
Lately, Agent Cooper used to buy cherry pie and a cup of joe
from Shelly on “Twin Peaks” (1990–1992).

Cut the Gordian knot // Alexandrian solution – (миф.) рас-


сечь/разрубить гордиев узел; быстро и кардинально
решить проблему
Solve a difficult problem quickly and boldly. The legend
is associated with Alexander the Great. The phrase is often
used as a metaphor for an intractable problem solved by a
bold stroke (cutting the Gordian knot). At one time the
Phrygians were without a king. An oracle decreed that the
next man to enter the city driving an ox-cart should become
their king. A peasant farmer named Gordias drove into
town on an ox-cart and was declared king by the priests.
Out of gratitude, his son Midas dedicated the ox-cart to the
Phrygian god and either tied it to a post or tied its shaft with
an intricate knot of cornel bark. The ox-cart still stood in
the palace of the former kings of Phrygia at Gordium in the
fourth century BC when Alexander arrived. In 333 BC,
while wintering at Gordium, he attempted to untie the
knot. When he could not find the end to the knot to unbind
it, he sliced it in half with a stroke of his sword (the so-called
Alexandrian solution). That night there was a violent
thunderstorm. Alexander’s prophet took this as a sign that
Zeus was pleased and would grant Alexander many
victories.

41
Daniel come to judgment

D
Daniel come to judgment – «Дэниел рассудит» (шекспиров-
ское выражение); честный, проницательный, правед-
ный, нелицеприятный судья (в современ. яз. обыкн.
употр. ирон.)
Someone who makes a wise judgment about something
that has previously proven difficult to resolve. This phrase
doubtless alludes to the Biblical character Daniel, who was
attributed with having fine powers of judgment (Daniel 5:14).
The first use of the phrase as we now know it is from
Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”, 1596: A Daniel
come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!

Darby and Joan – Дарби и Джоан, старая любящая супру-


жеская чета (имена героев баллады Г. Вудфолла, опуб-
ликованной в 1735 году)
A proverbial phrase for a married couple content to live a
quiet shared life; an archetypal elderly couple. The term
Darby and Joan used to be common in the UK to denote a
devoted old couple who are living out their retirement years
in quiet, if impoverished,
contentment. It may also be
used disparagingly to describe
younger people who are
perceived to favor spending
their evenings in or to follow
pursuits seen as middle-aged.
In England, the use of the
phrase declined somewhat
towards the end of the 20th century but is still used, notably
in the name of the numerous Darby and Joan old people’s
social clubs which still flourish.
It has long been wondered whether Darby and Joan were
fictitious or real people and various attempts to link the term
to actual individuals have been made. Darby isn’t a common
surname in England, which gives some credence to the idea

42
Davey/Davy Jones’s locker

that the couple were real. The most frequently repeated


attribution is that Darby and Joan was coined by the English
printer Henry Woodfall (c. 1686–1747) whose employer
John Darby was married to Joan Darby.

David and Jonathan – (библ.) Давид и Ионафан; неразлуч-


ные друзья
David and Jonathan were heroic figures of the Kingdom of
Israel. Jonathan was the son of Saul, king of Israel, and David
was the son of Jesse of Bethlehem and Jonathan’s presumed
rival for the crown. David became king. The agreement the
two men had formed eventually led to David graciously
seating Jonathan’s son, a cripple, at his own royal table
instead of eradicating the former king Saul’s line. The biblical
text does not explicitly depict the nature of the relationship
between David and Jonathan. The traditional and mainstream
religious interpretation of the relationship has been one of
platonic love and an example of homosociality. Some later
Medieval and Renaissance literature drew upon the story to
underline strong personal friendships between men, some of
which involved romantic love.

Davey/Davy Jones’s locker (usu facet) – (мор. жарг.) рундук


Дейви Джоунза; могила в море
An idiom for the bottom of the sea; the resting place of
drowned mariners. For obscure reasons, 18th-century
seamen gave the name Davy Jones to the ruler of the evil
spirits of the sea. It is used as a euphemism for death at sea
(to be sent to Davy Jones’s locker). The origins of the name
are unclear and many theories have been put forth, including
incompetent sailors, a pub owner who kidnapped sailors, or
that Davy Jones is another name for the devil – as in “Devil
Jonah.” None of these is supported by any evidence – they
are little more than guesses. This nautical superstition was
popularized in the 19th century: ...seamen would have met a
watery grave; or, to use a seaman’s phrase, gone to Davy
Jones’s locker. * My camera fell overboard and went to Davy
Jones’s locker.

43
Dead as Julius Caesar

Dead as Julius Caesar – мёртв как Юлий Цезарь; без


каких-либо признаков жизни, бездыханный; погиб
окончательно, «крышка»; утративший силу, вышед-
ший из употребления; исчезнувший без следа
Gaius Julius Caesar was a Roman general and statesman
and a distinguished writer of Latin prose. He played a critical
role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic
into the Roman Empire. Gaius Julius Caesar died on the Ides
of March. Despite the overwhelming public favor of the great
leader, he was assassinated by men who were thought to be
his allies. It is estimated that the conspirators numbered
around 60, but only 16 were known. A man named Cimber
knelt at Caesar’s feet to plead for his brother’s recall from
banishment. When Caesar irritably refused him, Cimber
yanked Julius’ toga down from his neck and the other
conspirators began to stab Caesar. When they were finished,
Caesar lay dead with 23 wounds. The phrase can be used for
both people and things: Illinois’s death penalty is now dead as
Julius Caesar.

Dear John letter (humor) – прощальное письмо о прекра-


щении отношений, начинающееся словами «Дорогой
Джон»
A letter that you send to a man telling him you want to
end a romantic relationship with him: I’ve always thought
Dear John letters a cowardly way of ending a relationship.

Dine with Duke Humphrey – (эвфемизм) отобедать с герцо-


гом Хэмфри; остаться без обеда
Go without dinner. The phrase to dine with Duke
Humphrey was used by poor people in Elizabethan times to
avoid mentioning that they did not have the money to pay
for food. At dinnertime they would excuse themselves by
saying they would be eating with the Duke. Duke
Humphrey’s Walk was the name of an aisle in Old St Paul’s
Cathedral near Duke Humphrey’s tomb, an area frequented
by thieves and beggars. Hector Hugh Munro (1870–1916),
a British writer, updates the phrase by referring to a Duke

44
Dirty Dick’s

Humphrey picnic, one without food, in his short story “The


Feast of Nemesis”. Duke Humphrey, or Humphrey of
Lancaster (1390–1447), also known as Humphrey
Plantagenet, was “son, brother and uncle of kings”, being
the fourth and youngest son of King Henry IV. He was a
paragon for Eton College, an exemplar for Oxford,
accomplished, diplomatic, with political cunning. Unlike
his brothers, he was not naturally brave, but opinionated,
fervent and judgmental. He exaggerated his own
achievements, but idolized his brother Henry V.

Dirty Dick’s – «Грязнуля Дик», знаменитый лондонский


паб
Before the beginning of the 19th century, the pub on
Bishopsgate was called “the Old Jerusalem”, when it got its
current name, Dirty Dick’s. The original Dirty Dick was
Richard, or some say Nathaniel, Bentley, a prosperous city
merchant living in the middle of the 18th century, who owned
a hardware shop and warehouse, and
is said to be the inspiration for Miss
Havisham in Dickens’ “Great
Expectations’. Bentley had been quite
a dandy in his youth, but following the
death of his fiancée, he refused to clear
up or clean anything. His house, shop
and warehouse became so filthy that
he became a celebrity of dirt. Any
letter addressed to ‘the Dirty
Warehouse, London’, would be
delivered to Bentley. He stopped Dirty Dick’s has been
trading in 1804 and died in 1809. The a pub since 1804
warehouse was later demolished. But
the successive pub owners capitalized on the legend. By the
end of the 19th century, they were producing commemorative
booklets and promotional material to advertise the pub. For
years it kept the cobwebs, dead cats and other disgusting
things in the cellar bar, but these have now been tidied up to
a glass display case.

45
Do a Lord Lucan

Do a Lord Lucan – «свалить как лорд Лукан»; исчезнуть,


испариться; (разг.) сбежать, слинять, смыться
If someone disappears without a trace or runs off, they do
a Lord Lucan, who disappeared after a murder. Richard John
Bingham, popularly known as Lord Lucan, and sometimes
colloquially called “Lucky” Lucan, was a British peer, who
disappeared in the early hours of 8 November 1974, following
the murder of Sandra Rivett, his children’s nanny, the
previous evening. There has been no verified sighting of him
since then, so he was declared legally dead in October 1999.

Do a Melba (Austr, New Zeal inf) – устроить затянувшееся


прощание, долгий уход со сцены
Return from retirement; make several farewell
appearances. The Australian operatic soprano Nellie Melba
(the stage name of Helen Porter Mitchell, 1861–1931) made
repeated “farewell” appearances. Australian soprano
primarily with London’s Covent Garden (1888–1926) and
the Metropolitan Opera in New York City (1893–1910).

Doctor Fell – доктор Фелл, человек, вызывающий к себе


невольную антипатию
John Fell (1625–1686) was an English churchman and
influential academic. He served as Dean of Christ Church
College, Oxford, and later concomitantly as Bishop of Oxford.
He was the most zealous man of his time for the Church of
England and he made many converts from the Roman
Catholics and Nonconformists. He was a disciplinarian, and
possessed a talent for the education of young men, many of
whom he received into his own family. Tom Brown, author of
“The Dialogues of the Dead”, about to be expelled from
Oxford for some offence, was pardoned by Fell on the
condition of his translating ex tempore the 32nd epigram of
Martial, a Latin poet from Hispania: Non amo te, Sabidi, nec
possum dicere – quare; Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.
To which he immediately replied with the well-known lines:
I do not love thee, Dr Fell,
The reason why I cannot tell;

46
Don Quixote

But this I know, and know full well,


I do not love thee, Dr Fell.
As Vice-Chancellor, Fell personally visited the drinking
taverns and ordered out the students. He entirely suppressed
“coursing,” i.e. disputations which commonly ended in
blows and disturbances. Figuratively the phrase refers to a
person you feel antipathy to.

Dolly Varden – Долли Варден, яркая кокетка, персонаж


романа Ч. Диккенса «Барнеби Радж»; форель Аляски
The original Dolly Varden is a character in the Charles
Dickens’s novel “Barnaby Rudge” and was well known as
being quite flirtatious, wearing her flashy attire and colorful
dresses. Somehow the name was passed on to a fish from the
Arctic Char Family who has the same flashy appearance:
Dolly Varden trout.

Don Juan – Дон Жуан; донжуан, обольститель


Don Juan (Spanish) or Don Giovanni (Italian) is a
legendary, fictional libertine whose story has been told many
times by many authors. Among the best known works about
this character today are Molière’s play “Dom Juan ou le
Festin de Pierre” (1665), Byron’s epic poem “Don Juan”
(1821), and many others. The most influential version of all
is “Don Giovanni”, an opera composed by Wolfgang
Amadeus Mozart, first performed in Prague in 1787 (with
Giacomo Casanova probably in the audience) and itself the
source of inspiration for works by E. T. A. Hoffmann,
Alexander Pushkin, George Bernard Shaw and Albert
Camus. Don Juan is used synonymously for “womanizer”,
especially in Spanish slang.

Don Quixote xÇmå=âgDÜçsígz= – Дон Кихот; пустой мечта-


тель, идеалист
“Don Quixote”, fully titled “The Ingenious Gentleman
Don Quixote of La Mancha”, is a novel written by Miguel
de Cervantes. The novel follows the adventures of Alonso
Quijano, who reads too many chivalric novels, and sets out

47
Dorian Gray

to revive chivalry under the name of Don Quixote. Published


in two volumes a decade apart, in 1605 and 1615, Don
Quixote is considered the most influential work of literature
from the Spanish Golden Age. In one such list, Don Quixote
was cited as the “best literary work ever written”. Don
Quixote has selective vision of the real world. Windmills are
giant brutes, sheep are attacking armies, and slaves are
oppressed gentlemen. Quixote is an idealist seeing things
through rose-colored glasses at times. He fights impossible
symbolic battles while the rest of the world says it can’t be
done and mocks him for trying. It is ironic that a crazy man
is showing humanity the “right way” to live. This character
has survived the centuries demonstrating his universal appeal
to all.

Dorian Gray – Дориан Грей; самовлюблённый эгоист


“The Picture of Dorian Gray” is the only novel by Oscar
Wilde, published in April 1891. The novel tells of a young
man named Dorian Gray, the subject of a painting by artist
Basil Hallward. Realizing that one day his beauty will fade,
Dorian (whimsically) expresses a desire to sell his soul to
ensure the portrait Basil has painted would age rather than
him. Dorian’s wish is fulfilled, plunging him into debauched
acts. The portrait serves as a reminder of the effect each act
has upon his soul, with each sin displayed as a disfigurement
of his form, or through a sign of aging. “The Picture of
Dorian Gray” is considered a work of
classic Gothic fiction with a strong Faustian
theme.

Dorothy/Dolly bag – сумочка Доротеи/


Долли, сумочка невесты; ридикюль,
дамская сумочка-мешочек
A woman’s handbag gathered at the top
by a drawstring and hung from the wrist.
Unfortunately, this entry lacks etymological information.
The Dolly bag, originally called the Dorothy bag, was carried
by the bridesmaid to carry their confetti in. Throwing

48
Douglas-fir

confetti is a former fertility rites tradition. Variations occur


throughout the world: flowers, petals, grain, cakes, sugar
almonds and rice are all used. The modern use is as a
convenience wedding accessory for carrying some of the
bride’s or bridesmaids personal effects.

Double jack // doublejack – кувалда; американское пиво;


крепкий напиток; грубый секс
The phrase may refer to a sledge hammer with two heads;
a popular kind of American beer; a strong alcoholic drink
made of Jack Daniel’s whiskey and Yukon Jack Canadian
whisky; obscene behavior in sexual intercourse.

Doubting/A very Thomas – (библ.) Фома неверный/неве-


рующий; скептик; человек, которого трудно заставить
поверить чему-л., который отказывается верить без
явного доказательства
A skeptic; a person who refuses to believe without clear
proof. The term is based on the Biblical account of Thomas
the Apostle, a disciple of Jesus who doubted Jesus’
resurrection and demanded to feel Jesus’ wounds before
being convinced (John 20:24-29). After seeing Jesus alive
and being offered the opportunity to touch his wounds,
according to the author of the Gospel of John, Thomas then
professed his faith in Jesus. For this reason he is also called
Thomas the Believer. The Biblical account then reports that
Jesus said, Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have
believed.

Douglas-fir – ель Дугласа, распространённое название


вечнозелёных хвойных деревьев
One of the English common names for evergreen
coniferous trees. The common name Douglas-fir honors
David Douglas, the Scottish botanist who is known for
introducing many North American native conifers to
Europe. The hyphen in the name indicates that Douglas-firs
are not true firs.

49
Drive like Jehu

Drive like Jehu (inf) – бешено мчаться, нестись сломя го-


лову (на машине)
Drive very fast, carelessly, or recklessly. Drive Like Jehu
was an American post-hardcore and alternative rock band
from San Diego active from 1990 to 1995. Jehu as a noun
may refer to a king of Israel noted for his furious chariot
attacks; also, jehu is a fast driver or the driver of a cab or
coach.

Dryasdust – «г-н Сухарь», сухой и педантичный человек


(по имени вымышленного лица, которому Вальтер
Скотт посвятил ряд романов)
Dr Jonas Dryasdust was Sir Walter Scott’s (1771–1832)
own creation. He pretends to dedicate the novel to him for
supplying him with dry historical details. At the beginning of
the novel “Ivanhoe”, Sir Walter Scott writes:
DEDICATORY EPISTLE
TO
THE REV. Dr DRYASDUST, F.A.S.
Since then the derisory term is used to describe anyone
who presents historical facts with no feeling for the
personalities involved, making the story dull, dry, or boring.

Duke of Exeter’s Daughter – (ист.) «дочь герцога Эксетер-


ского»; дыба, орудие пыток (изобретение этого орудия
приписывают герцогу Эксетерскому в царствование
Генриха VI) (см. Scavenger’s Daughter, с. 147)
The Duke of Exeter’s daughter was a torture rack in the
Tower of London. Its presence is said to have been due to
John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter, the Constable of the
Tower in 1447, whence it got its name. The trial by rack is
utterly unknown to the law of England, though once when
some ministers of Henry VI designed to introduce the civil
(i.e. Roman) law into the kingdom as the rule of government,
for a beginning thereof they erected a rack for torture, which
was called in derision the Duke of Exeter’s daughter, which
still remains in the Tower of London. In Queen Elizabeth’s

50
Dumb Dora

reign it was used as an engine of state, not of law, more than


once. But when in the reign of Charles I, upon the
assassination of the 1st Duke of Buckingham by John Felton,
it was proposed to put the assassin to the rack, in order to
discover his accomplices, the judges declared unanimously
that no such proceeding was allowable by the laws of
England.

Dumb Dora (Am sl) – «Дура Дора», глупая девушка, дура


Dumb Dora is considered to be 1920s American slang for
a completely idiotic woman. The phrase was made popular
from the vaudeville acts of George Burns and Gracie Allen
(who played the actual role of Dumb Dora), eventually
becoming a name of a classic comic strip. The comic strip
was discontinued in 1935 despite being given a new lease of
life in the 1970s on a CBS game show called Match Game,
extending the routine to audience participation. Members
who were watching in the studio would shout the phrase How
dumb is she? in total unison. Flappers1 during the 1920s
shared many of the same common characteristics of a dumb
Dora.

1
Flapper in the 1920s was a term applied to a “new breed” of young
Western women who wore short skirts, bobbed their hair, listened to
jazz, and flaunted their disdain for what was then considered
acceptable behavior. Flappers were seen as brash for wearing excessive
makeup, drinking, treating sex in a casual manner, smoking, driving
automobiles and otherwise flouting social and sexual norms. Flappers
took their name from a tendency of young women in the late 1910s
and early 1920s to leave their galoshes unfastened (“flapping” as they
walked).

51
Eisenhower jacket

E
Eisenhower jacket – китель «эйзен-
хауэр» (до пояса, с нагрудными
карманами)
The Eisenhower jacket or “Ike”
jacket is a waist-length, military jacket
of World War II origins. Called the
Jacket, Field, Wool, M-1944, it was
commissioned by then General Dwight
Eisenhower as a new field jacket for the
US Forces in Northern Europe. The
jacket was based on the British Army WWII-era
tailor-made officer’s
“Battle Dress” jacket of the same era. Eisenhower jacket
Eisenhower was born in 1890, the third
of seven boys. All of the boys were called “Ike”, such as “Big
Ike” (Edgar) and “Little Ike” (Dwight); the nickname was
intended as an abbreviation of their last name. By World
War II, only Dwight was still called “Ike”. Eisenhower was
the 34th President of the United States from 1953 until 1961.

“Et tu, Brute?” – «И ты, Брут?» (предсмертные слова


Юлия Цезаря)
A Latin phrase often used poetically to represent the last
words of Roman dictator Julius Caesar to his friend Marcus
Brutus at the moment of his assassination. It can be variously
translated as “Even you, Brutus?”, “And you, Brutus?”, “You
too, Brutus?”, etc. Immortalized by Shakespeare’s “Julius
Caesar” (1599) (Act III, Sc. 1), the quotation is widely used
in Western culture to signify the utmost betrayal. On March
15 (the Ides of March), 44 BC, Caesar was attacked by a
group of senators, including Marcus Junius Brutus, Caesar’s
close friend. Caesar initially resisted his attackers, but when
he saw Brutus, he supposedly spoke those words and resigned
himself to his fate. Caesar’s last words are not known with
certainty and are a contested subject among scholars and
historians alike. The version best known in the English-

52
Every Tom, Dick and Harry

speaking world is the Latin phrase, which actually forms the


first half of a macaronic line: Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar!
Shakespeare in turn was making use of a phrase already in
common use in his time.

Even Stephen/Steven/Stevens – ровный счёт (в спорте,


играх и т.д.); равные шансы на успех и неудачу; по-
ровну, одинаково, справедливо, честно (при дележе)
It is a situation in which all the persons concerned have
an equal chance of finally winning or succeeding: an even-
Steven transaction. If everything is equal between people,
they are even Stevens. As for the origin of the phrase, there
was an unstoppable and very famous Australian horse called
Even Stevens and in a major race the odds offered were even.
In 1962 this horse won the Melbourne cup. Today, people
from Australia do say It’s even Stevens. Though the horse
story is true, there is no evidence that the horse’s name was
the origin of the phrase rather than the other way around.
In the US, it is even Steven and it is much older than 1962.
Most probably, even plus the name Steven is used as rhyming
slang. Also, Even Stevens is a popular American comedy
television series that aired on Disney Channel from 2000 to
2003.

Every man jack (of us/them) (old-fashioned) – все до одного;


как один (человек), все без исключения
Every single person: If you sack me, the others will walk out
too, every man jack of them.

Every Tom, Dick and Harry – обычные, заурядные люди;


первый встречный, всякий, каждый, все без разбора,
каждый встречный и поперечный (ср.: Иванов, Пет-
ров, Сидоров)
If every Tom, Dick and Harry knows about something,
then it is common knowledge. The phrase means everyone,
and implies common or ordinary people. It was used in
America as early as the late 1500s. Shakespeare writes, Tom,
Dick, and Frances in “Henry IV”.

53
Fabian policy/tactics

F
Fabian policy/tactics – тактика Фабия; осторожная, выжи-
дательная политика в борьбе с противником (по
имени римского полководца Фабия Кунктатора, про-
званного «Медлителем»)
A policy of delays and cautions. Fabian policy, a policy
like that of the Roman general Fabius Maximus, who, by
carefully avoiding decisive contests, foiled Hannibal,
harassing his army by marches, countermarches, and
ambuscades.

Feast of Lucullus – Лукуллов пир, роскошный пир (по


имени древнеримского богача Лукулла, прославив-
шегося необычайной роскошью)
The phrase relates to lavish, luxurious, sumptuous
Lucullus banquets. Lucius Licinius Lucullus was the
Roman general and consul (110–56 BC). Though a
Lucullan feast has passed into proverb, Lucullus was not a
mere conspicuous consumer. He formed a fine library and
kept it open to scholars, wrote himself and supported
writers. His garden was filled with works of art, particularly
Greek sculpture, both originals and copies of the Old
Masters, and has thus been a rich archaeological source of
ancient sculpture.

Florence Nightingale – Флоренс Най-


тингейл, английская медсестра
времен Крымской войны
Florence Nightingale (1820–
1910) was a celebrated English nurse,
writer and statistician. She came to
prominence for her pioneering work
in nursing in military hospitals during
the Crimean War (1853–1856),
where she tended to wounded
soldiers. She was dubbed “The Lady Florence Nightingale

54
Frankenstein’s monster

with the Lamp” after her habit of making rounds at night.


An Anglican, Nightingale believed that God had called her
to be a nurse.

Follow somebody like St Anthony’s pig – идти как тень за


кем-л.; неотступно, по пятам следовать за кем-л.
St Anthony the Abbot is the patron saint of butchers, as
well as of pigs and those who raise them.

For Pete’s sake // For the love of Pete/Mike – Ради бога!


This is used as an exclamation to show exasperation or
irritation. Usually used in exasperation, as in Oh, for the love
of Pete! Both phrases are euphemisms for “For Christ’s sake”
and “For the love of God” respectively and stem from a time
when using God’s name in that way was considered
blasphemy. There are several theories as to who Pete was,
the most common being that he was St Pete, though it may
be that the expression for pity’s sake evolved into for Pete’s
sake.

Frankenstein’s monster – чудовище


Франкенштайна; символ изобре-
тения, восставшего против своего
изобретателя
“Frankenstein, or the Modern
Prometheus” is a novel written by
Mary Shelley about an experiment
that produces a monster. The first
edition was published anonymously in
London in 1818. Shelley’s name Boris Karloff
appears on the second edition, as Frankenstein’s
published in France in 1823. A monster
fictional character is often referred to
as Frankenstein, but in the novel the creature has no name.
Victor Frankenstein builds the creature in his laboratory
through methods of science (he was a chemistry student) and
alchemy which are not clearly described. Immediately upon
bringing the creature to life, Frankenstein flees from it in

55
Freudian slip

horror and disavows his experiment. Abandoned, frightened,


and completely unaware of his own identity, the monster
wanders through the wilderness searching for someone who
would understand and shelter him. Rejected, he turns on his
maker and, destroying everyone he loves, hounds him to his
death. Symbolically, the phrase means the creation that turns
on its creator. Many people blame marketing for the mistake
of the creature’s name. There are movie posters featuring a
picture of the monster with FRANKENSTEIN written in
bold letters across the neck. Due largely to this, the monster
is now generally known as Frankenstein.

Freudian slip – оговорка по Фрейду (речевая ошибка, вы-


званная действием подсознания)
Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) was an Austrian neurologist
who founded the discipline of psychoanalysis. If someone
makes a Freudian slip, they accidentally use the wrong word,
but in doing so reveal what they are really thinking. Also
called parapraxis, it is an error in speech, memory, or physical
action that is interpreted as occurring due to the interference
of some unconscious, subdued wish, conflict, or train of
thought. In general use, the term Freudian slip means
something you say that is different from what you intended
to say, and is supposed to show your hidden emotions or
thoughts, especially about sex: She: What would you like –
bread and butter, or cake? He: Bed and butter.

Friend of Dorothy (inf euphemistic) – дружок Доротеи, го-


мосексуалист
A homosexual person. In gay slang, a friend of Dorothy
(occasionally abbreviated FOD) is a term for a gay man.
The phrase dates back to at least World War II, when
homosexual acts were illegal in the United States. Stating
that, or asking if, someone was a friend of Dorothy was a
euphemism used for discussing sexual orientation without
others knowing its meaning. A similar term “friend of Mrs
King” (i.e. Queen) was used in England, mostly in the first
half of the 20th century. The precise origin of the term is

56
Full Monty

unknown and there are various theories. Most commonly,


it is stated that friend of Dorothy refers to the film “The
Wizard of Oz” because Judy Garland, who starred as the
main character Dorothy, is a gay icon. In the film, Dorothy
is accepting of those who are different. Others claim that
the phrase refers to celebrated humorist and critic Dorothy
Parker, who included some gay men in her famous social
circle.

From John o’Groats to Land’s End // From Land’s End to


John o’Groats – от Джона О’Гроутса до края земли; от
севера до юга Англии, с одного конца страны до дру-
гого
John o’Groats is a village in Scotland. It is popular with
tourists because it is usually regarded as the most northerly
settlement of mainland Great Britain, although this is not
a claim made by the inhabitants and is false. It is, though,
one end of the longest distance between two inhabited
points on the British mainland, Land’s End being the other.
The town takes its name from
Jan de Groote, a Dutchman
who obtained a grant for the
ferry from the Scottish
mainland to Orkney. Local
legend has the name John
o’Groats termed to reflect the
Dutch ferryman’s charge of
one groat payment for the John o’Groats House
ride to the islands. The phrase
Land’s End to John o’Groats is frequently heard both as a
literal journey (being the longest possible in Great Britain)
and as a metaphor for great distance.

Full Monty – с полной выкладкой; по полной программе;


джентльменский набор (всё, что положено в какой-
либо ситуации); (амер.) раздеться догола
The full Monty is a British slang phrase of uncertain
origin. It is generally used to mean everything which is

57
(Be) Full of the Old Nick

necessary, appropriate, or possible and has been in common


usage in the north of England for many years: Apparently,
Pam’s wedding’s going to be the full Monty – a long white
dress for the bride, morning dress for the men, four
bridesmaids in matching satin and so on. An American
equivalent might be the phrase the whole nine yards. Since
the 1997 film “The Full Monty”, which features a group of
men in Sheffield learning to strip, the phrase has acquired
an additional usage, unique to the United States, meaning
removing every item of clothing. Possible origins of the
phrase include:
• the huge Eighth Army commanded by Field Marshal
Montgomery during the desert campaign in WWII
(1941–1943).
• rigorous training by Field Marshal Montgomery: We
suddenly knew that we were going to be put through the
full Monty treatment.
• the large breakfasts eaten by Field Marshal
Montgomery1.
• a full three-piece suit with waistcoat and a spare pair
of trousers (as opposed to a standard two-piece suit)
from the British tailor Montague Burton. When the
British forces were demobilized after WWII, they were
issued with a “demob suit”. The contract for supplying
these suits was fulfilled by Montague Burton, so the
complete suit of clothes issued to the servicemen was
known as the full Monty.

(Be) Full of the Old Nick (inf) – шалить, озорничать, шко-


дить
Always making trouble; naughty; bad: That boy is full of
the Old Nick.

1
Bernard Montgomery was the senior British military commander at
D-Day and retained that position until the war ended. The landings
of the Allied invasion of Normandy started on June 6, 1944 (D-Day).
The ‘D’ in D-Day does not stand for anything, it is just a name the
military use when planning an event.

58
Gerrymander

G
Gallup poll/polling (Am) – анкетный опрос населения по
различным вопросам, проводимый Институтом об-
щественного мнения Гэллапа, США
George Gallup founded the American Institute of Public
Opinion in Princeton, New Jersey, in 1935. He wished to
objectively determine the opinions held by the people. To
ensure his independence and objectivity, Dr Gallup resolved
that he would undertake no polling that was paid for or
sponsored in any way by special interest groups such as the
Republican and Democratic parties, a commitment that
Gallup upholds to this day. In 1936 Gallup successfully
predicted that Franklin Roosevelt would defeat Alfred
Landon for the US presidency; this event quickly
popularized the company. The Gallup Poll is the division of
Gallup that regularly conducts public opinion polls in more
than 140 countries around the world. Gallup Polls are often
referenced in the mass media as a reliable and objective
audience measurement public opinion. Gallup Polls are best
known for their accuracy in predicting the outcome of
United States presidential elections.

Gerrymander – (предвыборные) махинации


The word gerrymander is an American political term. To
gerrymander is to divide an area into election districts so as to
give one political party a majority in many districts. The word
gerrymander is a portmanteau from the name of Elbridge
Gerry and salamander. Gerry was the governor of
Massachusetts when he signed a bill in 1812 to redraw the
district boundaries to favor the Democrats and weaken the
Federalists. The shape of the district he formed was likened
in appearance to a salamander, and political cartoonists
emphasized that appearance to denigrate the Democrats.
Gerry did not sponsor the bill in question and was said to have
signed it reluctantly, but his name has gone into history as that
of a villain. Also, there is a pronunciation issue regarding the

59
Get/Have a Charlie horse

word gerrymander. Governor Gerry’s name was pronounced


with a hard g, and in the nineteenth century gerrymander was
likewise pronounced with a hard g. However, by analogy with
the common name Jerry (sometimes spelled Gerry), this word
is now almost always pronounced with a soft g, and is
sometimes even spelled jerrymander.
The word was first found in 1812.

Get/Have a Charlie horse – ногу свело; судорога (болез-


ненный мышечный спазм)
Develop a cramp in the arm or leg, usually from strain.
A Charley horse or Charlie horse is a popular North
American colloquial term for painful spasms or cramps in
the leg muscles. Such an injury is known in the United
Kingdom, United States, and many Commonwealth
countries as a “dead leg”, “granddaddy”, or “chopper”. In
Australia it is also known as a corked thigh or “corky.” It
often occurs in sports when an athlete’s limb moves in a
way it shouldn’t, in a manner like the kick of a horse,
perhaps the reason for its name. The condition is common
among hockey players. The term may date back to
American slang of the 1880s, possibly from the pitcher
Charlie “Old Hoss” Radbourn who is said to have suffered
from cramps: Don’t work too hard or you’ll get a Charlie
horse.

Gibson Girl – девушка Гибсона, иде-


альная молоденькая американка
конца XIX века
The Gibson Girl was the
personification of a feminine ideal as
portrayed in the satirical pen-and-ink-
illustrated stories created by Charles
Dana Gibson during a 20-year period
spanning the late nineteenth and early twentieth century in
the United States. Some people argue that the Gibson Girl
was the first national standard for feminine beauty. For the
next two decades, Gibson’s fictional images were extremely

60
GI Joe

popular. There was merchandising of “saucers, ashtrays,


tablecloths, pillow covers, chair covers, souvenir spoons,
screens, fans, umbrella stands”, all bearing her image.

Girl Friday – надёжная, преданная офисная сотрудница


(особенно секретарша)
A very dependable and helpful female office worker;
especially a secretary: There was an advertisement in the
newspaper for a girl Friday.

Give somebody Jesse/jessie (Am sl) – крепко отругать;


сильно избить, исколошматить кого-л. (см. Catch
Jesse, с. 36)
Punish or scold; reprimand or castigate. In this
expression, Jesse may refer to the father of David (Isaiah
11:1, 10), a righteous and valiant man. It is more likely,
however, that the reference is to the sport of falconry in which
a jess, or jesse, a strap used to secure a bird by its leg to a
falconer’s wrist, was used as a punishment for poor
performance: Just as soon as I go home I’ll give you jessie.
(Alice Cary “Married”, 1856)

GI Jane (Am) – женщина-солдат; «Солдат Джейн», аме-


риканский фильм
G.I. Jane is a 1997 American action film directed by
Ridley Scott, starring Demi Moore. The film tells the
fictional story of the first woman to undergo training in US
Navy Special Warfare Group. Moore’s performance
earned her the 1997 Golden Raspberry Award for Worst
Actress.

GI Joe (Am) – американский солдат, «джи-ай»; популяр-


ная игрушка «солдатики»
GI, an American soldier. The term G.I. stands, in popular
usage, for Government Issued and after the First World War
(1917) became a generic term for US soldiers, especially
ground forces. For much of the twentieth century, GI has
been the common designation for the American fighting man

61
Gladstone bag

or woman. The G.I. Joe trademark has been used by the toy
company Hasbro producing a line of action figures. GI Joe’s
appeal to children have made it somewhat of an American
icon among toys.

Gladstone bag – кожаный саквояж Глэдстоуна


A Gladstone bag is a small portmanteau suitcase built over
a rigid frame which could separate into two equal sections.
Unlike a suitcase, a Gladstone bag is “deeper in proportion
to its length.” They are typically made of stiff leather and
often belted with lanyards. The bags are named after William
Ewart Gladstone (1809–1898), the four-time Prime Minister
of the United Kingdom.

Go/Gone for a Burton/burton (Br inf) – отдать концы, по-


гибнуть; сбегать за пивом
Meet with disaster; be ruined, destroyed, or killed. This
phrase first appeared in mid-20th century air force slang,
meaning “be killed in a crash”. There are two main
interpretations of the phrase:
• Go for a burton refers to the beer brewed in the
Midlands town of Burton-upon-Trent, which was
and still is famous for its breweries. In the late 1930s,
advertisements for the beer showed a group of
drinkers with one missing and the sign said “Gone
for a Burton”. So, gone for a burton is a euphemistiс
phrase meaning literally “gone for a drink”. Also,
RAF (Royal Air Force) pilots who crashed, especially
those who crashed into the sea, i.e. “in the drink”,
were said to have “gone for a
burton”.
• Go for a burton is a reference to the
suits made by Montague Burton,
who supplied the majority of the
demobilization suits that British
servicemen were given on leaving
service after WWII (see the Full
Monty, p. 57). This phrase is now

62
Gordon Bennett

rather archaic and began fading from general use


during the later part of the 20th century. It hasn’t quite
“gone for a burton” but it is certainly well on its way.

(Be) Going Jesse (Am) – успешное предприятие


If something is going Jesse, it’s a viable, successful project
or enterprise.

Good Jack makes a good Jill (saying) – если Джек хорош, то


и Джилл будет хороша (ср.: У хорошего мужа жена хо-
рошая)
If a husband or man wants his wife or girlfriend to be
respectful and loving to him, he should be respectful and
loving to her. Don’t blame your wife for being short-
tempered with you; you’ve been so unpleasant to her lately.
Another variant of the proverb is A good husband makes a
good wife.

Gordian knot – гордиев узел; любая сложная проблема


The Gordian Knot is a legend associated with Alexander
the Great. It is often used as a metaphor for an intractable
problem solved easily by cheating or thinking outside the box,
i.e. thinking differently, unconventionally, or from a new
perspective. An intricate knot tied by Gordius in the thong
which connected the pole of the chariot with the yoke. An
oracle having declared that he who should untie it should be
master of Asia, Alexander the Great averted the ill omen of
his inability to loosen it by cutting it with his sword. Hence,
a Gordian knot is an inextricable difficulty, and to cut the
Gordian knot is to remove a difficulty by bold and energetic
measures: W. G. Sebald in “The Rings of Saturn” recounts the
episode of Joseph Conrad who was shot or shot himself in the
chest allowing him to cut the gordian knot of a stormy love affair.

Gordon Bennett – Гордон Беннет! Чёрт подери!


James Gordon Bennett, a newspaper baron, liked to
announce his arrival in a restaurant by yanking the
tablecloths from all the tables he passed. He would then hand

63
Granny Smith

the manager a wad of cash with which to compensate his


victims for their lost meals and spattered attire. His name
lives in the cry “Gordon Bennett!” which is actually an
expletive, or a minced oath.

Granny Smith – Грэнни Смит, бабуля Смит (популярный


сорт яблок)
The Granny Smith apple gets its name from its founder,
Mrs Mary Ann (Granny) Smith (1799–1870). Granny
Smith apples are crisp, juicy, and tart which makes them
perfect for either baking in pies, stewed in sauces or eating
out of hand. They are also great in salads because once cut,
they keep their color longer than other apples. The Granny
Smith green apple originated in Australia in 1868. Widely
propagated in New Zealand, it was introduced to the
United Kingdom in 1935 and the United States in 1972.
The advent of the Granny Smith Apple is celebrated
annually in Eastwood (Australia) with the Granny Smith
Festival.

Great Caesar (’s Ghost)! – Боже мой! Видит бог! Вот те на!
Вот так-так! Честное слово! Ого! Не может быть! (вос-
клицание, выражающее удивление, досаду и т.п.)
Caesar refers to Julius Caesar, the famous Roman
politician assassinated after he took complete power in the
Roman Republic. In William Shakespeare’s play “Julius
Caesar”, his ghost appears to Brutus, one of the assassins.
As for the expression Great Caesar’s Ghost, it is a rather old
expression that is a euphemism for “good God”, in the days
when saying “God” as an oath was considered very rude. It
is rarely used these days: I hopped in and shook off the towel,
and great Caesar’s ghost, I almost stepped on Injun Joe’s
hand!

Great Godfrey! (inf) – выражение удивления или гнева


A saying usually used to show surprise or anger: Great
Godfrey! The lion is out of his cage.

64
Guinness

Great Scot(t)! – выражение удивления, недоумения, тре-


воги, испуга (то же, что Great Caesar’s!)
An exclamation of surprise, amazement, or dismay. The
origin of the expression is uncertain, with several plausible
sources. A likely source is as a reference to American Civil
War commander-in-chief of the US Army, General Winfield
Scott. The general, known to his troops as Old Fuss and
Feathers, weighed 300 pounds (21 stone or 136 kg) in his later
years and was too fat to ride a horse. In an 1871 issue of the
“Galaxy”, the expression itself is quoted: Great Scott! he
gasped in his stupefaction, using the name of the then
commander-in-chief for an oath, as officers sometimes did in
those days. In England the expression is sometimes
humorously extended to Great Scotland Yard!

Greenwell’s glory – предмет гордости Гринуэлла; наживка


для рыбалки
The most beloved of trout flies. First dressed in 1854 on
the River Tweed by Canon William Greenwell of Durham,
the Greenwell’s Glory has since become one of the most well
known and widely used of all British trout flies.

Grow like Topsy – расти как Топси; очень быстро расти;


расти как на дрожжах; взяться ниоткуда/неизвестно
откуда
Grow very fast. A small black girl character in the novel
“Uncle Tom’s Cabin” (1851–52) by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
When somebody asks her whether she knows who made her
(that is, whether she has heard of God), she replies “I expect I
grow’d” (= grew). People say something “just grew, like Topsy”
when they are talking about something whose real origin is not
known or about something that has gradually become very
large: The government must decide how to allocate health-care
resources in the face of demand that is growing like Topsy.

Guinness – Гиннес, крепкий ирландский портер


A popular Irish dry stout that originated in the brewery of
Arthur Guinness (1725–1803) at Dublin. Guinness is directly

65
Guinness World Records

descended from the porter style that originated in London in


the early 18th century and is one of the most successful beer
brands worldwide, brewed in almost 50 countries and available
in over 100 countries. A distinctive feature is the burnt flavor
which is derived from the use of roasted unmalted barley. For
many years a portion of aged brew was blended with freshly
brewed product to give a sharp lactic flavor. Although the
palate of Guinness still features a characteristic “tang”, the
company has refused to confirm whether this type of blending
still occurs. The thick creamy head is the result of the beer
being mixed with nitrogen when being poured. It is popular
with Irish people both in Ireland and abroad, and, in spite of
a decline in consumption since 2001, is still the best-selling
alcoholic drink in Ireland where Guinness & Co. makes
almost €2 billion annually.

Guinness World Records – книга рекордов Гиннеса


Known until 2000 as The Guinness Book of Records, it is a
reference book published annually, containing a collection
of world records, both human achievements and the extremes
of the natural world. The book itself holds a world record, as
the best-selling copyrighted book series of all time. It is also
one of the most frequently stolen books from public libraries
in the United States.

H
“Hamlet” with Hamlet left out/without the Prince of Denmark
– «Гамлет» без Гамлета / принца Датского (т.е. что-л.,
лишённое самого важного, основного, самой своей
сути; ср.: Яичница без яиц)
The phrase indicates an event from which the principal
performer or star attraction is absent. The reference is to the
play “Hamlet” in which the central character is the prince of
Denmark, namely Hamlet himself. It was Wordsworth, an
English Romantic poet, who first noted in a letter of 1793,

66
Happy as Larry

the story of a company of strolling players who advertised a


performance of “Hamlet” and announced, at the beginning
of the performance, that they hoped the audience would
forgive the omission of the character of the prince, who as it
happened ran away with an innkeeper’s daughter: Hamlet
without the prince of Denmark: How development has
disappeared from today’s ‘development’ discourse.

Handy Andy – ловкач Энди; мастер на все руки, готовый


на всяческие проделки
After Handy Andy Rooney, hero of the novel Handy Andy
by the Irish novelist Samuel Lover (1842). From the day he
was born, Andy Rooney was a mischievous troublemaker.
When he was old enough to work, his mother took him to
Squire Egan of Merryvale Hall, who hired him as a stableboy.
His literal mind and naive ways frequently caused his
superiors great agitation. One day, Squire Egan sent Andy to
the post office to get a letter. Thinking the postage unduly
high, Andy stole two other letters in order to get his money’s
worth.
This idiom may refer to:
• Handy Andy, a comedic 1842 novel by Samuel Lover.
The hero of Lover’s is “handy” Andy Rooney, a likable
enough guy who has an unfortunate knack
• Handy Andy (tools), a brand of children’s carpentry
tools
• Handy Andy (film), a 1934 film starring Will Rogers
• Handy Andy (supermarket chain)
• Handy Andy (comic strip), a strip in the British comic
“Krazy”

Happy as Larry – (Austr, New Zeal sl) довольный как слон


When you are as happy as Larry, you are very happy
indeed. The phrase seems to have originated as either
Australian or New Zealand slang sometime before 1875. The
Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English has traced it to a
writer named G. L. Meredith, who wrote in about 1875: We
would be as happy as Larry if it were not for the rats. Unlike

67
Heath Robinson

other odd phrases – the Australian happy as a boxing


kangaroo in fog time and the New Zealand happy as a sick
eel on a sandspit – it was meant positively: extremely happy
or content. There’s a suggestion that it comes from the name
of the nineteenth-century Australian boxer Larry Foley
(1847–1917), though why he was especially happy nobody
now seems able to say. But this origin is far from certain. The
phrase is more likely to come from an English dialect source,
larrie, joking, jesting, a practical joke, or larrikin for a
mischievous youth. Another possible link is with the
Australian and New Zealand term larrikin for a street rowdy
or young urban hooligan, recorded from the late 1860s.
Either of these sources could afterwards have been
reinforced through a supposed connection with Larry Foley.

Heath Robinson (Br) – чудо-юдо; чудо морское; непрак-


тичное изобретение; диковинка
One of the eponyms, i.e. words coined after people’s
names. If a machine or system is described as Heath
Robinson, it is absurdly complex
and fancifully impractical. The
term was coined after W. Heath
Robinson (1872–1944), a British
artist known for drawing
ingeniously complicated devices.
He was a superbly inventive
cartoonist who created wonderful “Modern Times” (1936),
and pointless contraptions which Charles Chaplin,
sent up the 20th century’s lust for Eating Machine
technology. To say that Robinson
was a lover of the absurd is a gross understatement, as he
drew very complicated machines that performed simple
tasks: The ancient church of St John the Baptist in Clayton,
East Sussex, has a bat problem. Several devices of a Heath
Robinson nature are suggested – boards to deflect the
trajectory of urine and droppings, flashing lights, ultra-sound,
unpleasant smells, stuffed owls, rustling aluminum foil and
helium-filled balloons.

68
Herculean Labour(s)

Hector – (миф.) Гектор; отважный воин; задира, хулиган,


забияка, хвастун; грозить, запугивать, задирать, хва-
стать, бахвалиться; гроза на большой высоте
In Greek Mythology, a Trojan prince, the eldest son of
Priam and Hecuba, killed by Achilles in Homer’s “Iliad”.
Used as a common noun, means a bully; as a verb – to
intimidate or dominate in a blustering way, to behave like a
bully; swagger. Also, Hector or “Hector the Convector” is
known as one of the world’s most consistently large
thunderstorms reaching heights of approximately 20
kilometers (66,000 ft).

Hemingway Solution – способ самоубийства, применен-


ный Хемингуэем
Commit suicide via shotgun blast administered beneath
the chin or inside the mouth, as mentioned in Stephen
King’s novel “Dreamcatcher”. If the shotgun is particularly
long, the trigger is often pulled by a toe: Damn it, why did he
have to go and use the Hemingway Solution in my room? Now
there’s brain matter all over my ceiling.* The old guy in ‘the
Hills Have Eyes’ used the Hemingway Solution.

Herculean Labour(s) – (миф.) геркулесов труд; подвиги Ге-


ракла; исключительно трудное дело
The goddess Hera, determined to make trouble for
Hercules, made him lose his mind. In a confused and angry
state, he killed his own wife and children. When he
awakened from his “temporary insanity,” Hercules was
shocked and upset by what he’d done. He prayed to the god
Apollo for guidance, and the god’s oracle told him he would
have to serve King Eurystheus for twelve years, in
punishment for the murders. Eurystheus ordered Hercules
to perform ten labors. He accomplished these tasks, but
Eurystheus refused to recognize two: the cleansing of the
Augean stables, because Hercules was going to accept pay
for the labor; and the killing of the Lernaean Hydra, as
Hercules’ nephew had helped him burn the stumps of the
heads. Eurystheus set two more tasks, which Hercules

69
Hercules’ Pillars

performed successfully, bringing the total number of tasks to


twelve. By the end of these Labors, Hercules was, without a
doubt, Greece’s greatest hero. His struggles made him the
perfect embodiment of an idea that the Greeks called pathos,
the experience of virtuous struggle and suffering which
would lead to fame and, in Hercules’ case, immortality.

Hercules’ Pillars – (миф.) геркулесовы столбы/столпы;


Гибралтарский пролив
The phrase was applied in Antiquity to the promontories
that flank the entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar. The
northern Pillar is the Rock of Gibraltar in the British overseas
territory of Gibraltar. A corresponding North African peak
in Morocco not being predominant, the identity of the
southern Pillar has been disputed through history. According
to some Roman sources, while on his way to the island of
Erytheia Hercules had to cross the mountain that was once
Atlas. Instead of climbing the great mountain, Hercules used
his superhuman strength to smash through it. By doing so,
he connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea
and formed the Strait of Gibraltar. One part of the split
mountain is Gibraltar and the other is either Monte Hacho
or Jebel Musa of Morocco. These two mountains taken
together have since then been known as the Pillars of
Hercules. A Greek historian, however, held that instead of
smashing through an isthmus to create the Straits of
Gibraltar, Hercules narrowed an already existing strait to
prevent monsters from the Atlantic Ocean from entering the
Mediterranean Sea. Renaissance tradition says the pillars
bore the warning Non plus ultra (“nothing further beyond”),
serving as a warning to sailors and navigators to go no further.
Figurative meaning: going to absurd.

Hillbilly // Hill Jack // hilljack – деревенщина


Hillbilly is a term referring to certain people who dwell in
rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily
Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its strongly
stereotypical connotations, the term is frequently considered

70
Hobson’s choice

derogatory, and so is usually offensive to those Americans of


Appalachian heritage. Origins of the term “hillbilly” are
obscure. The Appalachian region was largely settled in the
18th century by the Scotch-Irish. The most credible theory
of the term’s origin is that it derives from the linkage of two
older Scottish expressions, “hill-folk” and “billie” which was
a synonym for “fellow”, similar to “guy” or “bloke”. The use
of the term outside the Appalachians arose in the years after
the American Civil War (1861–1865), when the Appalachian
region became increasingly bypassed by technological and
social changes taking place in the rest of the country. As the
frontier pushed further west, the Appalachian country
retained its frontier character, and the people themselves
came to be seen as backward, quick to violence, and inbred
in their isolation.

Hippocratic oath – клятва Гиппократа; клятва верности


высокому моральному облику и этическому поведе-
нию врача
An oath attributed to Hippocrates, “the father of
medicine”, and enjoined upon his followers, setting up a
canon of behavior, integrity and loyalty for doctors. One
version begins with the words, “I swear by Apollo, the
physician, by Aesculapius, by Hygeia, by Panacea, and by all
the gods and goddesses…” The so-called Hippocratic oath
taken by the medical profession today is much shorter and
somewhat different although the intent is in many respects
the same.

Hobson’s choice – выбор Хобсона (по имени владельца


конюшни), выбор поневоле; видимость выбора
A Hobson’s choice is a free choice in which only one
option is offered. As a person may refuse to take that option,
the choice is therefore between taking the option or not;
“take it or leave it”. The phrase is said to originate with
Thomas Hobson (1544–1631), a livery stable owner in
Cambridge, England. Hobson had an extensive stable of
some 40 horses. This gave the appearance to his customers

71
Holy Joe

of having their choice of mounts when in fact there was only


one. In order to rotate the use of his horses, Hobson offered
customers the choice of either taking the horse in the stall
nearest the door or taking none at all.

Holy Joe (Am sl) – святой Джо (прозвище военных свя-


щенников); ханжа, лицемер, фарисей
A minister or chaplain; any sanctimonious or self-
righteous person.

Holy Moses (inf) – святой Моисей; выражение удивле-


ния, удовольствия или гнева
Used to express strong feelings of astonishment, pleasure,
or anger.

Home, James (home, and don’t spare the


horses)! – Гони домой, Джеймс, и
коней не жалей!
Home, James has been an
expression for a very long time, but it
is difficult to find its precise origin.
One source, Oxford’s English
Dictionary, places it in 1927. It seems
to have found a large part of its
popularity from the 1934 song by Fred
Hillebrand. This is a clichéd way of telling the chauffeur, a
privately employed driver of a vehicle to start driving: Okay,
Watson, drive on. Home, James, and don’t spare the horses.

Homeric laughter – гомерический хохот; неудержимый,


громовой хохот
Boisterous, loud and unrestrained laughter, prolonged
belly laughing, as that of the gods. The Homer referred to in
this expression is the Greek poet who is believed to have
written the “Iliad” and the “Odyssey”, and not the leading
character in the well-known television show, “The
Simpsons”. People laugh differently. Some laugh silently,
while others tend to guffaw. ‘Homeric laughter’ refers to

72
Honest/Old Abe

laughter of the latter kind. Such belly shaking laughter is


called Homeric laughter because this is how the gods laughed
in Homer’s classics. When you think about it, this is how the
crazy Homer Simpson laughs as well!

Homer sometimes nods – (букв.) и Гомер может клевать


носом; каждый может ошибиться; на всякого мудреца
довольно простоты; и на старуху бывает проруха
This is an expression which is not heard very often these
days. Homer is the Greek poet who wrote two great epics: the
“Iliad” and the “Odyssey”. The word “nod” in this context
means to “fall asleep”. What the idiom means is “nobody is
perfect”: even someone as great as Homer ended up making
mistakes in his two epics. The idiom is actually a translation
of a line from the Roman poet Horace, who in his “De Ars
Poetica”, wrote: “I think it is a shame when the worthy
Homer nods: but in so long a work it is allowable if drowsiness
comes on.” What happens when you are at work and feel
drowsy? As you are unable to think clearly, you begin to make
numerous mistakes: When I told Jill there were a couple of
errors in her report, she replied that even Homer sometimes nods.

Honest/Old Abe (Am) – честный/старый Эйб (прозвище


президента Авраама Линкольна)
Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865) was the 16th President of
the United States, serving from March 1861 until his
assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country
through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the
American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending
slavery, and promoting economic and financial
modernization. Abraham Lincoln had many nicknames
during his lifetime – the Rail Splitter, The Great Emancipator,
The Liberator, Father Abraham, Uncle Abe – but perhaps
none of these is as widely recognized and referenced today as
the nickname, Honest Abe. Innumerable incidents are related
of Lincoln, who sprang to protect defenseless women from
insult, or feeble children from tyranny; for in the rude
community in which he lived, the rights of the defenseless

73
Honest Injun

were not always respected as they should have been. On one


occasion, when he worked as a general store clerk, finding late
at night, when he counted over his cash, that he had taken a
few cents from a customer more than was due, he closed the
store, and walked a long distance to make good the deficiency.
Lincoln’s integrity and insistence on honesty became even
more apparent in his law practice.

Honest Injun (Am dated) – «честный индеец», клятва вер-


ности
Honestly, really; an oath of honesty. Honest Injun as an
asseveration of truthfulness first recorded in 1876 in “Tom
Sawyer”; a slang term used to emphasize the truth of a
statement; sometimes considered offensive; meaning “honest
Indian”, where “Indian” is usually pronounced “Injun”.

Hooverville (Am) – Гувервиль, бидонвиль; поселок безра-


ботных; лачуги из фанеры, ящиков и т.п.
A Hooverville was the popular name for shanty towns built
by homeless people during the Great Depression. They were
hundreds throughout the country, each testifying to the
housing crisis that accompanied the employment crisis of the
early 1930s. Hooverville was a deliberately politicized label,
emphasizing that President Herbert Hoover and the
Republican Party were to be held responsible for the
economic crisis and its miseries.

House that Jack built – «дом, который построил Джек»;


рассказ с повторениями (намёк на известные детские
стихи)
It is a popular British nursery rhyme and cumulative tale.
It is unsure who “Jack” really is, but it is believed that he may
have been Jesus, since Jesus was a carpenter. The phrase can
imply some repetitive story and used derisively.
This is the house that Jack built
This is the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.

74
If the mountain will not come to Mahomet,..

This is the rat,


That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
This is the dog,
That worried the cat,
That killed the rat,
That ate the malt
That lay in the house that Jack built.
Mother Goose

I
I’m all right, Jack (Br inf) – Я в порядке, Джек! (выражение
самоуверенности и самодовольства)
Used to express or to comment upon selfish
complacency; a remark indicating smug and complacent
selfishness. Originally: Fuck you, Jack, I’m all right! –
described the bitter dismay of sailors (“jacks”) returning
home after wartime in the Navy to find themselves not
treated as patriots or heroes, but ignored or sneered at by a
selfish, complacent, get-ahead society.
I’m All Right, Jack is a 1959 British comedy film, a satire on
British industrial life in the 1950s. The trade unions, workers
and bosses are all seen to be incompetent or corrupt to varying
degrees: The manager has got a pay increase and it’s a case of
I’m all right, Jack. He’s not bothered about the workers’ pay.
If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go
to the mountain (proverb) – Если гора не идёт к Маго-
мету, то Магомет идёт к горе
If one cannot get one’s own way, one must bow to the
inevitable. The earliest appearance of the phrase is from

75
In a Pickwickian sense

Chapter 12 of the “Essays” of Francis Bacon, an English


philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer and pioneer of the
scientific method (1561–1626), published in 1625: Mahomet
made the people believe that he would call a hill to him, and
from the top of it offer up his prayers, for the observers of his
law. The people assembled; Mahomet called the hill to come
to him, again and again; and when the hill stood still, he was
never a whit abashed, but said, If the hill will not come to
Mahomet, Mahomet will go to the hill. It was published in John
Ray’s 1670 book of English proverbs. Though widely
attributed to Muhammad, the prophet of Islam who lived in
Arabia in 6th century, there is no written or oral tradition that
traces this phrase back to him.

In a Pickwickian sense – (шутл.) в пиквикском смысле; в


переносном смысле; в безобидном значении (диккен-
совское выражение)
This word Pickwickian has two completely different
meanings, one being straightforward, means simple and
kind, marked by generosity, naivete, or innocence:
Pickwickian uncle; but the other with very interesting
variances in its shades of meaning, perhaps not properly
captured by the dictionaries, means not intended to be taken
in a literal sense, the opposite of what it would literally seem,
an insult whitewashed: a word used in a Pickwickian manner.
Mr Pickwick is the hero of Charles Dickens’ novel “The
Pickwick’s Papers” (1837). The unsophisticated, innocent
founder of the Pickwick Club, Mr Pickwick embarks on a
series of delightful excursions with his friends, meeting all
sorts and conditions of men in 19th-century England. In the
novel Mr Pickwick and Mr Blotton call each other names
and it appears later that they were using the offensive words
only in a Pickwickian sense and had the highest regard for
each other. Hence the phrase in a Pickwickian sense is
descriptive of word usage that departs from the sense
commonly understood: Now, anybody reading that would
realize that is a deadline only in a kind of Pickwickian sense.
It’s not a real deadline.

76
Is Saul also among the prophets?

In like Flynn –«А Флинн уж там»; (посл.) наш пострел


везде успел; проворный человек
Refers to Errol Flynn’s popularity with women in the 40s.
He was a famous actor and his ability to attract women was
well known throughout the world. There are other claims for
the origin of the phrase, one of them being that it refers to
Edward Flynn, a campaign manager during Franklin Delano
Roosevelt’s presidency (1933–1945). Flynn’s machine was
so successful at winning elections that his candidates seemed
to be in office automatically.

(Be) In the arms of Morpheus – (оказаться) в объятиях


Морфея; уснуть
Asleep: I’ll be in the arms of Morpheus as soon as I turn
out the light. Morpheus was the ancient Greek god of
dreams.

Is Saul also among the prophets? – Саул во пророках; чело-


век с неожиданно выявившимся дарованием
It’s a biblical idiom used when somebody known for
something bad appears all of a sudden to be doing something
very good. Paul the Apostle (c. AD 5 – c. AD 67), variously
referred to as the “Apostle Paul” or “Saint Paul”, is described
in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential
early Christian missionaries. According to the writings in the
New Testament, Paul was known as Saul prior to his
conversion, and was dedicated to the persecution of the early
disciples of Jesus in the area of Jerusalem. While traveling
from Jerusalem to Damascus on a mission, the resurrected
Jesus appeared to him in a great light. Saul was struck blind,
but after three days his sight was restored, and Paul began to
preach that Jesus of Nazareth is the Jewish Messiah and the
Son of God.

77
Jack and John

J
Jack and John – Джек и Джон, наиболее распространён-
ные английские мужские имена
As the most common English man’s name since the
Middle Ages, John, along with its nickname Jack, can be
found in hundreds of expressions. The only individuals they
refer to are John Doe or John Q. Public, i.e. a generic man.
Examples are johnny-come-lately and Johnny Reb for a
Confederate soldier. Jack is generally used to refer to the
male of a species, thus jackass and jackdaw. The jackrabbit
is said to have gotten its name because it has ears resembling
a jackass. Then there are things that, in the words of the
Oxford English Dictionary “in some way take the place of a
lad or man, or save human labor.” Examples are
jackhammer, jackknife, jacklight, jackboot and the jack that
props up an automobile. Crackerjack, flapjack and jack-o’-
lantern also refer to the generic Jack. Applejack, brandy
derived from apple cider, was not invented by a person
named Jack. It was so named because the first people to
make it used John-apples which were given that appellation
because they ripened around St John’s Day, June 24. Apple-
john evolved into the more friendly sounding apple-jack,
except in parts of New England where it remains apple-john.
Jack Tar, meaning a sailor, probably does not refer to anyone
of that name, but to the tar-splattered clothing some sailors
sported when working in the bowels of ships. Jack Frost has
been mentioned as the personification of cold weather since
1826. Frost is a real last name, and there are, therefore a few
real Jack Frosts out there. According to William and Mary
Morris’ “Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins”, the
expression jackpot meaning a large prize comes from poker
where the stakes accumulate until the player “opens the pot”
often with a jack. The word hijack probably comes from
something a robber might say – “Stick ’em up high, Jack!”
or “Up high, Jack!” Hijack evolved into carjack.
Paperjacking, an information age version has been recently

78
Jack and John

identified. Paperjackers copy real Web pages to their own


sites. The toy known as a jack-in-the-box took its name from
a 16th-century container which was designed to fool the
person who opened it into thinking there was something
valuable inside.
So the name Jack can refer to:
Jack – уменьшительно-ласкательное имя от Jacob;
человек, ведущий правильный образ жизни
This hypocorism for Jacob has come to denote any
individual person. It was used as a generic name for a “regular
guy” as early as the 14th century.
Jack – пятифунтовая купюра
A five pound note. Origin: Cockney rhyming slang: Jack’s
alive.
Jack – домкрат
An instrument for lifting up a motor car or other heavy
weight: You should always keep a jack in the car in case you
need to change a wheel.
Jack – игральная карта, валет
The playing-card between the ten and
queen, sometimes called the knave; one of the
face cards in a deck bearing the picture of a
young prince: The jack, queen and king are
the three face cards.
Jack – осёл
A male donkey
Jack – корабельный флаг для идентификации судна
A small flag indicating a ship’s nationality
Jack – хлебное дерево
An immense East Indian fruit
resembling breadfruit; it contains an edible
pulp and nutritious seeds that are
commonly roasted.
Jack – работяга
Someone who works with their hands;
someone engaged in manual labor
Jack – моряк, матрос
A man who serves as a sailor

79
Jack and Jill/Gill

Jack – Ни черта!
A small worthless amount; “You don’t know jack”
Jack up – ублажить, уговорить кого-л.; поднять цену;
поднять машину домкратом
• Motivate someone, stimulate someone to do smth: I
guess I’ll have to jack up the carpenter again to repair
my stairs.
• Raise the price: The electric company jacked up the
price for electricity.
• Raise a motor car and keep it supported, with a jack:
You need to jack up the car before you try to remove the
wheel.
Jack and Jill/Gill – Джек и Джилл, юноша и девушка
“Jack and Jill” is a classic nursery rhyme in the English
speaking world. The origin of the rhyme is obscure and there
are several theories that attempt to interpret the lyrics. The
rhyme is known to date back to at least the 18th century. The
earliest publication of the lyrics was in the 1760s in John
Newbery’s Mother Goose’s Melody. As a result, Jack and Jill
are considered part of the canon of “Mother Goose”
characters. The song is sometimes titled Jack and Gill,
particularly in early versions. Common modern version of
the rhyme includes:
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water.
Jack fell down and broke his crown,
And Jill came tumbling after.
“Jack and Jill” is a 2011 comedy
film starring Adam Sandler. In the film,
Jack Sadelstein is a successful
advertising executive in Los Angeles
with a beautiful wife and kids, who
dreads one event each year: the
Thanksgiving visit of his “identical”
twin sister Jill. Jill’s neediness and
passive-aggressiveness is maddening to Theatrical release
Jack, turning his normally tranquil life poster

80
Jack of all trades

upside down. Also, the phrase Jack and Jill is Cockney (East
End London) rhyming slang for Till, the place where a shop
keeper keeps his money.

Jack around – тратить время впустую


Waste time.

Jack is no judge of Jill’s beauty // If Jack is in love, he’s no


judge of Jill’s beauty – Джек не судья красоте Джилл
(Это высказывание Бенджамина Франклина каждый
понимает по-своему: попробуйте и Вы!)
Benjamin Franklin wrote many words of wisdom. He
used his printing press to share his wisdom with his fellow
Americans. He hoped that his wise sayings would give people
guidance for living their daily lives.

Jack-leg/Jackleg (lawyer, electrician, etc.) (Am humil) – не-


обученный, неквалифицированный, неумелый, лю-
бительский; беспринципный, недобросовестный;
временный
Unskilled or untrained for one’s work; amateur: a jackleg
electrician. Unscrupulous, dishonest or without the accepted
standards of one’s profession: a jackleg lawyer. Designed as
a temporary expedient, makeshift: He did such a jackleg
installation of that door frame that now the door won’t shut.
Jackleg or jack-leg is a native American colloquialism (since
1837) that was often applied to doctors and lawyers in the Old
West.

Jack of all trades // Jack-of-all-trades – мастер на все


руки; человек, который может выполнить любую ра-
боту
A person who is able to do many different manual jobs.
The expression a Jack of all trades came into use in 1618. It
was a complimentary expression referring to a person who
could do anything. Jack is an informal word for trade laborer.
It was much later that and master of none, became attached
to it.

81
Jack of all trades but/and/is master of none

Jack of all trades but/and/is master of none – за всё браться,


ничего не сделать; мастер-ломастер
Much later master of none was added to the original,
signifying that a person who does everything may be
mediocre in all skills. The longer version started being used
in the latter half of the 19th century: How come Joe did such
a sloppy job? – He’s a jack of all trades (but master of none).

Jack-in-office – «Джек в офисе», самонадеянный, важни-


чающий чиновник, мелкий служащий; чинуша, бюро-
крат
A self-important petty official: If there is anything that is
not to be tolerated on any terms, anything that is a type of Jack-
in-office insolence and absurdity, anything that represents in
coats, waistcoats, and big sticks our English holding on by
nonsense after every one has found it out, it is a beadle. (“Little
Dorrit” by Charles Dickens)

Jack-in-the-box – «Джек в коробочке», детская заводная


игрушка; беспокойный человек; сеть быстрого питания
Jack-in-the-box is a children’s toy that outwardly consists
of a box with a crank. When the crank is turned, it plays a
melody, often Pop Goes the Weasel. At the end of the tune
there is a “surprise”, the lid pops open and a figure, usually
a clown or jester, pops out of the box.
Jack in the Box is among the nation’s leading fast-food
hamburger chains, with more than 2200 quick-serve
restaurants in 19 states. In 1951, Oscar
Peterson opened a restaurant on the
Pacific Coast Highway in Long Beach,
with a giant clown’s head atop the
building. Called Jack in the Box, this
hamburger stand offered the innovation
of a two-way intercom system, allowing
much faster service through the drive-
through window – while one
customer’s car was at the window, a
second and even a third customer’s

82
Jackpot

order could be taken and prepared. Quick service made the


new location very popular. But the success came to a halt in
the 1990s because of two main factors: the national recession
of 1990–91 and more importantly, the E. coli (Escherichia coli,
a bacterium that can cause serious infections) incident of 1993,
in which four children died and hundreds of others became
sick after eating undercooked and contaminated meat from
Jack in the Box.

Jackass – осёл (обыкн. самец ); осёл, болван, дурак


A jackass is a male donkey. A foolish or stupid person, a
blockhead, a person who lacks good judgment: Hey, I’m going
to run before I make more of a jackass. Jackass is an American
reality series, originally shown on MTV from 2000 to 2002,
featuring people performing various dangerous, crude,
ridiculous, self-injuring stunts and pranks.

Jackboot – сапог выше колена; (ист.) ботфорт; кованый


сапог; грубое давление, грубая сила, насилие; чело-
век, использующий грубую силу
A stout military boot that extends above the knee; a person
who uses bullying tactics, especially to force compliance;
arbitrary, cruel, and authoritarian rule or behavior.

(A) Jackdaw in peacock’s feathers – ворона в павлиньих


перьях
A jackdaw, puffed up with foolish pride, picked up some
peacock feathers and put them on trying to join the lovely
peacock flock, scorning his fellow jackdaws. The peacocks,
however, tore the feathers off him and pecked him until he
went away. He sadly returned to his own folk, but he was cast
out once again and suffered the pain of public humiliation.
That is how Aesop teaches us to live our own lives (“Aesop’s
Fables”).

Jackpot // Hit the jackpot – (карт.) джекпот, банк; выиг-


рыш всех монет в игральном автомате; лучший ре-
зультат, которого можно добиться; главный приз,

83
Jackrabbit start

крупная победа, необыкновенный успех; сорвать


куш; попасть в точку; добиться потрясающего успех
A large pot (as in poker) formed by the accumulation of
stakes from previous play; a combination on a slot machine
that wins a top prize or all the coins available for paying out;
the sum so won: The lottery jackpot is up to one million dollars;
an impressive often unexpected success or reward. First
known use of jackpot is 1879.

Jackrabbit start (inf) – рвануть; резко тронуться, сорваться


с места
A very sudden fast start from a stop: Bob made a jack-
rabbit start when the traffic light turned green.

Jackroller (Am sl) – вор, грабящий пьяных; проститутка,


обирающая клиентов
One who robs a drunken or sleeping person; a prostitute
who robs her customers.

Jack Frost (who paints windows) // Uncle Frost – Мороз


Красный нос
A sprite-like character with roots in Viking lore. There,
he is known as Jokul Frosti (“icicle frost”). In Britain and
United States, Jack is a variant of Old Man Winter and is held
responsible for frosty weather, for nipping the nose and toes
in such weather, coloring the foliage in autumn, and leaving
fernlike patterns on cold windows in winter. Although he has
no connection with Christianity, he is sometimes hijacked to
appear in modern secular Christmas entertainments, usually
as a member of Santa Claus’s entourage. He sometimes
appears in literature, film, television, song, and video games
as a sinister mischief maker.

Jack-o’-lantern – фонарь из тыквы с прорезанными отвер-


стиями в виде глаз, носа и рта; блуждающий огонёк
It is a light made from a carved hollow pumpkin with
holes cut into the sides like the eyes and mouth of a person’s
face inside which there is a candle. It is associated chiefly

84
Jane Doe

with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the


phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs,
called jack-o’-lantern. In a jack-o’-
lantern, typically the top is cut off,
and the inside flesh then scooped
out; an image, usually a monstrous
face, is carved onto the outside
surface, and the lid replaced. It is
typically seen during Halloween.

Jack Tar – (мор. жарг.) матрос, ста-


рый моряк, морской волк Two jack-o’-lanterns
Jack Tar was a common English illuminated from within
by candles
term used to refer to seamen of the
Merchant or Royal Navy, particularly during the period of
the British Empire. Both members of the public, and
seafarers themselves, made use of the name in identifying
those who went to sea. It was not used as an offensive term
and sailors were happy to use it to label themselves. There are
several plausible etymologies for the reference to tar. Seamen
were known to tar their clothes before departing on voyages,
in order to make them waterproof. Later they frequently wore
coats and hats made from a waterproof fabric called tarpaulin.
This may have been shortened to tar at some point.

Jack the Lad (Br sl) – самодовольный, самоуверенный мо-


лодой человек
Jack the Lad is a young man who behaves in a
conspicuously overconfident way. An irresponsible young man,
seeking personal pleasure without regard to responsibilities. A
rogue: You seem to think you’re a bit of a jack the lad, don’t you?

Jane Doe – (юр.) Джейн Доу, условное наименование


лица женского пола, чьё имя не известно или по тем
или иным причинам не оглашается; «имярек»
Jane Doe is a name given to an unidentified female who
may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified
person in hospital, or dead. John Doe is the male equivalent.

85
Janus-faced

Janus-faced (Lat Janus Bifrons) – двуликий Янус; двой-


ственный, неоднозначный; двуличный
Having two contrasting aspects
or qualities. In ancient Roman
religion and mythology, Janus is
the god of beginnings and
transitions, thence also of gates,
doors, doorways, endings and
time. He is usually a two-faced
god since he looks to the future
and the past. The concepts of
January and janitor are both based A statue representing Janus
on aspects of Janus. Bifrons in the Vatican
Museums

Jeez/Geez Louise! – Неужели? О боже! Да ты что? (выра-


жение удивления, возмущения и т.д.)
Exclamation of surprise, excitement, or being extremely
mad/pissed off. A mild oath. Roughly equivalent to saying
“Jesus Christ” as an oath, but less severe, and used so as not
to get stricken down for blasphemy. The words rhyme to
imply a sense a humor and may have started as a line in some
comedy or movie: Geez Louise! I can’t believe this definition
isn’t in here yet!

Jeeves – Дживз (безупречный камердинер в произведе-


ниях П. Г. Вудхауса); идеальный слуга
A man who is a personal servant for another man.
Reginald Jeeves is a fictional character created by British
comic writer P. G. Wodehouse. Jeeves is mainly the servant
to Bertie Wooster, a rich, foolish, foppish but good-hearted
post-First World War bachelor. He uses his near-
omniscience to get Bertie out of tricky situations, usually
out of unsuitable engagements. He is well-known for his
convoluted speech and for quoting from, among other
things, the plays of Shakespeare and famous Romantic
Poets. Jeeves has been portrayed on television series by
Stephen Fry in the early 1990s.

86
Jeroboam

Jekyll and Hyde (personality) – двойственная личность,


проявляющая то хорошие, то дурные качества (по
имени героя романа Р. Л. Стивенсона «Доктор Дже-
килл и мистер Хайд»); синдром раздвоения личности
A person who has two very different parts to their
character, one good and one bad. “Strange Case of Dr Jekyll
and Mr Hyde” is the original title of a novella written by the
Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson that was first
published in 1886. The work is commonly known today as
simply “Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde”. It is about a London lawyer
who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend,
Dr Henry Jekyll, and the misanthropic Edward Hyde. The
good Dr Jekyll invents a drug which transforms him into the
evil Mr Hyde, along with an antidote which will return him
to his better self. Ultimately, Mr Hyde is driven to murder,
and when he is unable to make the antidote, he commits
suicide. Jekyll and Hyde has come to refer to the “split
personality”, the rare mental condition wherein within the
same person there are at least two distinct personalities. The
novella’s impact is such that it has become a part of the
language: One day he is charming, the next he is very rude. He’s
a real Jekyll and Hyde.

Jenny – Дженни
The name may refer to a popular feminine given name; a
term for a female donkey; any female animal; the cotton
spinning machine

Jeremiah – Иеремия, библейский пророк; пессимист


A pessimist (a biblical reference to the Lamentations of
Jeremiah): My neighbor’s a Jeremiah who says that the
economic situation is going to get even worse.

Jeroboam xdcêèDÄçs?èãz – (библ.) Иеровоам; (разг.) бу-


тылка шампанского; большая чаша для вина; винная
бутыль ёмкостью 4.5 галлона (20 литров)
Jeroboam was the first king of the northern Israelite
Kingdom who reigned for 22 years. The name also refers to

87
Jerry

a wine bottle used for holding wine, generally made of glass.


The bottles come in a large variety of sizes, several named for
Biblical kings, and other figures. The standard bottle contains
750 ml. Jeroboam is also known as Double Magnum.

Jerry – (воен. жарг.) немец, немецкий солдат, фриц; не-


мецкий самолёт; ночная ваза
• A German, especially a German soldier (chiefly Br sl)
• Short for jeroboam (see above)
• The Germans (collectively): Jerry didn’t send his
bombers out last night.
• An offensive term for a person of German descent
• An informal word for chamber pot (Br)
Jerry-built/jerry-building – построенный на скорую руку,
непрочно, кое-как (ср.: «хрущобы», пятиэтажные
жилые дома, построенные в СССР в 60-х гг. во вре-
мена Н. С. Хрущёва)
The phrase means a temporary or shoddy construction,
dates to 1869. It may derive from the name of a builder who
was notorious for poor construction, for he constructed
flimsy homes from inferior materials. An 1884 source
(unconfirmed) says that the phrase is in reference to a
particular construction project on the Mersey River in
Britain. Something that is jerrybuilt is deliberately
constructed of inferior materials to turn a quick buck.

Jesus boots/shoes (sl) – мужские сандалии


Men’s sandals, particularly as worn by hippies and very
casually dressed people: I dig your Jesus boots, man, they look
cool.

Jim Crow – (презр.) Джим Кроу (кличка, данная неграм


американскими расистами); расовая дискриминация,
расизм
By 1830s, most Americans preferred to think of blacks as
happy-go-lucky, childlike creatures who wanted nothing
more from life than something good to eat and a chance to

88
Jingling Johnny

sing and dance. The popular image was captured in the song
Jim Crow, popularized in the mid-1830s:
Come, listen all you gals and boys,
I’se just from Tucky hoe;
I’m goin’ to sing a little song,
My name’s Jim Crow.
The Jim Crow laws were state and local laws in the United
States enacted between 1876 and 1965. They mandated de
jure racial segregation in all public facilities in Southern states
of the former Confederacy, with a supposedly separate but
equal status for black Americans. The separation led to
treatment, financial support and accommodations that were
usually inferior to those provided for white Americans,
systematizing a number of economic, educational and social
disadvantages. Some examples of Jim Crow laws are the
segregation of public schools, public places, and public
transportation, and the segregation of restrooms, restaurants,
and drinking fountains for whites and blacks. The US
military was also segregated. State-sponsored school
segregation was declared unconstitutional in 1954. The
remaining Jim Crow laws were overruled in the 60s.

Jim-dandy (chiefly Am sl) – первоклассный, шикарный


Excellent, outstanding. Something that is a very superior
example of its kind of thing: Tommy’s new boat is really a jim-
dandy! I wish I had one like it.

Jingling Johnny (Am) – ударный музыкальный инструмент


типа бубна
Also called Turkish Crescent, a musical instrument
consisting of a pole ornamented with a canopy, a crescent,
and other shapes hung with bells and metal jingling objects,
and often surmounted by horsetails. It possibly originated as
the staff of a Central Asian shaman, and it was part of the
Turkish military band that stimulated the late 18th-century
European vogue for Turkish music. The jingling Johnny was
used in European military bands in the 19th century and
survives, somewhat altered, in Germany.

89
Job’s comforter

Job’s comforter xdèsÄòz= – (библ.) утешитель Иова; горе-


утешитель
Someone who says they want to comfort, but actually
discomforts people is a Job’s comforter. The phrase is from
the Bible (Job 16.2) where Job’s supposed friends came to
him in his greatest afflictions and tried to explain his misery
as the result of his sins, offering advice that was not helpful.
Job rejected their interpretations. Hence, any comforters
who add salt to one’s wounds: Only a Job’s comforter would
try to argue that yesterday’s stock fall announcement could bring
anything good.

Joe Bloggs – государственный служащий, должностное


лицо
The names Joe Bloggs and Fred Bloggs are commonly used
as placeholder names in United Kingdom, Irish, Australian
and New Zealand teaching, programming, and other
thinking and writing. The surname Bloggs on its own is
sometimes used in the same way.

Joe Blow // Joe Doakes (Am) – рядовой гражданин


An average citizen; a hypothetical average man.

Joe College – типичный американский студент 30-х годов


XX века
A personification of a typical male US college student,
especially in the 1930s, modeled on Joe Blow.

Joe Schmo(e) – рядовой гражданин


An ordinary man. This nickname implies a lower-class
citizen (from the Yiddish schmo: simpleton, or possibly
Hebrew sh’mo: (what’s-his-name).

Joe Sixpack – рядовой гражданин; работяга, который без


труда выпьет шесть банок пива
Any man; an average man; a drinking working man: It is
great that normal Joe Sixpack American is finally represented
in the position of vice presidency.

90
John Barleycorn

Joe Zilch/Storch (Am sl) – ноль, пустое место (о человеке)


Any man; an average man. The word zilch implies
someone of no importance, a nobody. A man whose name
one does not know or can not remember.

John – любовник, клиент проститутки; туалет


A prostitute’s client; a toilet.

John-a-dreams – мечтатель
A nickname for a dreamer; a dreamy, idle fellow; a man
who is a daydreamer and therefore inactive: Like John-a-
dreams, unpregnant of my cause (Like a dreamer, not thinking
about my cause. W. Shakespeare “Hamlet”, Act II, Sc. 2).

John Barleycorn – Джон Ячменное Зерно (воплоще-


ние пива); (собир.) алкогольные напитки; зелёный
змий
John Barleycorn is an English folksong. The character of
John Barleycorn in the song is a personification of the
important cereal crop barley and of the alcoholic beverages
made from it, beer and whisky. In the song, John Barleycorn
is represented as suffering attacks, death and indignities that
correspond to the various stages of barley cultivation, such
as reaping and malting.

Robert Burns
“John Barleycorn”
a ballad, 1782 (extract):

John Barleycorn was a hero bold,


Of noble enterprise;
For if you do but taste his blood,
’twill make your courage rise.
’twill make a man forget his woe;
’twill heighten all his joy;
’twill make the widow’s heart to sing,
Tho’ the tear were in her eye.

91
John Bull

Then let us toast John Barleycorn,


Each man a glass in hand;
And may his great posterity
Ne’er fail in old Scotland!

John Bull – Джон Буль, насмешливое прозвище англичан,


получившее широкое распространение в XVIII веке;
типичный англичанин; английский народ
A typical Englishman; the English people. John Bull is a
national personification of Britain in general and England in
particular, especially in political cartoons and similar graphic
works. He is usually depicted as a stout, middle-aged,
country dwelling, jolly, matter-of-fact man. As a literary
figure, John Bull is well-intentioned,
frustrated, full of common sense, and
entirely of native country stock.
Unlike American Uncle Sam later, he
is not a figure of authority but rather a
yeoman who prefers his small beer and
domestic peace, possessed of neither
patriarchal power nor heroic defiance:
This was the age of John Bull, the most
red-faced, overfed, coronary-ready icon
ever created by any nation in the hope of
impressing other nations.

John Doe (and Richard Roe) – (юр.) воображаемый истец


(и ответчик) в английском судопроизводстве первой
половины XIX века; безымянный средний гражда-
нин; безликий, рядовой человек.
John Doe is a name given to an unidentified male who
may be party to legal proceedings, or to an unidentified
person in hospital, or dead; an unnamed person in legal
proceedings; an anonymous average citizen. Jane Doe is the
female equivalent: brilliant intellectuals and plain John Does.

John/Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon – цветы, закрывающиеся


днём (куриная слепота)

92
John Q. Public

John Hancock (Am) – Джон Хэнкок; собственноручная


подпись
John Hancock means a signature and his signature on the
engrossed copy of the Declaration of Independence is very
prominent. John Hancock was President of the Continental
Congress. Whether that was the reason why his signature is
also the largest, or whether he was just bigheaded is a matter
of conjecture. Some say he added his name when all others
had written theirs. What is beyond any doubt is that it tops the
list. Today the phrase can be used both as a noun meaning a
person’s signature and a verb: Could you john hancock it here?

John Henry (Am folk) – Джон Генри, негритянский бога-


тырь; собственноручная подпись
An American folk hero and tall tale. Henry worked as a
steel-driver – a man tasked with hammering and chiseling
rock in the construction of tunnels for railroad tracks. In the
legend, John Henry’s prowess as a steel-driver was measured
in a race against a steam powered
hammer, which he won only to die
in victory with his hammer in his
hand. The story of John Henry has
been the subject of numerous
songs, stories, plays, and novels.
The phrase can also refer to
your signature; your name in
writing: Joe felt proud when he put Statue of John Henry
his John Henry on his very first in West Virginia
driver’s license.

John Q. Public // John Q. Citizen (Am) – средний, рядовой


американец
A typical, average person. It is a generic name in the United
States to denote a hypothetical member of society deemed a
common man. He is presumed to represent the randomly
selected man on the street. In the United States the term John
Q. Public is used by law enforcement officers to refer to an
individual with no criminal bent. Similar terms include John

93
Johnny Appleseed

Q. Citizen and John Q. Taxpayer, or Jane Q. Public, Jane Q.


Citizen, and Jane Q. Taxpayer for a woman. The name John
Doe is used in a similar manner. For multiple people, Tom,
Dick and Harry is often used. Roughly equivalent are the
names Joe Sixpack, Joe Blow, and Joe Shmoe. The term John
Q. Public was the name of a character created by a cartoonist
for the “Chicago Daily News”, in 1922. The character was
described as “bespectacled, mustachioed, fedora-wearing”.

Johnny Appleseed – Джонни Яблочное Зёрнышко


Johnny Appleseed (1774–1845), born John Chapman,
was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple
trees to large parts of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. He became
an American legend while still alive, largely because of his
kind and generous ways, his great leadership in conservation,
and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. The
popular image is of Johnny Appleseed spreading apple seeds
randomly, everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries
rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect
them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a
neighbor, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery.
Though apples grown from seed are rarely sweet or tasty, the
orchards with sour apples were popular among the settlers
because apples were mainly used for producing hard cider
and applejack. In some periods of the settlement of the
Midwest, settlers were required by law to plant orchards of
apples and pears in order to uphold the right to the claimed
land. For these reasons Johnny Appleseed’s pre-planted
orchards made for popular real estate on the frontier.

Johnny-come-lately – человек, пришедший в последнюю


минуту или слишком поздно; новичок, выскочка,
парвеню; человек, примкнувший к уже победившей
группе, партии и т.д.
The phrase may refer to:
• A brash newcomer, a recruit, a novice, an upstart.
• A late arrival or participant: She might take offense if
some Johnny-come-lately thinks he can do a better job.

94
Jolly Roger

• A newcomer: She may be a Johnny-come-lately on the


board, but she’s doing a fine job with publicity.

Johnny on the spot // Johnny-on-the-spot – человек, кото-


рый всегда готов, всегда на месте; человек, на кото-
рого можно рассчитывать
A person who is always available, ready, willing, and able
to do what needs to be done. An unknown writer on the
“New York Sun” in April 1896 penned an article on this
phrase. The piece is headed “JOHNNY ON THE SPOT –
A New Phrase Which Has Become Popular in New York”.
Its author says: “The expression Johnny on the spot has come
into popularity very suddenly”. “Johnny” here must be a
general name for any young male and doesn’t refer to a real
person: Here I am, Johnny-on-the-spot. I told you I would be
here at 12.20.

Johnny One Note // Johnny one-note (Am disappr) – человек


с узким кругозором; заладил своё и долбит/твердит
одно и то же; (проф. жарг.) «гудошник»
A person (or organization) who often expresses a strong
opinion or viewpoint on a single subject or a few particular
subjects. It is someone who constantly talks about the same
thing over and over again as if they had no idea that they
were notorious for talking about the same thing over and
over again. Johnny One Note is a show tune from the 1937
Rodgers and Hart musical “Babes in Arms”. The lyrics tell
a story of a male vocalist named Johnny who sang with a
band and could sing only one note, but sang that note
extremely well.

Jolly Roger – «Весёлый Роджер», чёрный пиратский


флаг
The Jolly Roger is any of various flags flown to identify a
ship’s crew as pirates. The flag most commonly identified as
the Jolly Roger today is the skull and crossbones. This design
was used by several pirates, including Captains Edward
England and John Taylor. Despite its prominence in popular

95
Jonah

culture, plain black flags were often employed by most


pirates in the 17th–18th century. Historically, the flag was
flown to frighten pirates’ victims into surrendering without
a fight, since it conveyed the message that the attackers were
outlaws who would not consider themselves bound by the
usual rules of engagement. Since the decline of piracy,
various military units have used the Jolly Roger, usually in
skull-and-crossbones design, as a victory flag to ascribe to
themselves the proverbial ferocity and toughness of pirates.

Jonah – Иона, библейский пророк; человек, принося-


щий несчастье
Someone who brings bad luck (a biblical reference to the
book of Jonah): His workmates regard him as a Jonah. Things
always go wrong when he’s around.

Judas kiss – (библ.) поцелуй Иуды; предательский поцелуй


According to the Synoptic Gospels, Judas identified Jesus
to the soldiers by means of a kiss. This is the Kiss of Judas,
also known (especially in art) as the Betrayal of Christ, which
occurs in the Garden of Gethsemane after the Last Supper,
and leads directly to the arrest of Jesus by the police force.
More broadly, a Judas kiss may refer to an act appearing to
be an act of friendship, which is in fact harmful to the
recipient.

Jumping Judas! (Am) – удивлённое восклицание


An expression of surprise or shock. For want of the
origin of the phrase, it may be interesting to learn about the
existence of Judas Jump, a British short-lived prog rock
supergroup, formed in 1969. They released one album and
three singles before disbanding in 1971. They are best
known for their various members who had success before
and after Judas Jump.

96
Keep up with the Joneses

K
Katy, bar the door! – Кэти, запри дверь!
The phrase may come from the Scottish ballad, “Get up
and Lock the Door”, in which a husband and wife who have
gone to bed realize that they hadn’t locked the door.
Neither wants to get up to do it until robbers come in.
Finally the husband cries out, and his wife informs him that
he lost the argument and has to get up and lock the door.
The more popular theory is that the idiom stems from an
event in Scottish history involving King James I of Scotland
and the Queen’s lady-in-waiting, Catherine Douglas (a.k.a.
Kate Barlass). The King was staying in Perth, when a band
of murderers burst in, intent on killing him. There was no
lock or bar on the door of the King’s chamber, so Catherine
attempted to bar the door with her arm. Unfortunately, the
men broke her arm and killed the King. The phrase, Katy,
bar the door is taken from “The King’s Tragedy”, a poem
by Gabriel Dante Rossetti, written in 1881.

Keep up with the Joneses – не отставать от Джоунзов; ста-


раться достичь такого же социального и материаль-
ного положения, как у соседей или знакомых; не
хуже, чем у людей
Make sure that you are not outdone in wealth, smartness
or possessions by your neighbors; try to achieve the
same social position and wealth as your neighbors or
acquaintances.
In 1913 a popular comic strip called Keeping up with the
Joneses appeared in many American newspapers. The
cartoon was about the experiences of a newly married young
man, and the cartoonist based it on his own life. He chose
the name Jones because it was a popular name in America.
The name of the comic strip became a popular expression
that meant to try hard to follow the latest fashion and live
the style of those around you.

97
King Charles’s head

King Charles’s head – голова короля Карла, наваждение,


идея-фикс
A fixed idea; personal obsession. This expression alludes
to the character of Mr Dick, in Charles Dickens’ novel
“David Copperfield”, who could not write or speak on any
matter without introducing the subject of King Charles’s
head into all discussions. After Charles I, king of England,
who was beheaded in 1649: …that King Charles’s head of
modern America, the menace of Communism.

L
Lady Bountiful – леди Баунтифул (персонаж пьесы
Джорджа Фаркара, ирландского драматурга XVII ве-
ка); (ирон.) благодетельница, дама-благотворитель-
ница
A woman who enjoys showing people how rich and kind
she is by giving things to poor people. Bountiful means
generous: I’ve got a lot of clothes that they might make use of
but I’m worried they might see me as some sort of Lady
Bountiful.

Lady Bracknell – леди Бракнелл (персонаж пьесы Оскара


Уайльда «Как важно быть серьёзным»); чопорная и
самовлюблённая аристократка
Wilde embodied society’s rules and rituals artfully into
Lady Bracknell: minute attention to the details of her style
created a comic effect of assertion by restraint. Oscar Wilde’s
imperious monster of manners, Lady Bracknell, has a history
of being played by men. There are few lines in British drama
so famous that people can quote them even when they’ve not
read the play. One is To be or not to be from “Hamlet”.
Another is A handbag?, Lady Bracknell’s astounded
contemplation of the first home of her prospective son-in-
law Jack in Oscar Wilde’s great comedy “The Importance of
Being Earnest”.

98
Lazy Susan

Lady Luck – госпожа Удача


Chance personified as a controlling power in human
affairs. The personification of luck as a lady bringing good or
bad fortune: It seemed Lady Luck was still smiling on them.
* Lady Luck was against us and we lost the game.

Lady/Lord Muck (Br inf) – дама/господин с большим са-


момнением
Someone with an exaggerated idea of his or her own
importance. A haughty or socially pretentious person: It’s
that woman, Lady Muck herself – who does she think she is?
The Oxford English Dictionary places “muckety-muck”
(an important and often arrogant person) as a US phrase
from the 1920s and cites Lady/Lord Muck from a little
earlier – around 1900, and of Australian origin: Ever since
he was elected to the Town Council, he thinks he’s Lord
Muck!

Laurence bids wages (saying) – ничего не хочется делать,


лень одолевает
The phrase invites to idleness; a proverbial saying for to
be lazy. A lazy person (lazy Laurence is also used); this
association of the personal name with the quality is first
recorded in the proverbial Laurence bids wages (1828),
meaning that the attractions of idleness are tempting. It has
been suggested that there is an allusion to the heat prevalent
around the time of the feast of St Lawrence (10 August).
Another conjecture is that there was a joke to the effect that
when the martyr St Lawrence told his torturers to turn him
round on his gridiron, it was because he was too lazy to move
by himself.

Lazy Susan – (шутл.) ленивая Сюзанна; вращающийся


поднос для кушаний и т.п.; небольшой столик для бу-
тербродов и закусок
A rotating tray, usually circular, placed on top of a table
to aid in moving food on a large table or countertop. The
term Lazy Susan made its first written appearance in a

99
Let George do it

“Good Housekeeping” article in 1906, although their


existence dates back to the 18th century. Prior to the use of
the term Lazy Susan, they were referred to as dumbwaiters, a
term today applied to a small elevator for transporting food.
There is no clear evidence as to the origin of the Susan part
of Lazy Susan. The Lazy Susan can be made from a variety
of materials, commonly plastic, wood, or glass.

Let George do it – «пусть Джордж сделает это»; поручите


это кому-нибудь другому; кто хотите, только не я
Expect someone else to do the work or take the
responsibility. The phrase was for a time, probably in the
1940s, a kind of fad expression. Whenever it could be worked
into the conversation it was. There was no particular George
ever associated with the phrase, as far as it is known: I don’t
know if I can handle the mountain of dishes I’ll find when I get
home. Let George do it.

Let her go, Gallagher! (Am) – Начинайте, действуйте! Не


мешайте, не задерживайте!
Let’s go; let’s get started without delay. The Gallagher to
whom this advice is given may be one or none of the
legendary people cited in various folklore explanations. He
may have been a cab driver in Australia, a hangman in
Galveston (Texas), a warden in St Louis, the owner of a
broken-down nag (horse) in Texas, a street-car operator in
New Orleans; or any of an almost endless list of folk heroes
named Gallagher. Most likely, Gallagher was chosen because
it is close in sound to let ’er go. In spite of the amorphous
nature of this Gallagher, the expression has enjoyed
international popularity for more than a hundred years.
Another interpretation of the origin of the phrase we can find
in “The Evening News”, July 17, 1888. “During a strike on
one of the street railroads in the East, a man named
Gallagher agreed to drive one of the car teams, and took his
position on the platform of the car which stood at the
entrance and waited for the order to drive out. The command
came from one of the officers of the company, who, in a loud

100
Little Mary

voice, called out, Let her go, Gallagher! This is the origin of
the phrase which has become so common.”

Levis/Levi’s – «Ливайзы», джинсы (фирменное название)


In 1853, the California gold rush was in full swing, and
everyday items were in short supply. Levi Strauss xägî~f
Dëíêiëz, a 24-year-old German immigrant, left New York
for San Francisco with a small supply of dry goods with the
intention of opening a branch of his brother’s New York dry
goods business. Shortly after his arrival, a prospector wanted
to know what Mr Levi Strauss was selling. When Strauss told
him he had rough canvas to use for tents and wagon covers,
the prospector said, “You should have brought pants!” Levi
Strauss had the canvas made into waist overalls as the
original jeans were known as. Miners liked the pants, but
complained that they tended to chafe. Levi Strauss
substituted a twilled cotton for cloth from France called
“serge de Nimes.” The fabric later became known as denim
and the pants were nicknamed blue jeans. The two-horse
brand design was first used in 1886. The red tab attached to
the left rear pocket was created in 1936 as a means of
identifying Levi’s jeans at a distance. All are registered
trademarks that are still in use. The company briefly
experimented (in the 1970s) with a public stock listing, but
remains owned and controlled by descendants and relatives
of Levi Strauss’s four nephews.

Little Mary – малышка Мери (по названию пьесы Д. Барри);


(шутл.) желудок
Sir James Matthew Barrie (1860–1937) was a Scottish
author and dramatist, best remembered today as the creator
of Peter Pan. The child of a family of small-town weavers, he
was educated in Scotland. He moved to London, where he
developed a career as a novelist and playwright. There he met
the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired him in writing about
a baby boy who has magical adventures in Kensington
Gardens. Also, Little Mary is a slang expression for stomach,
belly.

101
Live/Lead the life of Riley

Live/Lead the life of Riley – вести жизнь Райли; вести


праздную, сладкую жизнь (богатого человека)
Since the 19th century there have been songs and later
television characters to support the idea that a person
called Riley once lived a rich and carefree existence, but
no historical figure has been found. Probably Riley was
supposed to be the archetypal Irishman and prejudiced
English people characterized him as a cheerful sponger.
In America, the phrase first appeared in print in 1918, but
it was a 1940s radio program “Living the life of Riley”
which later evolved into a television show that made the
phrase common there: The treasurer took our money to
Mexico where he lived the life of Riley until the police caught
him.

Lloyd’s Coffee House on Lombard Street – кофейня Ллойда


на Ломбард-стрит
Lloyd’s Coffee House, opened by Edward Lloyd around
1688 in Tower Street, London; the oldest and most famous
coffee house in London (before tea was brought to
England). This establishment was a popular place for
sailors, merchants, and ship owners, and Lloyd catered to
them with reliable shipping news. Just after Christmas
1691, the coffee shop relocated to Lombard Street (a blue
plaque commemorates this location). This arrangement
carried on until 1774, long after Lloyd’s death in 1713,
when the participating members of the insurance
arrangement formed a committee and moved to the Royal
Exchange as The Society of Lloyd’s. Due to the focus on
marine business, one of the primary sources of Lloyd’s
business was the insurance of ships engaged in slave trading,
as Britain rapidly established itself as the chief slave trading
power in the Atlantic. The dangers involved necessarily
meant that insurance of slave-trade shipping was a major
concern.

102
Lot’s wife

Long Eliza // long-eliza – «долговязая Эльза», синяя с


белым китайская ваза, на которой изображены высо-
кие женские фигуры
Attenuated figure of a Chinese woman seen as a
decoration on 18th-century Chinese porcelain, some Dutch
and English delftware, and on Worcester porcelain of the
1760s. The name comes from the Dutch Lange Leizen. The
Chinese name for the lady was mei yen, or pretty lady.

Long johns (Am sl) – тёплое бельё


Long underwear, also called long johns, or thermal
underwear, is a style of two-piece underwear with long legs and
long sleeves that is normally worn during cold weather. It is
commonly worn by people in cold countries. In 2004, Michael
Quinion, a British etymologist and writer, postulated that the
john in the item of apparel may be a reference to John
Lawrence Sullivan (1858–1918), the first heavyweight
champion of gloved boxing, and the last heavyweight
champion of bare-knuckle boxing, who wore a similar-looking
garment in the ring. He was the first American sports hero to
become a national celebrity and the first American athlete to
earn over one million dollars. This explanation, however, is
uncertain and the word’s origin is ultimately unknown.

Long Tom – длинный Том, дальнобойное орудие (воен.


жарг.)
The 155 mm Gun M1 and M2, widely known as Long
Tom, were 155 millimeter calibre field guns used by the United
States armed forces during
World War II and Korean War.

Lot’s wife – (библ.) жена Лота,


превращённая в соляной
столб; (мор. жарг.) соль
A character in the Book of
Genesis. She is described as
turning into a pillar of salt for Lot’s Wife pillar,
failing to heed the orders of Mount Sodom, Israel

103
Lynch Law

the angels of deliverance while fleeing from the city of


Sodom.
The Jewish historian Josephus claimed to have seen the
pillar of salt which was Lot’s wife. Its existence is also attested
to by the early Church Fathers. Today, many tourist maps point
out “Lot’s Cave” that can be found just beneath the pillar. Also,
sailors’ slang name for table-salt.

Lynch Law // Lynching (Am) – закон или суд Линча; лин-


чевание, самосуд, зверская расправа без суда и след-
ствия (предположительно по имени Чарльза Линча,
мирового судьи конца XVIII века в штате Виргиния)
Lynching, the practice of killing people by extrajudicial
mob action, occurred in the United States chiefly from the late
18th century through the 1960s. The term Lynch’s Law
apparently originated during the American Revolution (1775–
1783) when Charles Lynch, a Virginia justice of the peace,
ordered extralegal punishment for Loyalists. In the South,
members of the abolitionist movement and other people
opposing slavery were often targets of lynch mob violence
before the Civil War (1861–1865). Lynchings reached a peak
in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when Southern states
changed their constitutions and enacted a series of segregation
and Jim Crow (see p. 88) laws to reestablish white supremacy.
Notable lynchings of civil rights workers during the 1960s in
Mississippi contributed to galvanizing public support for the
Civil Rights Movement and civil rights legislation.

M
Mae West – «Ми Уэст», надувной спасательный нагруд-
ник; спасательная куртка лётчиков (по имени амери-
канской актрисы)
An inflatable life jacket in the form of a collar extending
down the chest that was worn by fliers in World War II. First
known use: 1940. Mae West (1893–1980) was an American

104
Mark Tapley

actress, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol noted for


her full figure.

Maggie Ann (Br) – маргарин


The wartime nickname for margarine: During the war,
foodstuffs were rationed, in short supply or even unavailable –
for instance, a wartime cook had to replace the instinct for butter
with the instinct for margarine known in wartime as “Maggie
Ann”.

Make one’s jack (Am inf) – достичь своей цели; много за-
работать
The expression, which dates back to about 1700, may be
related to the American slang term “jack” meaning
“money”. An earlier American phrase, “to make one’s jack”,
meaning simply to succeed, may have evolved into the
current meaning.

Man Friday – Пятница, верный, преданный слуга (по


имени слуги в романе Д. Дефо «Робинзон Крузо»
Friday is one of the main characters of Daniel Defoe’s
novel “Robinson Crusoe”. Robinson Crusoe names the man,
with whom he cannot at first communicate, Friday because
they first meet on that day. The character is the source of the
expression Man Friday, used to describe a male personal
assistant or servant, especially one who is particularly
competent or loyal.

Mao jacket – китель Мао; полувоенный френч тёмно-си-


него цвета
A plain, high-collared, shirtlike jacket customarily
worn by Mao Zedong and the people of China during his
regime.

Mark Tapley – Марк Тэпли, человек, не унывающий ни


при каких обстоятельствах
The body-servant to Martin Chuzzlewit, in Dickens’s
novel of the name. Mark’s catchphrase is that “There’s no

105
Marquis of Queensberry rules

credit in being jolly” under benign circumstances and so he


constantly urges himself to find a more challenging set of
circumstances in order to test his good spirits. Figuratively,
means a person who never loses heart.

Marquis of Queensberry rules // Queensbury rules – правила


Квинзбери, общепринятые правила боксерских по-
единков; порядочность, мужество, стойкость
A code of generally accepted rules in the sport of boxing.
They were named so because Sir John Sholto Douglas, 9th
Marquis of Queensberry publicly endorsed the code in 1869.
The code of rules on which modern boxing is based, the
Queensberry rules were the first to mention gloves in boxing.
The Queensberry rules are intended for use in both
professional and amateur boxing matches. In popular culture
the term is sometimes used to refer to a sense of
sportsmanship and fair play.

Mary Jane (sl) – марихуана


Mary Jane is a common nickname for marijuana; the
slang or street word used in the world of drugs; if inhaled,
causes hallucinations.

Mason jar – банка Мейсона, стеклянная банка с метал-


лической крышкой
A glass jar with a metal lid. A Mason jar is a glass jar used
in canning to preserve food. It was invented and patented
by John Landis Mason, a Philadelphia
tinsmith in 1858. They are also called Ball
jars, after Ball Corp., a popular and early
manufacturer of the jars; fruit jars because
they are often used to store fruit; jam jars
or generically glass canning jars. While
largely supplanted by other methods for
commercial mass-production, they are still Mason jar
commonly used in home canning. filled with jam

106
McDonald’s

Maverick – Мэверик, инакомыслящий, диссидент, «бе-


лая ворона»; человек, не принадлежащий ни к одной
партии; бездомный человек, бродяга; неклеймёный
телёнок
Maverick is someone who exhibits great independence in
thought and action. Samuel Augustus Maverick (1803–1870)
was a Texas lawyer, politician, land baron and signer of the
Texas Declaration of Independence. His name is the source of
the term maverick, first cited in 1867, which means
“independently minded.” Various accounts of the origins of
the term held that Maverick came to be considered
independently minded by his fellow ranchers because he
refused to brand his cattle. In fact, Maverick’s failure to brand
his cattle had little to do with independent mindedness, but
reflected his lack of interest in ranching. The phrase also refers
to an unbranded range animal, derived from U.S. cattleman
Samuel Maverick. He is the grandfather of US Congressman
Maury Maverick, who coined the term gobbledygook (1944).

McCormick reaper – косилка МакКормика, в корне из-


менившая сельское хозяйство США
Cyrus Hall McCormick, Sr. (1809–1884) was an American
inventor and founder of the McCormick Harvesting Machine
Company. He and many members of the McCormick family
became prominent Chicagoans. Although McCormick is often
called the inventor of the mechanical reaper, it was based on
work by others, including his family members:
The McCormick reaper permitted the mass production of
grain, which in turn allowed America to produce livestock on an
industrial scale.

McDonald’s – МакДональдс, сеть ресторанов быстрого


питания
In 1954 a salesman named Ray Kroc became curious as
to why a small hamburger stand on the edge of the desert in
California would need eight Multimixers – enough to make
40 milkshakes at a time – and decided to fly out and have a
look. When Kroc came along, the McDonald brothers were

107
Meek as Moses

already legendary, at least in the trade. By 1961, the year he


bought the brothers out for $2.7 million, there were two
hundred McDonald’s restaurants, and the company was on
its way to becoming a national institution. The McDonald
brothers never married and lived together in the same house.
They had no special interest in wealth and fame. The
McDonald’s one indulgence was to buy a pair of new
Cadillacs every year on the day that the new models came
out. They were single-mindedly devoted to achieving
perfection in their chosen area, and created something from
which others would derive greater credit and fame. The
McDonald’s of today is the leading global foodservice
retailer with more than 33,000 local restaurants serving
nearly 68 million people in 119 countries each day.

Мeek as Moses – (библ.) смиренный как Моисей


Very meek. This expression is a biblical allusion to
Numbers 12:3: “Moses was very meek, above all the men
which were upon the face of the earth.” The source of this
statement has been the subject of much speculation, since it
would seem oxymoronic for Moses, the traditional author of
the book of Numbers, to have had it written about himself.
Perhaps this statement was added to the text by Moses’
disciple Joshua, who worked closely with Moses for forty years
before succeeding his mentor as the human leader of Israel.

Merry Andrew – весёлый Эндрю, шут, фигляр, гаер


Clown, buffoon, tomfool. In the Dictionary of Phrase and
Fable, E. Cobham Brewer (1810–1897) states that Merry
Andrew was so called from Andrew Borde, physician to
Henry VIII. To vast learning he added great eccentricity, and
in order to instruct the people used to address them at fairs
and other crowded places in a very vulgar way. Those who
imitated his wit and drollery were called Merry Andrews, a
term now signifying a clown or buffoon. In an early passage
of “A Journal of the Plague Year” Daniel Defoe mentions
merry andrews while describing the effects of the plague on
London society: “… and the jack-puddings, merry-andrews,

108
Mickey Mouse

puppet-shows, rope-dancers, and such-like doings, which had


bewitched the poor common people, shut up their shops, finding
indeed no trade; for the minds of the people were agitated with
other things, and a kind of sadness and horror at these things
sat upon the countenances even of the common people.”

Mickey/Mike (Michael)/mick – Микки, Майк – уменьши-


тельно-ласкательные формы имени Майкл; (неполит-
кор.) прозвище ирландцев
These hypocorisms derived from very common first names
are now the generic name for an Irishman. Derogatory word
for Irish people (politically incorrect). The origin of the word
is disputed. Some beliefs are that mick comes from the
common “Mc” in many Irish names: McSorley, McNeil,
McFlannagan, etc. Others believe it is related to the sound of
a drunken hiccup: I was the captain * mick * of a ship * mick *
for 3 years! Mick is also used between Irish friends and relatives
in a playful and joking way: Joey, you stupid mick.

Mickey Finn (sl) – напиток с подмешанным наркотиком


A drugged drink (see Slip someone a Mickey Finn, p. 151):
They gave him a Mickey Finn, and when he was unconscious
they tied him up.

Mickey Mouse – Микки Маус, пер-


сонаж мультипликационных
фильмов Уолта Диснея; (амер.
разг.) путаница, неразбериха,
чепуха, ерунда; лёгкий курс,
учебный предмет, не требующий
усидчивости
Mickey Mouse is a cartoon
character created in 1928 by Walt
Disney and Ub Iwerk at The Walt
Disney Studio. Mickey is a black Walt Disney, the co-
creator of Mickey Mouse
mouse and typically wears red shorts,
and founder of the Walt
large yellow shoes, and white gloves. Disney Company, was the
He is one of the most recognizable original voice of Mickey

109
Midas touch

cartoon characters in the world and is the mascot of The Walt


Disney Company, the world’s largest media conglomerate. In
1928 Mickey debuted in the animated cartoon Steamboat
Willie. He went on to appear in over 130 films. Nine of Mickey’s
cartoons were nominated for the Academy Award for Best
Animated Short Film. In 1978, Mickey became the first
cartoon character to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of
Fame. Also, if something is Mickey Mouse, it is intellectually
trivial or not of a very high standard.

Midas touch – (миф.) прикосновение Мидаса, басно-


словно богатый человек; способность превращать в
золото всё, к чему прикасаешься
Once, as Ovid relates in Metamorphoses, for bringing the
satyr Silenus back to Dionysus, king Midas was offered his
choice of whatever reward he wished for. Midas asked that
whatever he might touch should be changed into gold. He
rejoiced in his new power and as soon as he got home, he
ordered the servants to set a feast on the table. “But when
he beheld his food grow rigid and his drink harden into
golden ice then he understood that this gift was a bane and
in his loathing for gold, cursed his prayer” (Claudian, “In
Rufinum”). Now, Midas hated the
gift he had coveted. He prayed to
Dionysus, begging to be delivered
from starvation. Midas, now hating
wealth and splendor, moved to the
country and became a worshipper
of Pan, the god of the fields and
satyr. Also, if someone has the
Midas touch, they make a lot of
money out of any scheme they try.
A person who is very successful
in business, with whose involvement
“everything turns to gold”, is said to Illustration of Walter Crane
have the Midas touch: All his firms from “A Wonder-Book
are extremely profitable. He has the for Girls and Boys” (1893)
Midas touch. by Nathaniel Hawthorne

110
Molly Coddle

Miranda rights/warning – права Миранды (право не отве-


чать на вопросы, дающие материал для обвинения
самого себя; показания, невыгодные для самого сви-
детеля)
A warning given by police in the United States to
criminal suspects in police custody before they are
interrogated. After placing the suspect under arrest, the
officer will say something similar to: You have the right to
remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against
you in a court of law. You have a right to an attorney. If you
cannot afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you.
Should the suspect not speak English, these rights must be
translated to make sure they are understood. The Miranda
warning is intended to protect the suspect’s Fifth
Amendment right to refuse to answer self-incriminating
questions. In March 1963, Ernesto Miranda was arrested
at his home in Arizona for the count of rape. The police
then took him down to the police station and started
interrogating him. Miranda, not informed of his rights,
eventually signed a written confession of kidnapping and
rape. Then Miranda appealed his case to Supreme Court.
Based on testimonies given, it was evident that Miranda
had never been told of his rights. In 1966, Supreme Court
ruled in favor of Miranda in Miranda vs. Arizona. In the
end, Miranda was retried and convicted based on other
evidence.

Mister/Mr Right // Miss/Ms Right (inf) – подходящая пар-


тия для брака; будущий муж/будущая жена; прекрас-
ная пара
The person one would like to marry; a perfect match; the
perfect man or woman for you to marry: She waited for years
and years, hoping someday to find Mister Right.

Molly Coddle // Miss Molly // Miss Nancy – неженка, «дев-


чонка», «баба»
The verb to coddle means to treat somebody in an
overprotective way, as though he or she were an invalid. The

111
Molotov cocktail

verb in this sense is not recorded before the early part of the
19th century – its first appearance is in Jane Austen’s
“Emma”: “Be satisfied with doctoring and coddling
yourself.” The first bit of the phrase is easy enough, since it
is from the pet form of the given name Mary. But Molly has
also had a long history in several different but related senses
associated with low living. As either molly or moll, from the
early 17th century on, it was often used to describe a
prostitute. As molly it was also a common 18th-century
name for a homosexual man, often in the form Miss Molly,
and a molly house was a male brothel. As a noun, it was used
particularly of a man who had been over-protected in
childhood. For example, William Makepeace Thackeray
wrote in “Pendennis” in 1849: You have been bred up as a
molly-coddle, Pen, and spoilt by the women.

Molotov cocktail – (воен. разг.) коктейль Молотова, бу-


тылка с горючей смесью
The Molotov cocktail, or simply Molotov, is a generic
name used for a variety of improvised incendiary weapons.
Due to the relative ease of production, they are frequently
used by non-professionally equipped fighters and others who
cannot afford, manufacture, or obtain hand grenades. They
are primarily intended to set targets ablaze rather than
instantly destroy them. The name Molotov cocktail was
coined by the Finns during the Winter War. The name is an
insulting reference (not a tribute) to Soviet foreign minister
Vyacheslav Molotov, who supposingly was responsible for
the partition of Finland. The Winter War was a military
conflict between the Soviet Union and Finland. It began on
30 November 1939 – three months after the start of World
War II – and ended on 13 March 1940 with the Moscow
Peace Treaty.

Morton’s Fork – вилка Мортона, видимость выбора при


его реальном отсутствии
A choice between two equally unpleasant alternatives (in
other words, a dilemma), or two lines of reasoning that lead

112
Mother Hubbard

to the same unpleasant conclusion. It is analogous to the


expressions between the devil and the deep blue sea, between a
rock and a hard place. It is said to originate with the collecting
of taxes by John Morton (1420–1500), Archbishop of
Canterbury in the late 15th century and chief minister of
Henry VII, who held that a man living modestly must be
saving money and could therefore afford taxes, whereas if he
was living extravagantly then he was obviously rich and could
still afford them. Morton gave a statement, later known as
Morton’s Fork that no one was to be exempt from taxes. We
call the option a Morton’s Fork, an apparent choice that in
fact is no choice at all. It is the choice between giving up your
left leg or your right arm. In contemporary culture, the film
“Sophie’s Choice” offers the best known example: the two
options offered the protagonist are equally tragic and morally
heinous.

Mother Bunch – мамаша Банч, гадалка (по имени анг-


лийской гадалки XVI века)
A fortune-teller. Several Elizabethan writers allude
jokingly to a notorious Mother Bunch who sold strong ale,
kept a brothel, and seems to have been proverbial for coarse
humor; various traditional jests and bawdy anecdotes were
ascribed to her. Later, her name was put to different uses;
from the 17th century onwards there were chapbooks where
she figures as a wise old countrywoman, teaching a medley
of charms and magical recipes.

Mother Hubbard – матушка Хаббард (персонаж детской


песенки); длинное платье, длинная женская одежда
Old Mother Hubbard is an English language nursery
rhyme, first printed in 1805 and among the most popular
publications of the 19th century. The exact origin and
meaning of the rhyme is disputed. The lyrics originally
published in 1805 have remained largely unchanged. The
book was immediately popular, possibly in part because it was
believed to be a political commentary, but it is not clear
exactly what readers thought was being satirized.

113
Mr Big

Old Mother Hubbard


Went to the cupboard,
To give the poor dog a bone:
When she came there,
The cupboard was bare,
And so the poor dog had none.
She went to the tavern
For white wine and red; 1819 UK depiction
When she came back
The dog stood on his head.
The Dame made a curtsy,
The dog made a bow;
The Dame said, Your servant;
The dog said, Bow-wow.
She gave him rich dainties
Whenever he fed,
And erected this monument 1889 US depiction
When he was dead.
A Mother Hubbard dress is a long, wide, loose-fitting
gown with long sleeves and a high neck. Intended to cover
as much skin as possible, it was introduced by missionaries
in Polynesia to “civilize” those whom they considered half-
naked savages of the South Seas islands. Although this
Victorian remnant has disappeared elsewhere in the world,
it is still worn by Pacific women. The author Somerset
Maugham refers to this dress many times in his novels and
short stories about the Pacific.

Mr Big – важная персона; главарь банды, «пахан»


The important or leading person in an organization; the
most important man in a group of people, especially a group
involved in criminal activities. Often used humorously about
a criminal leader: Police have arrested a man they believe is
the Mr Big of Brighton’s drug scene.

114
Mrs Jellyby

Mr Clean (sl) – «мистер Чистюля»; честный и неподкуп-


ный политик
An honorable or incorruptible politician. A man, especially
a public figure, who adheres to the highest standards of
personal and professional conduct (from Mr Clean, a brand
name and mascot fully owned by Procter & Gamble used for
a cleaning solution and related products).

Mr Nice Guy – очень порядочный, дружелюбный человек


A very decent, friendly man.

Mrs Grundy – миссис Гранди, олицетворение устоев анг-


лийского общества (ср.: «Что станет говорить княгиня
Марья Алексевна?» А. Грибоедов, «Горе от ума»)
A term expressive of the prudishness of the English
character. From the phrase in Tom Morton’s “Speed the
Plough” (1798): What will Mrs Grundy say? that is, what will
the proper-thinking neighbors say. Mrs Grundy now
epitomizes the rigid and Puritanical-minded person who
condemns the slightest departure from conventional behavior.
A tendency to be overly fearful of what the respectable might
think is referred to as Grundyism: The old woman’s a Mrs
Grundy who objected to the young couple kissing in the park.

Mrs Jellyby – миссис Джеллиби (персонаж романа Ч. Дик-


кенса «Холодный дом»); женщина, излишне увлечён-
ная общественной деятельностью в ущерб своим детям
и дому
As usual, Dickens drew upon many real people and places
but imaginatively transformed them in his novel. The
“telescopic philanthropist” Mrs Jellyby, who pursues distant
projects at the expense of her duty to her own family, is a
criticism of women activists like Caroline Chisholm who was
a progressive 19th-century English humanitarian known
mostly for her involvement with female immigrant welfare in
Australia. Mrs Jellyby is obsessed with an obscure African
tribe but having little regard to the notion of charity
beginning at home.

115
Mrs Mopp

Mrs Mopp – миссис Мопп, уборщица помещений


A charlady or charwoman (someone hired to do
household cleaning). In the British radio comedy series
“It’s That Man Again”, Dorothy Summers played the part
of the cockney cleaning woman character Mrs Mopp. The
office char’s catch phrase was “Can I do you now, Sir?”
(i.e., “May I clean your office now, Sir?” but with an
obvious double entendre): In the evenings Olga worked as a
Mrs Mopp.

Murphy’s Law – закон Мёрфи, шуточный философский


принцип, иностранный аналог русского «закона под-
лости», «закона бутерброда» и «генеральского эффекта»
Murphy’s law is a humorous rule that says: Whatever can
go wrong, will go wrong. There are other rules like this that are
often called Murphy’s Laws, such as: Nothing is as easy as it
looks, and Everything takes longer than you think it will.
Although many people have ideas about who Murphy might
be, no one is sure: Why is the traffic always worst when you’re
already late? – Murphy’s law. Used in order to say that the
worst possible thing always seems to happen when it is most
annoying.

N
Nancy boy (derog sl) – педераст, гомосексуалист
Sissy, gay. A homosexual male or an effeminate man; what
gay men were called back in the days when gay meant happy;
also written nancy-boy, nancy: That feller was always a little
funny, if you know what I mean. A real nancy boy.

Nervous Nellie/Nelly – нервная Нелли; мнительный,


нервный, робкий, неуверенный в себе человек
Excessively nervous, worried, timid, or apprehensive
person is a Nervous Nellie; a constantly worried person, male
or female: Sue is such a nervous Nellie. She should calm down.

116
Nobel Prize

An unduly timid or anxious person, as in He’s a real nervous


Nellie, calling the doctor about every little symptom. This term
does not allude to a particular person named Nellie; rather,
the name was probably chosen for the sake of alliteration.
The phrase originated in 1925–1930.

Nice Nelly/Nellie (inf) – образцово-показательный (чело-


век)
Someone who acts too good to be true; a prude; a prig:
We took him for a nice Nelly when he wouldn’t fight. Used as
an adjective, the phrase means someone too careful not to
say or do anything wrong or improper; too proper; prudish:
Her nice Nellie behavior made her unpopular at school.

Nobel Prize – Нобелевская премия


The Nobel Prize (Swedish pronunciation: xåçDÄcäz) is a
set of annual international awards bestowed in a number of
categories by Scandinavian committees in recognition of
cultural and/or scientific advances. The will of the Swedish
philanthropist inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes
in 1895. The Peace Prize is awarded in Oslo, Norway, while
the other prizes are awarded in Stockholm, Sweden. The
Nobel Prize is widely regarded as the most prestigious award
available in the fields of literature, medicine, physics,
chemistry, peace, and economics. Each recipient, or
laureate, receives a gold medal, a
diploma, and a sum of money which is
decided by Nobel Foundation yearly.
As of 2012, each prize was worth 8
million SEK1 (c. US$1.2 million, €0.93
million). The prize is not awarded
posthumously; however, if a person is
awarded a prize and dies before
receiving it, the prize may still be
presented.

1
SEK – Swedish Krona (Currency of Sweden)

117
No more Mr Nice Guy

No more Mr Nice Guy – перестать миндальничать и на-


чать принимать жёсткие меры
Used to suggest that you will stop being lenient and begin
to adopt more severe measures. Nice guy is a term in the
general public discourse and in popular culture describing an
adult or teenage male with friendly yet unassertive personality
traits in the context of a relationship with a woman. A typical
nice guy believes in putting the needs of others before his
own, avoids confrontations, does favors, gives emotional
support, and generally acts nicely towards women. “Nice
guy,” as in “Mr Nice Guy,” connotes weakness. No more Mr
Nice Guy is a warning before retaliation, the end of passive
acceptance of unfairness or harsh treatment. This gloves-off
warning was popularized in the 1970s. Richard Nixon was
asked by “The Washington Post” in 1977 about his response
to Vietnam War protests: When was the moment when in effect,
you said, “OK, no more Mr Nice Guy”?

No way, Jose! – ни за что, ни за какие коврижки


Absolutely not; never. This slang expression originated in
America sometime around the 1960s. In Chapman and
Kipfer’s “Dictionary of American Slang” no way is listed as
a 1960s phrase and no way Jose as originating in Village Voice.
Unfortunately, they don’t present any other details to check
that assertion. The first verified citation is found from “The
Washington Post”, December 1979: I’ve got nothing against
robots. But no way, Jose, is this guy going to win. Why Jose?
There’s no reason to think that Jose was an actual person.
The name was probably chosen for the rhyme with “no way”,
which predates the longer phrase.

Noah’s ark – Ноев ковчег


A vessel appearing in the Book of Genesis and the Quran.
These narratives describe the construction of a large,
seagoing ark by the Patriarch Noah at God’s command to
save himself, his family, and the world’s animals from the
Great Flood. In the narrative of the ark, God sees the
wickedness of man and is grieved by his creation, resolving

118
Not know someone from Adam

to send a great flood to cleanse the Earth. However, God


chose a man named Noah and “counted it righteous to him”
to live and also to preserve his creation mankind through
Noah’s family. When Noah and the animals are safe on
board, God sends the Flood, which rises until all the
mountains are covered and all life on Earth is destroyed. At
the height of the flood, the ark rests on mountaintops, before
the waters recede and dry land reappears. Noah, his family,
and the animals leave the ark to repopulate the Earth.
Although the account of the ark was traditionally accepted
as historical, by the 19th century the growing impact of
scientific investigation and biblical interpretation had led
many people to abandon a literal view in favor of a more
metaphoric understanding. Biblical literalists continue to
explore the mountains of Ararat in present-day Turkey, where
the Bible says the ark came to rest, in search of archaeological
remnants of the vessel.

Nosy/Nosey Parker – любопытная Варвара; человек, ко-


торый всюду суёт свой нос, не в меру любопытный
The person most often associated with the phrase nosy
parker is Matthew Parker, who was Archbishop of Canterbury
from 1559 to 1575. In a systematic attempt to obtain a
detailed account of the qualifications and activities of the
clergy he ordered several unpopular inquiries. This, and the
good archbishop’s impressively prominent nose, might be
thought more than enough for his peers to have nicknamed
him nosy Parker. The problem with this story is that his peers
did no such thing. The phrase nosy parker dates from the end
of the 19th century.

Not know Jack about something – ни черта не знать о чём-л.

Not know someone from Adam – не отличить от Адама; со-


вершенно не знать кого-л., не иметь о ком-л. поня-
тия, представления
Have never met someone and not know anything about
them; be unable to recognize someone; not know what

119
Occam’s/Ockham’s razor

someone looks like: Why should I lend him money? I don’t


know him from Adam. * The actress is well-known in her own
country, but in America they don’t know her from Adam.

O
Occam’s/Ockham’s razor – лезвие Оккэма, отсекающее в
суждениях всё лишнее; (экон. и бизнес) закон мини-
мума допущений
This principle takes its name from the English
philosopher William of Occam (c. 1289–1349): the image is
that of the razor cutting away all extraneous assumptions.
The term Occam’s razor first appeared in 1852 in the works
of Sir William Hamilton (1788–1856), centuries after
Ockham’s death. Ockham did not invent this “razor”; its
association with him may be due to the frequency and
effectiveness with which he used it.
The most useful statement of the principle for scientists
is: When you have two competing theories that make exactly the
same predictions, the simpler one is the better. In other words,
keep things simple!

(As) Old as Adam – старо как мир; быльём поросло; очень


старый; древний как мир
Generally used as a reproof for stating as news something
well known: That joke is as old as Adam, or was known as far
back as the days of Adam (see As old as Methuselah, p. 15).
According to the creation myth, found in the Book of
Genesis and the Quran, he is the first human. In the Genesis,
he was created by the god of Israel, though the term “adam”
can refer to both the first individual person, and to the
general creation of humankind. Christian churches differ on
how they view Adam’s subsequent behavior (often called the
Fall of man), and to the consequences that those actions had
on the rest of humanity. Christian and Jewish teachings
sometimes hold Adam and Eve (the first woman) to a

120
Old Tom

different level of responsibility for the Fall, though Islamic


teaching holds both equally responsible. In addition, Islam
holds that Adam was eventually forgiven, while Christianity
holds that no such redemption occurred.

Old Bill (Br inf old-fashioned) – старик Билл, английская


полиция
The police: The Old Bill was round here yesterday, asking
where you were.

Old Grog – прозвище британского адмирала Эдварда


Вернона
The word grog refers to a variety of alcoholic beverages.
This word originally referred to a drink made with water or
“small beer” (a weak beer) and rum, which British Vice
Admiral Edward Vernon introduced into the Royal Navy. On
21 August 1740 he ordered the alcoholic mixture to be served,
instead of pure spirits, to sailors. Vernon wore a coat of
grogram cloth and was nicknamed Old Grogram or Old Grog.
Modern versions of the drink are often made with hot or
boiling water, and sometimes include lemon juice, lime juice,
cinnamon or sugar to improve the taste.

Old Harry – сатана, дьявол


Another word for the Devil or Satan. There are several
explanations for the phrase:
• Henry VIII has been said to be the original “Old
Harry” or “Lord Harry”; for his cruel deeds caused his
people to regard him as the Devil incarnate.
• From the personal name but with some allusion to the
word “harry,” meaning to plunder, harass, lay waste,
torment: Jones is grinding the beans now, sir: the cook’s
had Old Harry of a time keeping the stove alight (1800).

Old Tom – старый Том, название сорта крепкого джина


Old Tom Gin (or Tom Gin or Old Tom) is a lightly
sweetened gin popular in the 18th-century England that
now is rarely available. The name Old Tom Gin purportedly

121
On one’s Jack Jones / jack jones

came from wooden plaques shaped like a black cat (an Old
Tom) mounted on the outside wall of some pubs above a
public walkway in the 18th-century England. Owing to a
scandalous news report of a tragedy involving a murdered
family, gin was outlawed and went underground, changing
from a cloudy liquid to its modern clear form so as to appear
like water. After a pedestrian deposited a penny in the cat’s
mouth, they would place their lips around a small tube
between the cat’s paws. From the tube would come a shot
of gin, poured by the bartender inside the pub.

On one’s Jack Jones / jack jones (Br inf) – сам по себе, в оди-
ночку
An example of Cockney Rhyming Slang, a type of slang
in which words are replaced by words or phrases they rhyme
with. So the phrase “On your Jack (Jones)” means “alone”:
You’re on your Jack Jones. Ben’s deserted you.

On Shank’s mare – на своих двоих, пешком; «пёхом»


Shanks’/shanks’s mare (or nag or pony) derives from the
name of the lower part of the leg between the knee and
ankle – the shank, nowadays more often known as the shin-
bone. The early form of this term – shank’s nag – originated
in Scotland in the 18th century. When it crossed the Atlantic,
the expression migrated into
shank’s mare, which remains
the common form in the USA.
It was first referred to there in
the 1860s.
In the UK and Australia the
term is commonly shanks’ pony.
It is sometimes capitalized as
Shank’s pony as some reports claim it to have derived from an
individual called Shanks, or from the Shanks & Company Ltd.,
who previously manufactured lawn-mowing machines. One
such horse-drawn mower had no seat and the driver had to walk
behind it. Examples of these machines still exist and this would
be a plausible theory if it weren’t for the clear pre-dating of the

122
Out-Herod Herod

Scottish references. An alternative version of this phrase is “the


horse of ten toes”.

Oscar – «Оскар», ежегодная премия Американской ака-


демии киноискусств и наук; приз, награда за творче-
ские достижения
An Academy Award (Oscar) is an award bestowed by the
American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
(AMPAS) to recognize excellence of professionals in the film
industry, including directors, actors, and writers. The Oscar
statuette is officially named the Academy Award of Merit. The
first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16, 1929,
at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood. The cost of guest tickets
for that night’s ceremony was $5. Fifteen statuettes were
awarded, honoring artists, directors and other personalities of
the filmmaking industry. The Oscar statuette is made of gold-
plated alloy of tin and copper and depicts a knight rendered
in Art Deco style holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel
of film with five spokes. The five spokes each represent the
original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors,
Producers, and Technicians. A Mexican film director and
actor Emilio “El Indio” Fernández, reluctant at first, was
finally convinced to pose nude to create what today is known
as the “Oscar”. The root of the name Oscar is contested. One
biography of Bette Davis claims that she named the Oscar
after her first husband. The trophy was officially dubbed the
Oscar in 1939.

Out-Herod Herod – превзойти самого Ирода в жестоко-


сти; переусердствовать
Herod the Great appears in the Gospel of Matthew (2.1-
16), which describes an event known as the Massacre of the
Innocents. According to this account, after the birth of Jesus,
Magi from the East visited Herod to inquire the whereabouts
of “the one having been born king of the Jews”, because they
had seen his star in the east and therefore wanted to pay him
homage. Herod, as King of the Jews, was alarmed at the
prospect of a usurper. He assembled the chief priests and

123
Painted Jezebel

asked them where the “Anointed One” was to be born. They


answered, in Bethlehem. Herod therefore sent the Magi to
Bethlehem, instructing them to search for the child and, after
they had found him, to “report to me, so that I too may go
and worship him”. However, after they had found Jesus, the
Magi were warned in a dream not to report back to Herod.
When Herod realized he had been outwitted by the Magi, he
gave orders to kill all boys of the age of two and under in
Bethlehem and its vicinity. Regarding the Massacre of the
Innocents, although Herod was certainly guilty of many
brutal acts, including the killing of his wife and two of his
sons, no other known source from the period makes any
reference to such a massacre. Modern biographers of Herod
tend to doubt the event took place. He is also known for his
colossal building projects in Jerusalem and elsewhere. The
phrase is from Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”: I would have such a
fellow whipp’d for o’erdoing Termagant; it out-herods Herod
(Act III, Sc. 2).

P
Painted Jezebel – (библ.) крашеная Иезавель; хитрая, бес-
стыжая женщина
A painted Jezebel is a shameless, immoral, scheming
woman. She was the wife of Ahab, king of Israel (9th
century BC), portrayed in the Bible as a power behind the
throne. Her court officials were incited to murder the queen
via defenestration and leave her corpse to be eaten by dogs.
The name Jezebel came to be associated with false
prophets, and further associated by the early 20th century
with fallen or abandoned women. In some interpretations,
her dressing in finery and putting on makeup before her
death led to the association of use of cosmetics with
“painted women” or prostitutes. In Christian lore, a
comparison to Jezebel suggested that a person was a pagan
or an apostate masquerading as a servant of God. By

124
Paparazzi

manipulation and/or seduction, she misled the saints of


God into sins of idolatry and sexual immorality. In
particular, Jezebel has come to be associated with
promiscuity. In his two-volume Guide to the Bible (1967 and
1969), Isaac Asimov describes Jezebel’s last act: dressing in
all her finery, make-up and jewelry, as deliberately symbolic,
indicating her dignity, royal status and determination to go
out of this life as a Queen.

Pandora’s box – (миф.) ящик Пандоры, источник всяче-


ских бедствий
If you open a Pandora’s box, something you do causes
all sorts of trouble that you hadn’t anticipated. To open
Pandora’s box means to create evil that cannot be undone.
In classic Greek mythology, Pandora was the first woman
on earth. Zeus ordered Hephaestus, the god of
craftsmanship, to create her, so he did – using water and
earth. The gods endowed her with many gifts: Athena
clothed her, Aphrodite gave her beauty, and Hermes speech.
With her, Pandora was given a beautiful jar which she was
not to open under any circumstance. Impelled by her
curiosity given to her by the gods, Pandora opened the jar,
and all evil contained escaped and spread over the earth.
She hastened to close the lid, but the whole contents of the
jar had escaped, except for one thing that lay at the bottom,
which was Hope. Pandora was deeply saddened by what she
had done, and was afraid that she would have to face Zeus’
wrath, since she had failed her duty; however, Zeus did not
punish her, because he knew this would happen: When I
asked Jane about her problems, I didn’t know I had opened
Pandora’s box.

Paparazzi xéoéèDêoíëáz – папарацци; фоторепортёры,


снимающие сцены из личной жизни звёзд шоу-биз-
неса и других знаменитостей без их ведома и согласия
If you were to see a casual photographer around town and
called him a paparazzi, beware; he might be tempted to throw
his camera at you, especially if he considers himself to be a

125
Pareto’s Rule/Principle

photojournalist. Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to


photojournalists who specialize in candid photography of
athletes, celebrities, politicians, and other prominent people.
Paparazzi photographers are often described as an
unacceptable annoyance by celebrities. They are reported to
be rude, pushy and ignorant. Many celebrities complain
about paparazzi on how much they get into their personal
space. Some have even filed restraining orders against them.
The word “paparazzi” is an eponym originating in the 1960
film La Dolce Vita directed by
Federico Fellini. One of the
characters in the film is a news
photographer named
Paparazzo. Fellini is said to
have taken the name from an
Italian dialect word that
describes a particularly
annoying noise, that of a Statue of paparazzo in
buzzing mosquito. As Fellini Bratislava, Slovakia
said in his interview to “Time”
magazine, “Paparazzo… suggests to me a buzzing insect,
hovering, darting, stinging.” By the late 1960s, this word,
usually in the Italian plural form paparazzi, had entered
English as a generic derogatory term for intrusive
photographers.

Pareto’s Rule/Principle // 80/20 rule – закон Парето, закон


распределения доходов
The Pareto principle (also known as the 80/20 rule) states
that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from
20% of the causes. Business-management consultant Joseph
M. Juran suggested the principle and named it after Italian
economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80%
of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population; he
developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods
in his garden contained 80% of the peas. It is a common rule
of thumb in business; e.g., “80% of your sales come from
20% of your clients”. Pareto developed this concept in the

126
Patience of Job

context of the distribution of income and wealth among the


population.

Parkinson’s Law – (шутл.) закон Паркинсона, согласно


которому объём работы растёт пропорционально от-
пущенному на него времени
This law claims that work tends to be extended till the
time allowed for its completion. The adage was first
articulated by Cyril Northcote Parkinson as the first
sentence of a humorous essay published in “The
Economist” in 1955: Work expands so as to fill the time
available for its completion. It was later reprinted together
with other essays in the book “Parkinson’s Law: The Pursuit
of Progress” (1958). He derived the dictum from his
extensive experience in the British Civil Service. He explains
the growth of bureaucracies by two forces: An official wants
to multiply subordinates, not rivals and Officials make work
for each other. When in 1986, Alessandro Natta (Italian
politician and secretary of the Italian Communist Party)
complained about the swelling bureaucracy in Italy, Mikhail
Gorbachev responded that “Parkinson’s Law works
everywhere.”

Patience of Job – терпение Иова; долготерпение, ангель-


ское терпение; адское терпение
If something requires the patience of Job, it requires a
great amount of patience. Job is the central character of the
“Book of Job” in the Hebrew Bible. Also, Job is listed as a
prophet of God in the Koran. The phrase refers to Job’s
refusal to condemn God when Satan was allowed to destroy
his family and his livestock, essentially turning him from a
rich man into a childless pauper overnight. Instead he
entered into a series of dialogs that culminated in a
fascinating conversation with God Himself. In the end, Job
saw the error in his ways, sought forgiveness, and everything
was restored. The main idea running through the “Book of
Job” is that when we justify ourselves, by saying that we don’t
deserve to experience catastrophic loss, we condemn God,

127
Paul Pry

in effect accusing Him of being unjust. Had Job not been a


sinner, God could not have authorized Satan to torment
him, and through his patient attempts to understand this, we
learn valuable lessons.

Paul Pry – Пол Прай, человек, сующий нос в чужие дела


Paul Pry (1825), a farce in three acts, was the most
notable play written by a 19th-century English playwright
John Poole. It premiered in London on 13 September 1825
at the Haymarket Theatre and ran 114 performances. The
play continued to be popular until the early 1870s. The
storyline is centered on a comical, idle, meddlesome and
mischievous fellow consumed with curiosity. Unable to
mind his own business, he is an interfering busybody who
conveniently leaves behind an umbrella everywhere he goes
in order to have an excuse to return and eavesdrop. In the
end, however, Pry becomes a hero for rescuing papers from
a well that incriminate more serious troublemakers.

Peeping Tom – любопытный Том; человек, который тай-


ком подглядывает за другими; чересчур любопытный
человек
Someone who tries to look through other people’s windows
without being seen in order to spy on people in their homes.
Peeping Tom – a voyeur; a person who secretly watches other
people undressing. After the tailor that, according to legend,
sneakily tried to peep at Lady Godiva when she rode naked
through Coventry. Lady Godiva was the lady, wife of Leofric.
Earl Leofric was a lord who
ruled England under the
Danish King Canute. Lady
Godiva was a rich landowner in
her own right and one of her
most valuable properties was
Coventry. Leofric was a tyrant,
he tyrannized the Church and
did not hold the same religious Lady Godiva (1898)
convictions as his wife. by John Collier

128
Peter Principle

He mercilessly demanded from the people of Coventry


an oppressive tax. Lady Godiva pleaded with Leofric to stop
this hated tax and he is reputed to have said, “You will have
to ride naked through Coventry before I will change my
ways”. He was quite sure that his wife
would never do such a thing. But Lady
Godiva took him at his word, and on
Market Day in Coventry she rode
naked, veiled only by her long golden
hair. Leofric was so stunned by the
whole incident that he immediately
freed the town from paying the hated
tax and at the same time ceased his persecution of the
Church. After this incident he and Godiva funded a
Benedictine monastery in Coventry where they were both
buried. Unfortunately all traces of this monastery have long
since disappeared.

Peter Principle – принцип Питера (о границах карьерного


роста)
Peter Principle claims that people are promoted until they
reach their level of incompetence.
It is based on the notion that employees will get
promoted as long as they are competent, but at some point
will fail to get promoted beyond a certain job because it has
become too challenging for them. The Peter Principle was
first observed by Dr Laurence J. Peter and published in his
book “The Peter Principle” in 1968. He sums up the Peter
Principle with the saying: …the cream rises until it sours.
“The Peter Principle” was a best-seller when it was first
published. A satiric treatise on workplace incompetence, it
touched a nerve with readers because it was so funny. And
so true. When people do their jobs well, Dr Peter argued,
society can’t leave well enough alone. We ask for more and
more until we ask too much. Then these individuals –
promoted to positions in which they are doomed to fail –
start using a bag of tricks to mask their incompetence. They
distract us from their crummy work with giant desks,

129
Peter’s needle

replace action with incomprehensible acronyms, blame


others for failure, cheat to create the illusion of progress. If
Dr Peter were alive today, he would find that a new lust for
superhuman accomplishments has helped create an almost
unprecedented level of incompetence.

Peter’s needle – иголка святого Петра, игольное ушко;


pass/go through St Peter’s needle – понести суровое на-
казание, получить нагоняй; небо с овчинку показа-
лось
“There was a rich man named Onesiphorus who said: ‘If
I believe, shall I be able to do wonders?’ Peter said: ‘I tell
you this: it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’
Onesiphorus was angry and said, ‘If you show me this sign,
I and the whole city will believe but if not you shall be
punished.’ Peter was troubled and stood and prayed: ‘Lord,
help us at this hour, for thou hast entrapped us by thy words.’
The Saviour appeared in the form of a boy of twelve years,
wearing a linen garment, and said, ‘Fear not: let the needle
and the camel be brought.’ When it was brought, Peter saw
a camel coming and stuck the needle in the ground and
cried: ‘In the name of Jesus Christ crucified under Pontius
Pilate I command thee, camel, to go through the eye of the
needle.’ The eye opened like a gate and the camel passed
through; and yet again, at Peter’s bidding. Onesiphorus cried
out, convinced and said: ‘Listen. I have lands and vineyards
and 27 librae of gold and 50 of silver, and many slaves: I will
give my goods to the poor and free my slaves if I may do
wonders like you.’ Peter said: ‘If you believe, you shall.’ Yet
he was afraid he might not be able, because he was not
baptized, but a voice came: ‘Let him do what he will.’ So
Onesiphorus stood before the needle and camel and
commanded it to go through and it went as far as the neck
and stopped. And he asked why. ‘Because you are not yet
baptized.’ He was content, and the apostles went to his
house, and 1,000 souls were baptized that night.” (“The
Apocryphal New Testament”, Oxford 1924, p. 459).

130
Plain Jane

Peter’s penny – (ист.) лепта святого Петра (ежегодная по-


дать в папскую казну)
The phrase refers to St Peter, considered as the first pope.
Historically, an annual tax, originally of one penny, formerly
levied for the maintenance of the Papal See (holy chair),
abolished by Henry VIII in 1534. Either, a voluntary
contribution made by Roman Catholics in many countries
for the same purpose.

Pistol Pete (Am) – Пит Пистолет, меткий стрелок, ковбой,


помощник начальника полицейского участка
Frank Boardman Pistol Pete Eaton (1860–1958) was an
American author, cowboy, scout, Indian fighter, and Deputy
US Marshal. Eaton was born in 1860 in Connecticut, and
soon moved with his family to Kansas.
When Eaton was eight years old, his
father was shot in cold blood by six
former Confederates. In 1868, his
father’s friend said to Frank, “My boy,
may an old man’s curse rest upon you,
if you do not try to avenge your
father.” That same year, he taught him
to handle a gun, but it would take
nineteen years for Frank to avenge his
father. At the age of fifteen, he decided
to visit a cavalry fort in Oklahoma, to
Frank “Pistol Pete”
learn more about handling a gun. Eaton
Although too young to join the army,
he outshot everyone at the fort and competed with the
cavalry’s best marksmen, beating them each time. After
many competitions, the fort’s commanding officer gave
Frank a marksmanship badge and a new nickname. From
that day forward, Frank would be known as Pistol Pete.

Plain Jane/jane – простушка Джейн; дурнушка (о некра-


сивой и не очень умной девушке)
A woman who has an average appearance. Plain jane
describes a girl that is plain, ordinary and not exceptionally

131
Platonic love

smart or special. It can also mean an object that is unadorned


or unembellished.

Platonic love – платоническая, чистая любовь


Plato xDéäèfíçsz (424/423 BC – 348/347 BC) was a
Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of
Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the
Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in
the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his
student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the foundations of
Western philosophy and science. In its modern popular sense,
the phrase refers to a non-sexual affectionate relationship. At
the same time, this interpretation is a misunderstanding of the
nature of the Platonic ideal of love which from its origin was
that of a chaste but passionate love, based not on lack of erotic
interest but on spiritual transmutation of the sex force, opening
up vast expanses of subtler enjoyments than sex.

Play hell and Tommy – устроить скандал; перевернуть всё


вверх дном; довести человека до крайности, до ни-
щеты; разрушить, погубить
Thoroughly upset things; destroy or pillage, wreck,
devastate, demolish, bring into chaos: Drug addiction soon
played hell and Tommy with his career.
An English proverbial expression for violence or outrage,
sometimes held to be a corruption of Hal and Tommy, Hal
being the diminutive of Henry. “The Henry here meant is the
remorseless brute Henry VIII, and Tommy is Thomas Lord
Cromwell, the tyrant’s congenial agent in seizing and rifling the
religious houses and turning out their helpless occupants to
starve.” (W. Walsh “Handy-book of Literary Curiosities”,
1909). But perhaps a likelier origin is that it is a corruption
of “Hell and Damn me”.

Play Old Harry (with) // Give Old Harry/Harrington – играть


с огнём, гневить бога, ругать, дразнить
Damage or affect greatly. Old Harry has been a nickname
for the devil in Northern England since the 18th century; the

132
Pope Joan

phrase is still in use. Thus play old Harry with, give old Harry,
give old Harrington means to play the Devil with, to make
mischief, to tease or scold.

Play the Jack with somebody – мошенничать, обманывать,


надувать кого-л., плутовать; подло, низко поступать в
отношении кого-л.; подложить свинью кому-л.
Swindle somebody; do the dirty on somebody: Monster,
your fairy, which you say is a harmless fairy, has done little better
than played the Jack with us (W. Shakespeare “The Tempest”,
Act IV, Sc. 1).

(As) Pleased as Punch – доволен как Панч/Петрушка,


очень доволен, рад-радёшенек; преисполнен самодо-
вольства; довольный как слон
Very pleased. The phrase As pleased as Punch derives from
the Mr Punch puppet character. Punch’s name itself
derives from Polichinello (spelled various ways, including
Punchinello), a puppet used in the 16th century Italian
Commedia dell’arte. As pleased as Punch is now the most
common form of the expression. When the term was coined
it was just as usual to say ‘as proud as Punch’. Charles
Dickens used the two terms interchangeably in his novels: I
am as proud as Punch to think that I once had the honor of
being connected with your family (“David Copperfield”,
1850). When Sissy got into the school, her father was as pleased
as Punch (“Hard Times”, 1854).

Pope Joan – Папесса Иоанна, карточная игра по имени


женщины, якобы занимавшей папский престол в де-
вятом веке
Pope Joan, a once popular Victorian family game, is an
18th-century English round game of cards for three to eight
players. Pope Joan was a legendary female Pope who
allegedly reigned for a few years some time during the
Middle Ages. The story first appeared in 13th-century
chronicles, and subsequently spread and embellished
throughout Europe. It was widely believed for centuries,

133
Potemkin/Potyomkin villages

though modern religious scholars consider it fictitious.


Most versions of her story describe her as a talented and
learned woman who disguises herself as a man, often at the
behest of a lover. In the most common accounts, due to her
abilities, she rises through the church hierarchy, eventually
being elected pope. However, while riding on horseback she
gives birth, thus exposing her gender. In most versions, she
dies shortly after, either being killed by an angry mob or
from natural causes. Her memory is then shunned by her
successors.

Potemkin/Potyomkin villages – Потёмкинские деревни; лжи-


вая попытка произвести благоприятное впечатление
The idiom is based on a historical myth. According to
the myth, there were fake settlements purportedly erected
at the direction of Russian minister Grigory Potemkin to
fool Empress Catherine II during her visit to the Crimea in
1787. According to this story, Potemkin, who led the
Crimean military campaign, had hollow facades of villages
constructed along the desolate banks of the Dnieper River
in order to impress the monarch and her entourage with the
value of her new conquests, thus enhancing his standing in
the empress’s eyes. So he ordered a number of sham villages
to be built for the Empress Catherine II’s tour of the
Crimea.

Prince Albert (Am) – длиннополый сюртук (по имени


принца Альберта, супруга королевы Виктории)
A frock coat is a man’s coat characterized by knee-
length skirts all around the base, popular during the
Victorian and Edwardian periods. The double-breasted
style is sometimes called a Prince Albert (after the consort
to Queen Victoria), who is usually credited with
popularizing the frock coat. During the Victorian era, the
frock coat rapidly became universally worn in Britain,
Europe and America as standard formal business dress, or
for formal daytime events.

134
Prometheus fire

Formal black frock coat with silk-faced lapels,


Cashmere striped trousers and button boots (left)
Prince Albert wearing a black frock coat and bow tie (right)

Prometheus fire xéêèDãgqáèëz – (миф.) Прометеев огонь;


божественный огонь в душе человека
In Greek mythology, Prometheus was the creator of
mankind. The goddess Athene taught him architecture,
astronomy, mathematics, navigation, medicine, and
metallurgy, and he in turn taught them to humans. Zeus,
the chief of the Greek gods, became angry at Prometheus
for making people powerful by teaching them all these
useful skills. To punish Prometheus, Zeus withheld fire from
men. “Let them eat their flesh raw,” he declared. In
response, Prometheus, snuck up to Mount Olympus, lit a
torch from the sun, and hid a burning piece of charcoal in
a hollow stalk. He slipped away with it and thus delivered
fire to mankind. This further enraged Zeus, who had
Prometheus chained naked to a pillar in the Caucasian
mountains, where his liver is eaten daily by an eagle. Years
later, the Greek hero Heracles (Hercules) slays the eagle
and frees Prometheus from his chains. The myth is one of
the deepest significance, reflecting an old belief that the
world was made for man and not man for the world.
Prometheus is properly the incarnation of the divine fire
latent from the beginning in the soul of man.

135
Proper Charlie

Proper Charlie – человек, которому не хватает здравого


смысла; глупец
In Britain someone called Charles is often familiarly
called Charlie, but a Charlie, in full a proper Charlie or a
right Charlie, is also a person lacking in common sense, a
fool. The term refers to pensioners (soldiers no longer fit
for service) in the service of Charles II, who were generally
thought to lack sense: Arlene made a proper Charlie of herself
last night.

Pullman car – пульмановский вагон, спальный вагон в


поездах дальнего следования
A railroad passenger car with convertible berths for
sleeping, also Pullman car.
The man who ultimately made the sleeping car business
profitable in the United States was George Pullman, who
began by building a luxurious sleeping car (named Pioneer)
in 1865. The Pullman Company owned and operated most
sleeping cars in the United States until the mid-20th century.
George Pullman was born in 1831. He traveled on numerous
occasions, and like most travelers of the time was unhappy
with the uncomfortable, inadequately heated and ventilated
wooden coaches of the time, with having to lug his baggage
from one train to another at junction points, and having to
spend the night in seedy hotels. George Pullman created and
refined the sleeping car that dominated railroad travel for
decades. One possibly unanticipated consequence of the rise
of Pullman cars in the United States in the 19th and early
20th centuries was their effect on civil rights and African
American culture. Each Pullman car was staffed by a
uniformed porter. These were almost always African-
Americans and, by convention, were often addressed as
“George” by passengers. Although this was servant’s work, it
was relatively well paid and prestigious, and so “Pullman
porters” were in a position to become leaders in the black
communities where they lived, contributing to the nucleus of
the nascent black middle class.

136
Queen Anne is dead!

Pyrrhic victory – пиррова победа; победа, стоившая гро-


мадных жертв, почти равная поражению; успех, губи-
тельный для победителя
A victory where the loss is bigger than the gain. The phrase
is named after King Pyrrhus whose army suffered
irreplaceable casualties in defeating the Romans in 280 BC
during the Pyrrhic War. After the last battle of the war,
Plutarch relates: “...the armies separated; and, it is said,
Pyrrhus referred to the battle that gave him joy of his victory
that one more such victory would utterly undo him. For he
had lost a great part of the forces he brought with him, and
almost all his particular friends and principal commanders;
there were no others there to make recruits. On the other
hand… the Roman camp was quickly and plentifully filled up
with fresh men… gaining new force and resolution to go on
with the war”. Although the phrase is most closely associated
with a military battle, the term is used by analogy in fields such
as business, politics, law, literature, and sports to describe any
similar struggle which is ruinous for the victor: Winning the
court case turned out to be a Pyrrhic victory, as his health was
shattered by the experience and he died shortly afterwards.

Q
Queen Anne is dead! – (разг. ирон.) Открыл Америку! (в
ответ на устаревшую новость)
The reply made to the teller of stale news. Anne (1665–
1714) ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland
on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union,
two of her realms, the kingdoms of England and Scotland,
were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great
Britain. Despite seventeen pregnancies, Anne died without
surviving children and was the last monarch of the House of
Stuart. She was succeeded by her second cousin George I of
the House of Hanover.

137
Raise Cain/Ned/Jack

R
Raise Cain/Ned/Jack (Am old-fashioned) – буянить, сканда-
лить; устроить скандал, поднять шум; учинить разнос,
отругать
If someone raises Cain, they make
a big fuss publicly, causing a
disturbance as if raising up or evoking
the turbulent spirit of the first
murderer; complain angrily about
something causing trouble or creating
an uproar: They know that the
children’s parents will raise Cain if
they’re excluded from classes. Cain was
the first murderer according to Cain and Abel
scriptural accounts in the Bible by José Vergara Gimeno
(Genesis 4) and in the Koran (5:27– (18th century)
32). The biblical account tells of how
Cain and Abel, the two sons of Adam and Eve, bring offerings
to God, but only Abel’s is accepted. Cain kills Abel in anger
and is cursed by God.

Real McCoy – настоящий МакКой; настоящая, ориги-


нальная, не поддельная вещь, не имитация; без под-
делки, без дураков; подлинный, настоящий
Something that is the real McCoy is the genuine article,
not a fake; the real thing – not a substitute or an imitation.
The real McCoy is an idiom and metaphor used in much of
the English-speaking world. It is a corruption of the Scots
the real MacKay, first recorded in 1856 as a drappie o’ the
real MacKay (a drop of the real MacKay), which clearly
refers to the McKay (or Mackay) whisky and is widely
accepted as the origin of the phrase. How it came to be
McCoy is unclear – it is believed that the first recording with
this spelling occurred in Canada in 1881. The phrase has
been the subject of numerous fanciful folk etymologies ever
since. There are several people and things that the phrase has

138
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s

been applied to – which came first is uncertain.


Here are some most popular interpretations of
the phrase:
• McCoy is derived from Mackay, referring
to Messrs. Mackay, Edinburgh, who made
a brand of fine whisky from 1856 onwards
and which they promoted as “the real
MacKay” from 1870.
• After Kid McCoy (Norman Selby, 1873–1940),
American welterweight boxing champion. The story
goes, and there are various
versions of it, that a drunk
challenged Selby to prove that
he was McCoy and not one of
the many lesser boxers trading
under the same name. After
being knocked to the floor, the
drunk rose to admit that Yes,
that’s the real McCoy.
• McCoy is a corruption of Macao
which was the source of a pure
and sought-after class of heroin.

Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s – (библ.) Ке-


сарево кесарю // Кесарю кесарево, а Богу богово (т.е.
каждому воздайте должное)
“Render unto Caesar…” is the beginning of a phrase
attributed to Jesus which reads in full, “Render unto Caesar
the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that
are God’s”. “When Jesus asked the Pharisees to show him the
money in which the tax is paid, they handed him a silver piece.
Jesus asked, ‘Whose head is this, and whose inscription?’
‘Caesar’s’, they replied. He said to them, ’then pay Caesar
what is due to Caesar, and pay God what is due to God.’ This
answer took them by surprise, and they went away and left him
alone.” (Matthew 22:21) This phrase has become a widely
quoted summary of the relationship between Christianity and
secular authority. The original message, coming in response to

139
Rich as Croesus

a question of whether it was lawful for Jews to pay taxes to


Caesar, gives rise to multiple possible interpretations.

Rich as Croesus xDâêgëèëz – богат, как Крёз


Someone who is rich as Croesus is very wealthy indeed.
In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became
a synonym for a wealthy man. Croesus’ wealth remained
proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions
such as rich as Croesus or richer than Croesus are used to
indicate great wealth to this day. Croesus (595 BC –
c. 547 BC) was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until
his defeat by the Persians. Croesus was renowned for his
wealth – Herodotus noted his gifts preserved at Delphi.

Richard is himself again – Ричард воспрянул духом (ср.


русск. жив курилка)
Alive and kicking; still going strong. Richard III is a history
play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written in
approximately 1591. It depicts the Machiavellian rise to power
and subsequent short reign of Richard III of England. The
play is rarely performed unabridged; often, certain peripheral
characters are removed entirely. In such instances extra lines
are often invented or added from elsewhere in the sequence
to establish the nature of characters’ relationships. The range
of interpretation has been startling, with many actors also
taking liberties with the text. The words Richard is himself
again are not in Shakespeare’s “Richard III”, but were
interpolated later. Among the most memorable Richards are
Alec Guinness and Laurence Olivier.

Richard Roe – Ричард Роу/Ру; истец/ответчик в судебном


процессе (употребляется нарицательно о человеке,
настоящее имя которого неизвестно)
The name Richard Roe or Roo, along with John Doe,
often spelled Doo, were regularly invoked in English legal
instruments to satisfy technical requirements of jurisdiction,
beginning perhaps as early as the reign of England’s King
Edward III (1312–1377). Other fictitious names for a person

140
Rob Peter to pay Paul

involved in litigation under English law were John-a-


Noakes/John Nokes and John-a-Stiles/John Stiles. This
particular use became obsolete in the UK in 1852. The Doe
names are often, though not always, used for anonymous or
unknown defendants. Another set of names often used for
anonymous parties, particularly plaintiffs, are Richard Roe
for males and Jane Roe for females. However, to avoid
possible confusion, if two anonymous or unknown parties
are cited in a specific case or action, the surnames Doe and
Roe may be used simultaneously; for example, John Doe vs.
Jane Roe.

Rip van Winkle – Рип ван Винкль (герой одноименного


рассказа В. Ирвинга, проспавший двадцать лет);
отсталый, косный человек; человек, отставший от
жизни; ретроград
The central character to Washington Irving’s most popular
story. Sometime before the Revolutionary War, Rip and his dog
get lost in the Catskill Mountains. Rip falls asleep and awakens
20 years later, an old man. He returns to his hometown to find
his shrewish wife has died, his daughter has married, and other
local changes have taken place. He is typical of persons who
are out of step with their times. So if someone is a Rip van
Winkle, they are behind the times and out of touch with what
is happening now. Washington Irving (1783–1859), the author
of the Rip van Winkle story was one of the first notable fiction
writers of the American romantic movement.

Rob Peter to pay Paul – ограбить Петра, чтобы рассчи-


таться с Павлом; поддерживать одно в ущерб другому;
взять у одного, чтобы отдать другому; отдать одни
долги, а влезть в другие (ср.: Тришкин кафтан) (выра-
жение восходит к старому обычаю духовенства пере-
давать из богатых церквей разную церковную утварь
бедным церквам)
Borrow or take from one to give to another; discharge one
debt by incurring another. The expression was well enough
established in English and has been considered proverbial by

141
Rob Roy

John Heywood when he published his book of English


proverbs in 1546:
Rob Peter and pay Paul: thou sayest I do;
But thou robbest and poulst Peter and Paul too.
The precise date is not the only
aspect of this phrase that is
uncertain. Scholars also disagree as
to the thinking of whoever coined it.
It has been suggested that the
primary reason for Peter and Paul is
the alliteration. But the similarities
between Saint Peter and Saint Paul
go deeper than their sharing of the
letter P. The expression was coined
at a time when almost all English Peter and Paul (1487)
people were Christian and they by Bartolomeo Vivarini
would have been well used to hearing
Peter and Paul paired together. They were both apostles of
Christ, both martyred in Rome. The essence of the meaning
of rob Peter to pay Paul is the pointlessness of taking from
one only to give to another who was similar. There are many
churches of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in England and
throughout Europe. It may not be the case, as it was asserted,
that the phrase arose from the borrowing of money from one
church to fund another, but from the familiarity of the
notion of Peter and Paul being alike and inseparable.

Rob Roy – Роб Рой, шотландский Робин Гуд; герой од-


ноименного романа Вальтера Скотта; фильм-номи-
нант на премию «Оскар»; алкогольный коктейль
The Scottish Robin Hood. Robert Roy MacGregor (1671–
1734), usually known simply as Rob Roy or alternately Red
MacGregor, was a famous Scottish folk hero and outlaw of the
early 18th century, who is sometimes known as the Scottish
Robin Hood. In the highlands of Scotland in the 1700s, Rob
Roy tries to lead his small town to a better future, by borrowing
money from the local nobility to buy cattle to herd to market.
When the money is stolen, Rob is forced into a Robin Hood

142
Rogerian argument

lifestyle to defend his family and honor. Rob Roy became a


legend in his own lifetime, and George I was moved to issue a
pardon for his crimes. The publication of Rob Roy, by Sir
Walter Scott in 1817, further added to his fame and fleshed out
his biography. The 1995 Rob Roy film was nominated for Oscar.
There are many cocktails bearing people’s names, e.g.: Admiral
Benbow, Aunt Jamima, Bloody Mary, and others. In 1894 at the
Waldorf Hotel in New York, a cocktail was invented and
named the Rob Roy in honor of MacGregor. Out of the four
listed cocktails it is the only whisky-based one. Admiral Benbow
is a mix of gin and dry vermouth. Aunt Jemima is made of
brandy, crème de cacao and Benedictine. Bloody Mary is made
with either vodka or tequila, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco and
lots of tomato juice. Rob Roy is made of 1.5 oz. (ounces)
Scotch and 0.5 oz. sweet vermouth.

Robin Goodfellow – (фольк.) Робин Добрый Малый (про-


казник-домовой)
Puck, also known as Robin Goodfellow, is a character in
William Shakespeare’s play A Midsummer Night’s Dream that
was based on the ancient figure in English mythology, also
called Puck. Puck is a clever and mischievous elf and personifies
the trickster or the wise knave, on whom were blamed all sorts
of domestic mishaps. In the play, Shakespeare introduces Puck
as the “shrewd and knavish sprite” and “that merry wanderer
of the night” and jester to Oberon, the fairy king:
Eiher I mistake your shape and making quite,
Or else you are that shrewd and knavish sprite
Call’d Robin Goodfellow: are not you he
That frights the maidens of the villagery.
(Act II, Sc. 1)

Rogerian argument – аргументация Роджерса, переговорная


стратегия, направленная на достижение компромисса
с учетом противоположных взглядов и общих целей
A conflict solving technique based on finding common
ground instead of polarizing debate. American psychologist
Carl R. Rogers (1902–1987) described his “principles of

143
Roland for an Oliver

communications,” a form of discussion based on finding


common ground. He proposed trying to understand our
adversary’s position, by listening to them. This form of
reasoning attempts to find compromise between two sides. In
this type of argument, the goal is to validate your own point
of view by making concessions to the opposing side. In
practice, this type of discussion is extremely useful in
emotionally charged topics since it downplays emotional and
highlights rational arguments.

Roland for an Oliver – достойный ответ; око за око; give


somebody a Roland for an Oliver – удачно отпарировать,
ответить ударом на удар
An effective or appropriate retort or response; a blow for
a blow; tit for tat (archaic). The phrase alludes to the evenly
matched single combat between Roland and Oliver. Neither
man was victorious and a strong friendship subsequently
developed between them. Once Roland was in command of
the rearguard of Charlemagne’s army when it was
ambushed in 778; despite the urging of Oliver that he should
blow his horn to summon aid, Roland refused to do so until
too late, and they were slain at Roncesvalles along with the
rest of the rearguard.

Rube Goldberg (Am inf) – чудо-юдо, диковинка, вычурный


проект
Reuben Lucius Goldberg (1883–1970) was an American
cartoonist, sculptor, author, engineer and inventor. He is best
known for a series of popular cartoons depicting complex
gadgets that perform simple tasks in indirect, convoluted
ways. A Rube Goldberg piece of
equipment or plan is very
complicated and not very
practical, as you can see in some
Charlie Chaplin’s films: The city
is not well served by this Rude
Goldberg scheme for economic
development.

144
Sam Browne belt

S
Sally Lunn – Сэлли Ланн; сладкая булочка
Sally Lunn, a young French refugee, arrived in England
over 300 years ago. She found work at what is now known
as Sally Lunn’s House and began to bake a rich round and
generous bread now known as the Sally Lunn Bun. This
bun became a very popular delicacy in Georgian England
as its special taste and lightness allowed it to be enjoyed with
either sweet or savory accompaniments. It is often lightly
scented with lemon, and is traditionally served sliced
horizontally, spread with butter or whipped or clotted
cream and reassembled. It is still produced commercially
in Bath.

Sam Browne belt – ремень Сэма Брауна


Sam Browne belt is a wide belt, usually leather, which is
supported by a strap going diagonally over the right
shoulder. It is most often seen as part of a military or police
uniform. Sam Browne was a British army officer serving in
India in the 19th century. In those days officers always
carried a sword into battle. However, the scabbard tended
to slide around a lot when they charged the enemy, so it had
to be steadied with the left hand before being drawn. During
the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Captain Sam Browne was
attacked and received two sword cuts, one on the left knee
and one which severed his left arm at the shoulder. He
survived the injuries but without a left hand, he found that
he was now unable to control or draw his sword. Browne
came up with the idea of wearing a second belt which went
over his right shoulder and held the scabbard in just the spot
he wanted. Other cavalry officers in the Indian Army began
wearing a similar rig and soon it became part of the standard
uniform. During the Boer War, the rig was copied by
Imperial and Commonwealth troops and eventually became
standard issue.

145
Santa Claus

Santa Claus x?ëñåíèDâäiòz – Санта-Клаус, Дед Мороз


Santa Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father
Christmas and simply Santa, is a figure with legendary,
mythical, historical and folkloric origins who, in many
western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the
good children on Christmas Eve, December 24. Santa Claus
is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man
wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed
red trousers, and black leather belt and boots (images of him
rarely have a beard with no moustache). This image has been
maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television,
children’s books and films. According to a tradition which
can be traced to the 1820s, Santa Claus lives at the North
Pole, with a large number of magical elves, and nine flying
reindeer. Since the 20th century, Santa Claus has been
believed to make a list of children throughout the world,
categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty”
or “nice”) and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy
to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and
sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night
of Christmas Eve.

Scavenger’s Daughter – (ист.) «дочь Скевинджера» (иска-


женная фамилия Скевингтона, коменданта Тауэра,
который в царствование Генриха VIII изобрёл это ору-
дие пытки); тиски (орудие пытки, по своему дей-
ствию противоположное дыбе)
The Scavenger’s Daughter was invented as an instrument
of torture in the reign of Henry VIII by Sir Leonard
Skeffington, Lieutenant of the Tower of London. It was an
A-frame shaped metal rack to which the head was strapped
to the top point of the A, the hands at the mid-point and the
legs at the lower spread ends; swinging the head down and
forcing the knees up in a sitting position so compressed the
body as to force the blood from the nose and ears. The
Scavenger’s Daughter was conceived as the perfect
complement to the Duke of Exeter’s Daughter (the rack). The
Scavenger’s Daughter is rarely mentioned in the documents

146
Sham Abraham/Abram

and the device itself was probably not much used. There is a
Scavenger’s daughter on display in the Tower of London
museum.

Schooner Jenny – шхуна «Дженни», британская истори-


ческая шхуна
The Jenny was a British schooner that reportedly became
frozen in an ice-barrier of the Drake Passage in 1823, only
to be rediscovered years later by a whaling ship, the bodies
aboard being preserved by the Antarctic cold.

Scrooge – Скрудж (персонаж «Рождественских расска-


зов» Ч. Диккенса); скряга; жестокий, грубый человек
Scrooge is a common English term for a miserly person.
Ebenezer Scrooge, the selfish, repulsive skinflint in Charles
Dickens’ 1843 novel “A Christmas Carol”. At the beginning
of the novel, Scrooge is a cold-hearted, tight-fisted and
greedy man, who despises Christmas and all things which
give people happiness. Dickens describes him thus: “The
cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed
nose, made his eyes red, his thin lips blue, and he spoke out
shrewdly in his grating voice ...” His last name has come into
the English language as a byword for miserliness and
misanthropy. The tale of his redemption has become a
defining tale of the Christmas holiday.

Sham Abraham/Abram – (первонач. мор. жарг.) притво-


ряться больным, симулировать болезнь; в XVI веке –
прозвище бродяг, содержащихся в палате «Эйбрем»
Бедлама, сумасшедшего дома, которым в определен-
ные дни разрешалось нищенствовать
Pretend illness or distress, in order to get off work; feign
sickness, malinger: hence a malingerer is called, in sailors'
cant, Sham Abram, or Sham Abraham (Webster’s 1913). The
phrase possibly appeared in allusion to the parable of the
beggar Lazarus in Luke XVI. Abram-Man could be one of a
set of vagabonds who formerly roamed through England,
feigning lunacy for the sake of obtaining alms.

147
Sheila’s Maid

Sheila’s Maid – горничная Шейлы, подвесная сушилка


для белья с креплением на потолке
A Sheila’s Maid is a traditional laundry airer that can still
be found and used in British households for over 100 years.
It dries your clothes by using a pulley to raise the Sheila Maid
to ceiling height where rising warm air dries your clothes in
no time at all.

Shirt/Tunic of Nessus // Nessus’ shirt – хитон Нессуса, ис-


точник неизбежного несчастья; роковой подарок
In Greek mythology, there was a poisoned shirt that killed
Heracles. It is the shirt (chiton) daubed with the tainted
blood of the centaur Nessus that Hercules’ wife naïvely gave
Hercules, burning him, and driving him to throw himself
onto a funeral pyre. Metaphorically, it represents a source of
misfortune from which there is no escape; a fatal present.
Major-General Henning von Tresckow, one of the primary
conspirators in the July 20 plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler,
famously referred to the Robe of Nessus following the
realization that the assassination plot had failed and that he
and others involved in the conspiracy would lose their lives
as a result: None of us can complain about our own deaths.
Everyone who joined our circle put on the “Robe of Nessus”. It
was once a popular reference in literature. In Act 4, Sc. 12 of
Shakespeare’s play “Antony and Cleopatra”, Mark Antony
is in a rage after losing the Battle of Actium and exclaims:
The shirt of Nessus is upon me.

Simon Legree (inf) – Саймон Легре, работорговец; суро-


вый начальник
A strict person, especially a boss, who makes others work
very hard; a cruel employer who demands excessive work from
the employees. After Simon Legree, a cruel slave dealer in the
anti-slavery novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” by Harriet Beecher
Stowe: Don’t talk on the job; the boss is a real Simon Legree.

(Real) Simon Pure // simon-pure – Саймон Пьюр (квакер


в пьесе XVIII века); реальное лицо; подлинная вещь;

148
Simple Simon

честный, незапятнанный; лицемерно добропорядоч-


ный
From the phrase the real Simon Pure, name of a character
in the play “A Bold Stroke for a Wife” (1717) by Susannah
Centlivre, who is impersonated by another character in some
scenes.
The name Simon Pure soon became a noun for a quality
in a person. In its adjective form, the compound gained a
hyphen and lost its capitals. The fact that there were two
Simon Pures on stage is probably the reason the term became
a confusing one. Depending on how it is used, it can mean
either an honest man or a hypocrite who makes a great show
of virtue. Modernly, Simon Pure has become the source of
two expressions: The real Simon Pure, meaning “the real
man”; and the adjective simon-pure, meaning either “of
genuine, untainted purity or integrity” or “pretentiously,
superficially or hypocritically virtuous”.

Simple Simon – простак Саймон


A popular English language nursery rhyme. The rhyme is
as follows:
Simple Simon met a pieman,
Going to the fair;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Let me taste your ware.
Says the pieman to Simple Simon,
Show me first your penny;
Says Simple Simon to the pieman,
Indeed I have not any.
Simple Simon went a-fishing,
For to catch a whale;
All the water he had got,
Was in his mother’s pail.
Simple Simon went to look Illustration of
If plums grew on a thistle; W. W. Denslow, 1902
He pricked his fingers very much, “Simple Simon and
Which made poor Simon whistle. the pie man”

149
Since Adam was a boy

The verses used today are the first of a longer chapbook


history first published in 1764. The character of Simple
Simon may have been in circulation much longer, possibly
appearing in an Elizabethan chapbook.

Since Adam was a boy (Am inf) – очень давно, с давних пор,
с незапамятных времён
A person is told of some extraordinary occurrence and
exclaims: Well, such a thing as that was never before heard of
since Adam was a boy. This expression is very general.

Singer (sewing machine) – (швейная машина) «Зингер»


In 1846 Elias Howe, a young Boston native, produced the
first workable sewing machine. So revolutioanary was Howe’s
machine that he couldn’t find a clothing mill willing to try
it. Depressed by his failure, he suffered a nervous breakdown
and traveled to England in the hope for a more congenial
reception. It was not. After two years of tramping the streets,
he arrived penniless to Boston to discover that in his absence
one Issac Singer had stolen his patent
and set up a sewing machine factory
and was making money hand over fist.
Howe took Singer to court, where two
things became clear: Singer was
nothing more than a thief, but now an
extremely rich one who could afford to
hire the sharpest lawyers. After a long
fight, Singer was eventually compelled
to pay Howe a handsome royalty on
every machine built. Nonetheless, it is
Singer’s name, not Howe’s, that is Singer House,
associated in the popular mind with Saint Petersburg
the sewing machine.
Also, Singer House (Дом компании «Зингер»), widely
known as House of Books (Дом книги) is a historical
landmark building located at an intersection of Nevsky
Prospekt with Griboyedov Canal, just opposite the Kazan
Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia. It is officially

150
Sloppy Joe

recognized as an object of Russian historical and cultural


heritage.

Slip someone a Mickey Finn – подсунуть коктейль с нар-


котиком для оболванивания клиента
Give someone a drugged or otherwise adulterated drink.
Recorded from the 1920s, this expression is sometimes said
to be the name of a notorious Chicago barkeeper. In
December 1903, several Chicago newspapers document that
a Michael “Mickey” Finn was accused of using knockout
drops to incapacitate and rob some of his customers. A
Mickey Finn (or simply Mickey) is a slang term for a drink
laced with a drug given to someone without his knowledge.
The first known written example (according to the Oxford
English Dictionary) of the use of the term Mickey Finn is in
1915. But alcoholic drinks producers claim that the
legendary Mickey Finn was an Irishman who emigrated to
the USA when times were hard at home. Mickey started his
own bar and used unique Mickey Finn cocktails to attract
customers to his bar. The secret of Mickey’s success? He
used only the finest natural ingredients and real fruit juices.
Today Mickey Finn has the same commitment to quality and
uses the juice pressed from over 40 apples to make every liter
of sour apple liqueur. Mickey Finn is currently No. 2 to
Baileys in Ireland.

Sloppy Joe – неряха Джо, сэндвич с говядиной; поджа-


ренный говяжий фарш с острым соусом; неряха, гряз-
нуля (о мужчине); просторный женский свитер
A Sloppy Joe is an American dish of ground beef, onions,
sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings,
served on a hamburger bun. Contradictory lore suggests that
the original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe’s

151
Smart Alec(k)

Bar in Key West, Florida, or by a cook named Joe at a café


in Sioux City, Iowa.

Smart Alec(k) // Clever Dick (Am inf) – самоуверенный все-


знайка; наглец, нахал, хлыщ
A smart Alec is a conceited person who likes to show off
how clever and knowledgeable they are. The origin is often
attributed to British humorist J.B.Morton’s character Dr
Smart-Allick. However Morton was born in 1893, and the
term has been around since the mid-1800s. The more
popular theory is that the police gave the name to Aleck
Hoag, a New York conman, in the 1840s. He ran a scam but
avoided arrest by paying off the police, but later decided to
cut them out of the deal, and they took him in, nicknaming
him Smart Aleck.

Socratic irony – сократический метод ведения спора


(путем постановки ряда вопросов, основанных якобы
на незнании спрашивающего и выявляющих невеже-
ство собеседника)
When someone says something that conveys a message
that contradicts the literal words. The Socratic irony, named
after the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, is a form of
inquiry and debate between individuals with opposing
viewpoints based on asking and answering questions to
stimulate critical thinking and to illuminate ideas. In the case
of Socratic irony, Socrates might pretend to think his students
wise or he might denigrate his own intelligence, as by
pretending he doesn’t know the answer.

Sod’s Law (sl) – закон подлости, закон бутерброда


Sod’s law is a name for the axiom of “bad fortune will be
tailored to the individual” and “anything that can go
wrong, will”. “Toast will always land butter side down” is
often given as an example of Sod’s law in action. The phrase
is seemingly derived, at least in part, from the colloquialism
an “unlucky sod”, a term used to describe someone who
has had some bad unlucky experience, and is usually used

152
Speedy Gonzales

as a sympathetic reference to the person. The term is still


commonly used in Britain, though in North America the
newer eponymous Murphy’s law has become more popular.
Sod’s law is similar to, but broader than, Murphy’s law
(“Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong”): It’s Sod’s Law
that on the one occasion when the train arrives on time, I’m
late!

Somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan – ещё более правых


взглядов чем Чингиз-хан
Be politically “to the right of Genghis Khan” (or “to the
right of Attila the Hun” or “to the right of Ivan the Terrible”)
means to be very far to the right. The three warrior kings did
not necessarily share the same “politically right” philosophy
of government. The phrase means that these famous people
are extreme, and a person to their right would be even more
extreme.
The phrase is often associated with Arizona Republican
Senator Barry Goldwater (1909–1998), but it is not clear
when he first used it. The “Ivan the Terrible” version is cited
in print from 1961, the “Genghis Khan” version from 1965,
and the “Attila the Hun” version from 1969. Genghis Khan
(1162–1227), the founder of the Mongol empire, is used here
as a supreme example of a repressive and tyrannical ruler. The
name of the early 5th century warlord Attila the Hun is
sometimes substituted for that of Genghis Khan in this
expression. So does the name of Ivan IV (1530–1584), the
first ruler of Russia to assume the title of tsar, who is also
known as Ivan the Terrible.

Speedy Gonzales – шустрый мышонок Гонзалес, персо-


наж американского мультфильма
Speedy Gonzales (also known as “Speedy”) is an animated
caricature of a mouse in the Warner Brothers “Looney Tunes”
and “Merrie Melodies” series of cartoons. He is portrayed as
“The Fastest Mouse in all Mexico” with his major traits being
the ability to run extremely fast and speaking with an
exaggerated Mexican accent. He usually wears an oversized

153
Sphinx’s riddle

yellow sombrero, white shirt and trousers, and a red kerchief.


To date there have been 46 cartoons made either starring or
featuring this character.

Sphinx’s riddle – (библ.) загадка сфинкса; очень трудная


загадка, проблема
In Greek mythology, the Sphinx is said to have guarded
the entrance to the Greek city of Thebes, and to have asked
a riddle of travelers to allow them passage. If the traveler
failed to solve the riddle, then the Sphinx killed them. And if
the traveler answered the riddle correctly, then the Sphinx
would destroy herself. The exact riddle asked by the Sphinx
was not specified by early tellers of the stories, and was not
standardized as the one given below until late in Greek
history. The riddle: What goes on four legs in the morning, on
two legs at noon, and on three legs in the evening? The Sphinx
strangled and devoured anyone unable to answer. Oedipus
solved the riddle by answering: Man – who crawls on all fours
as a baby, then walks on two feet as an adult, and then walks
with a cane in old age. Bested at last, the tale continues, the
Sphinx then threw herself from her high rock and died. Thus
Oedipus can be recognized as a threshold figure, helping
effect the transition between the old religious practices,
represented by the death of the Sphinx, and the rise of the
new, Olympian gods.

Spinning Jenny/jenny – (ист.) прядильная машина


«Дженни»
A device used in the textile industry, where Jenny is
possibly a corruption of engine. James Hargreaves was a
weaver living in Lancashire. It is claimed that one day his
daughter Jenny accidentally knocked over the family
spinning wheel. The spindle continued to revolve and it gave
Hargreaves the idea that a whole line of spindles could be
worked off one wheel. In 1764 Hargreaves built what became
known as the Spinning-Jenny. The machine used eight
spindles onto which the thread was spun from a
corresponding set of rovings. By turning a single wheel, the

154
(Carry out) St Bartholomew’s Day massacre

operator could now spin eight threads at once. Hargreaves


did not apply for a patent for his Spinning Jenny until 1770
and therefore others copied his ideas without paying him any
money. It is estimated that by the time James Hargreaves died
in 1778, over 20,000 Spinning-Jenny machines were being
used in Britain.

(Carry out) St Bartholomew’s Day massacre – Варфоломеев-


ская ночь; устроить Варфоломеевскую ночь/разнос/
выволочку кому-л.; отругать
In 1572 there was a group of assassinations, followed by a
wave of Roman Catholic mob violence, both directed against
the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the
French Wars of Religion. Instigated by Catherine de’ Medici,
the mother of King Charles IX, the massacre took place six
days after the wedding of the king’s sister Margaret to the
Protestant Henry III of Navarre (the future Henry IV of
France). This marriage was an occasion for which many of
the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots had gathered in
largely Catholic Paris. The massacre began on 23 August
1572 (the eve of the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle). The
king ordered the killing of a group of Huguenot leaders,
including Coligny, and the slaughter spread throughout Paris.
Lasting several weeks, the massacre expanded outward to
other urban centres and the countryside. Modern estimates
for the number of dead vary widely, from 5,000 to 30,000.
Though by no means unique, it was the worst of the century’s
religious massacres. Throughout Europe, it printed on
Protestant minds the
indelible conviction
that Catholicism was a
bloody and treacherous
religion.
St Bartholomew’s
Day massacre (1572–84)
by François Dubois

155
St Luke’s summer

St Luke’s summer – лето святого Луки, золотая осень;


бабье лето
St Luke’s Day is often at the centre of a spell of
particularly fine weather known as St Luke’s (Little)
Summer. It refers to a period of unseasonably warm weather
occurring around the time of St Luke’s feast day: October
18. The unexpected arrival of a St Luke’s Summer (or, as it
is also called Indian Summer) ups the already bitter-sweet
ante of autumn. St Luke’s Day is also known as Dog
Whipping Day, when all the stray dogs in the streets had to
be whipped out of town. Traditionally a day when girls
could have some insight into their future marriage
prospects. Before going to bed they must put on their faces
a mixture of spices, honey and vinegar, and once in bed they
must say the following rhyme:
St Luke, St Luke, be kind to me,
In dreams let me my true love see.
St Martin’s summer – лето святого Мартина, золотая
осень; бабье лето
In former times in Europe, “Indian summer” was called
Saint Martin’s Summer, referring to St Martin’s day,
November 11, when it was supposed to end. The phrase Saint
Martin’s Summer is still widely used in France, where Saint
Martin of Tours died on November 8, AD 397. His corpse
was claimed by people of two provinces. The latter pilfered
him and brought him on a boat by the river Loire to Tours
where he was and still is buried. Legend has it that the river
banks flowered as his corpse went by from Candes (now
called Candes-Saint-Martin) to Tours.

St Nicholas’ clerk (archaic) – рыцарь святого Николая;


вор, бандит с большой дороги
Thief, highwayman. In the Middle Ages robbers and thieves
always called themselves Knights or Clerks of St Nicholas.
St Nicholas of Myra was a patron saint of travelers.
An ambiguous term; a word susceptible of different
significations; equivoque on the word Nick.

156
Stand Sam

St Valentine’s Day – день святого Валентина (14 февраля,


день обмена любовными посланиями и т.д.)
Often simply Valentine’s Day, it is observed on February
14 each year. Today Valentine’s Day is celebrated in many
countries around the world, although it remains a working day
in all of them. All the modern romantic connotations were
added by poets. Modern Valentine’s Day symbols include the
heart-shaped outline, doves, and the figure of the winged
Cupid. Legend has it that Valentine was a priest who served
during the third century in Rome. There was an Emperor at
that time by the name of Claudius II. The Emperor decided
that single men made better soldiers than those that were
married. With this thought in mind he outlawed marriage for
young men in hopes of building a stronger military base.
Supposedly, Valentine decided this decree just wasn’t fair and
chose to marry young couples secretly. When Emperor
Claudius II found out about Valentine’s actions he had him
put to death. Another legend has it that Valentine was an
imprisoned man who fell in love with his jailor’s daughter.
Before he was put to death he sent the first “valentine” himself
when he wrote her a letter and signed it “Your Valentine”,
words still used on cards today. Perhaps we’ll never know the
true identity and story behind the man named St Valentine,
but February has been the month to celebrate love for a long
time, dating clear back to the Middle Ages.

Stand Sam – платить за всех (за угощение, особенно


вино); проставиться
Stand Sam is to pay for refreshment or drink, or indeed
anything. The term originated in the letters US on the
knapsacks of the US soldiers, standing for Uncle Sam.
Politicians are also responsible for the phrase. Before the
expenses of federal employees began to receive today’s close
scrutiny, it was common practice among high-level federal
workers to wine and dine the friends and relatives and to
make Uncle Sam stand (pay) for it by way of expense
accounts. For such abuse we got the expression standing
Sam.

157
Stanley (knife)

Stanley (knife) – (нож) Стэнли


One of the most popular types of workplace utility knife
consisting of a thick hollow metal handle with a short, very
sharp, replaceable blade inserted at one end. They are
designed to be lightweight and easy to carry and use. In
British, Australian and New Zealand English, along with
Dutch and Austrian German, the utility knife is known as
a Stanley knife. This combination has become such a
standing phrase that it is now
practically a generic noun. There
of course are similar “names” that
have become a kind of generic
name, e.g. a Cartier being a watch. This name is a
trademark named after Stanley Works, a manufacturer of
such knives. In Israel and Switzerland, these knives are
known as Japanese knives.

Stetsons hat – cтетсон, ковбойская шляпа; широкополая


фетровая шляпа
Stetsons are the brand of hat manufactured by the John
B. Stetson Company. Founded in 1865, John B. Stetson
Company began when the founder headed west and created
the original hat of the West, the “Boss of the Plains”. This
Western hat would become the cornerstone of Stetson’s hat
business and is still in production
today. Stetson eventually became
the world’s largest hat maker,
producing more than 3.3 million
hats a year in Philadelphia. In
addition to its Western and fashion
hats, Stetson is also known today
for its fragrance, apparel, footwear,
eyewear, belts, bourbon and a range of other products
evoking the historic American West. Stetson University and
Stetson University College of Law in Florida were named
after John B. Stetson in 1899 for his contributions to the
school.

158
Sweet William

Sweet Fanny Adams – «милашка Фанни Адамс»; ничего,


пустое место
Fanny Adams (1859–1867) was a young English girl
murdered by solicitor’s clerk Frederick Baker in Alton,
Hampshire. The murder of eight year-old Fanny Adams that
shocked and appalled the nation, still remains the most
vicious and barbaric crime ever perpetrated against a child in
British history. In 1869, soon after the famous murder case,
new rations of tinned mutton were introduced for British
seamen. They were unimpressed by it, and decided it must be
the butchered remains of Fanny Adams. So, the expression
sweet Fanny Adams has come, through British naval slang, to
mean “nothing at all”. It is often abbreviated in speech to
sweet FA, which is vulgarly understood to be a euphemism for
the taboo phrase fuck all.

Sweet William – «славный Вильям», турецкая гвоздика;


цветок королевского свадебного букета невесты
принца Уильяма, Кейт Миддлтон
In addition to traditional wedding flowers of hyacinth and
lily-of-the-valley, Kate Middleton’s wedding bouquet included
myrtle and sweet William; myrtle has been part of royal
wedding bouquets since Queen Victoria’s daughter carried it
in her wedding bouquet in 1858. In addition, the bride
apparently chose to add sweet
William to her bouquet in homage
to her new husband. Sweet William
is a herbaceous biennial or
perennial plant. The five-petaled
flowers of sweet William are
clustered at the top of the stem and
are fragrant; the wild plant has red
flowers with a white base. Sweet
William is native to southern
Europe but is also a popular British
garden flower. According to the official Royal Wedding 2011
website, Kate Middleton chose the flowers for her bridal
bouquet in part based on the meaning of each flower in the

159
Sword of Damocles

Victorian language of flowers. The Victorian language of


flowers allowed lovers to communicate messages to each other
through flowers instead of words. The following flower
meanings are given by the official Royal Wedding 2011 website:
• Sweet William – gallantry
• Lily-of-the-Valley – return of happiness
• Hyacinth – constancy of love
• Myrtle – love.
Sword of Damocles – (миф.) дамоклов меч; жизнь в по-
стоянном страхе
Damocles (literally: “Fame of the People”) is a figure
featured in a single moral anecdote commonly referred to
as the Sword of Damocles. The figure belongs properly to
legend rather than Greek myth. The Roman orator Cicero
tells the story of the Sword of Damocles in his “Tusculan
Disputations”, by which means it passed into the European
cultural mainstream. Damocles was an obsequious courtier
in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth-century
BC tyrant of Syracuse, Italy. Pandering to his king,
Damocles exclaimed that, as a great man of power and
authority surrounded by magnificence, Dionysius was truly
extremely fortunate. Dionysius then offered to switch places
with Damocles, so that he could taste that very fortune first
hand. Damocles quickly and eagerly accepted the King’s
proposal. He sat down in the king’s throne surrounded by
every luxury, but Dionysius arranged that a huge sword
should hang above the throne, held at the pommel only by
a single hair of a horse’s tail. Damocles finally begged the
tyrant that he be allowed to depart, because he no longer
wanted to be so fortunate. By doing that, Dionysius had
successfully conveyed a sense of the constant fear in which
the great man lives. Cicero uses this anecdote for reaching
the conclusion that virtue is sufficient for living a happy life.
Cicero asks: Does not Dionysius seem to have made it
sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person
over whom some fear always looms?

160
Tin Lizzie

T
Tail-end Charlie (Br inf) – «хвост Чарли»; замыкающий в
патрульной колонне; последний
Someone who is last in a competition, series or group of
people; a person or thing that brings up the rear in a group
or formation. Royal Air Force slang for a member of the crew
of a military aircraft who operates a gun from a compartment
at the rear: My daughter won’t be out of school yet – she’s
always a tail-end Charlie.

Take the Mickey/Mick (out of someone or something)(Br) –


дразнить, высмеивать кого-л.
If you take the Mickey, you tease or make fun of
someone. There are various forms of this: take/extract the
Mick/Mickey/Michael, although the take the Mickey version
is most often used in print. It is now more generally
accepted that the phrase came about as rhyming slang.
“Taking the piss” does play its part as the rhyming slang
refers to a (yet to be identified) character called Mickey
Bliss. So, “taking the piss” became taking the Mickey Bliss
and then just taking the Mickey: He is always taking the
mickey out of his little brother.

Thomas/Tom/Tommy Atkins (inf) – английский/британ-


ский солдат; типичный английский служака
Tommy Atkins, term for a common soldier in the British
Army. The first known Thomas Atkins was an English
politician during the reign of Elizabeth I. He was the Member
of Parliament for Gloucester from 1571 to 1593. A quite
common English forename and surname.

Tin Lizzie – «жестяная Лиззи», дешёвый автомобиль,


фордик, «жестянка»
An automobile that was produced by Henry Ford’s Ford
Motor Company from September 1908 to October 1927. It is
generally regarded as the first affordable automobile, the car

161
Tom and Dick

that opened travel to the common middle-class American;


some of this was because of Ford’s innovations, including
assembly line production instead of individual hand crafting.
The Ford Model T (Tin Lizzie) was named the world’s most
influential car of the 20th century in an international poll.
Henry Ford said of the vehicle:
“I will build a car for the great
multitude. It will be large
enough for the family, but
small enough for the individual
to run and care for. It will be
constructed of the best
materials, by the best men to
be hired, after the simplest designs that modern engineering
can devise. But it will be so low in price that no man making
a good salary will be unable to own one – and enjoy with his
family the blessing of hours of pleasure in God’s great open
spaces”. In the 1920s, the economic power and high
employment of the United States allowed Americans to spend
more extravagantly on entertainment. War veterans returned
home seeking relaxation and comfort, instead of returning to
their factory or agricultural duties. Watching movies and
listening to the newly invented radio became increasingly
popular during this period, which further encouraged the
desires of people for Hollywood style lives of indulgence and
ease. This extravagance was ignited by the introduction of a
new automobile, the Ford Model T. This automobile won the
approval of millions of Americans, who affectionately dubbed
it Tin Lizzie.

Tom and Dick (rhyming sl) – больной


Cockney Rhyming Slang, said instead of sick.

Tom and Jerry (Am) – популярные персонажи мультфиль-


мов; крепкий пунш (по имени двух действующих лиц
в книге П. Игена)
Tom and Jerry is a series of theatrical animated cartoon
films created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for

162
Tom/John/Jack Drum’s entertainment

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, centering on a never-ending


rivalry between a cat (Tom) and a mouse (Jerry) whose
chases and battles often involved comic violence (though
sometimes they become allies to defeat a “greater enemy”
such as a dog). Hanna and Barbera ultimately wrote and
directed 114 Tom and Jerry shorts at the MGM cartoon
studio in Hollywood between 1940 and 1957, when the
animation unit was closed. The original series is notable for
having won the Academy Award for Animated Short Film
seven times. A longtime television staple, Tom and Jerry has
a worldwide audience that consists of children, teenagers
and adults. Also, Tom and Jerry is a hot spiced rum cocktail
with eggs; a traditional Christmastime cocktail in the
United States, invented by sports writer Pierce Egan in the
1820s.

Tom/John Collins (Am) – «Том/Джон Коллинз», напиток из


содовой воды, джина, сахара, лимонного сока и льда
A Collins cocktail (named after a 19-th century London
bartender) is made from gin and soda water with sugar and
lemon/lime juice. First memorialized in writing in 1876 by
“the father of American mixology” Jerry Thomas, this drink
is typically served in a Collins glass over ice. In 1874, people
in New York, Pennsylvania, and elsewhere in the United
States would start a conversation with “Have you seen Tom
Collins?” After the listener predictably reacts by explaining
that they did not know a Tom Collins, the speaker would
assert that Tom Collins was talking about the listener to
others and that Tom Collins was “just around the corner”,
“in a [local] bar”, or somewhere else near. The conversation
about the nonexistent Tom Collins was a proven hoax of
exposure. (ср.: « А что вы читали Добермана Пинчера?»)

Tom/John/Jack Drum’s entertainment – развлечение Тома/


Джона/Джека Драмма; лечение цинги
There is an old phrase, a very old phrase, which speaks of
Tom Drum’s, or sometimes John Drum’s entertainment,
meaning thereby scurvy treatment (1825).

163
Tom, Dick and Harry

Tom, Dick and Harry – Том, Дик и Гарри; всякий, любой,


первый попавшийся, каждый встречный и попереч-
ный (см. Any/Every Tom, Dick and Harry, с. 12)
Anybody, any person regardless of specifics: Next time lock
the door! Any Tom, Dick and Harry could have walked in here
and stolen my money.

Tom-noddy/tomnoddy – простак, дурак


A full, a dunce, a noddy.

Tom Thumb – Мальчик-с-пальчик; карлик, лилипут;


(презр.) ничтожество, пигмей; карликовый (о расте-
ниях)
A character of English folklore. The History of Tom Thumb
was published in 1621, and has the distinction of being the first
fairy tale printed in English. Tom is no bigger than his father’s
thumb, and his adventures include being swallowed by a cow,
tangling with giants, and becoming a favorite of King Arthur.
Also, a dwarf variety of a cultivated flower or vegetable.

Tom Tidler’s / Tiddler’s Ground – территория Тома Тид-


лера; золотое дно (выражение происходит от назва-
ния старинной детской игры); неопределенный,
неуверенный, колеблющийся
An ancient children’s game in which one player, Tom
Tidler, stands on a heap of stones, gravel, etc. Other players
rush onto the heap, crying Here I am on Tom Tidler’s ground,
while Tom tries to capture the invaders or keep them off. Tom
Tiddler’s Ground is also used in modern English as a
euphemism for having an uncertain status, for example, I
asked her why her performance review was late and I could tell
she was on Tom Tiddler’s Ground.

Tom Tyler – Том Тайлер; любой, обыкновенный человек;


муж, находящийся под башмаком/каблуком/пятой у
жены
The anonymous comedy Tom Tyler and his Wife cannot
have been written later than the beginning of Elizabeth’s

164
Tricky Dick

reign, and probably goes back further. The play is in effect a


domestic drama of low life, showing how Tom suffers
tribulation at the hands of his shrewish wife, and how, even
when a friend has tamed her by drastic methods, he weakly
surrenders the fruits of the victory which has been won for
him. It has the idea that a man cannot escape his fate,
however unpleasant it may be. As Tom Tyler ruefully
exclaims:
If Fortune will it, I must fulfil it
If Destiny say it, I cannot denay it.

Tomfool – (сущ.) дурак, шут; (гл.) дурачиться, валять дурака


A foolish person; to fool about/around

Tom/John Long the carrier – человек, медлящий с достав-


кой чего-л. (ср.: Его только за смертью посылать)

Tommy (Br inf) – рядовой британской армии; помидор


A British soldier, usually a private; tomato

Tommy-rot/tommyrot (Br inf) – дикая чушь, вздор, неле-


пость
Nonsense, rubbish: Don’t believe a thing he says, he’s
talking absolute tommyrot!

Tricky Dick – «ловкий Дик», «пройдоха Дик»; прозвище


скандально известного американского президента
Ричарда Никсона
The nickname of a controversial USA president. Richard
Milhous Nixon (1913–1994) was the 37th President of the
United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president
to resign the office. Although Nixon initially escalated the
war in Vietnam, he subsequently ended US involvement in
1973. Nixon’s visit to the People’s Republic of China in 1972
opened diplomatic relations between the two nations, and he
initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with
the Soviet Union the same year. Among other things, he
initiated wars on cancer and drugs, imposed wage and price

165
Twelve labours of Hercules

controls, enforced desegregation of Southern schools and


established the Environmental Protection Agency. He was
reelected by a landslide in 1972. Nixon’s second term saw a
continuing series of revelations about the Watergate political
scandal that occurred as a result of the June 1972 break-in at
the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the
Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C. The scandal
escalated in spite of the Nixon administration’s attempted
cover-up of its involvement, costing Nixon much of his
political support. On August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face
of almost certain impeachment and removal from office.
Nixon remains a source of considerable interest among
historians and the public.

Twelve labours of Hercules – (миф.) двенадцать подвигов


Геракла; геркулесов труд; исключительно трудное
дело
The phrase refers to a work arduous, slow, and carried
forward under great difficulties and often in blind ignorance
of the forces released and of the results to be achieved. But
step by step the aspirant is led along the path of self-
knowledge. Heracles was the greatest of the Greek heroes,
whose name was later romanized as Hercules. Extraordinary
strength, courage, ingenuity, and sexual prowess were among
his characteristic attributes. Driven mad by Hera, Heracles
slew his own children. To expiate the crime, Heracles was
required to carry out ten labors set by his archenemy,
Eurystheus who had become king in Heracles’ place. If he
succeeded, he would be purified of his sin and, as myth says,
he would be granted immortality. Heracles accomplished
these tasks, but Eurystheus did not accept the cleansing of
the Augean stables because Heracles was going to accept pay
for the labor. Neither did he accept the killing of the
Lernaean Hydra as Heracles’ nephew had helped him burn
the stumps of the heads. Eurysteus set two more tasks, which
Heracles performed successfully, bringing the total number
of tasks up to twelve.

166
Uncle Tom

Typhoid Mary (Am inf) – «Тифозная Мэри», инфекцион-


ный больной, переносчик инфекции; чума, зараза (о
человеке)
Mary Mallon (1869–1938), better known as Typhoid
Mary, was the first person in the United States identified as
the first healthy typhoid carrier. She was presumed to have
infected some 51 people, three of whom died, over the course
of her career as a cook. She was forcibly isolated twice by
public health authorities and died after nearly three decades
altogether in isolation. Today, Typhoid Mary is a generic term
for anyone who, knowingly or not, spreads something
undesirable.

U
Uncle Sam (Am) – «дядя Сэм» (ироническое прозвище
США); шутливая расшифровка букв US (United States)
The government of the USA; the USA. The phrase is
apparently a humorous interpretation of the letters stamped
on army supply boxes of 1812, i.e. US. The War of 1812 was
a military conflict fought between the forces of the United
States of America and those of the British Empire.

Uncle Tom – «дядя Том», прозвище человека, заискиваю-


щего перед более сильным; персонаж романа Г. Бичер-
Стоу «Хижина дяди Тома»
A derogatory term for a person who perceives themselves
to be of low status, and is excessively subservient to
authority figures; particularly a black person who behaves
in a subservient manner to white people. The term comes
from the title character of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s 1852
novel “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. Critical and popular views of
both the character and the novel have shifted over time,
leading to a shift in the term’s use. The current sense of the
phrase is argumentative as the real Uncle Tom was a black
man born into slavery who gave his life to protect other

167
(Old) Uncle Tom Cobley/Cobleigh and all

slaves. When his story was turned into a movie, the writers
re-worked the script making Uncle Tom’s character the
opposite; a slave who was loyal to his master. Unfortunately,
this has become the most commonly known image of Uncle
Tom. Because of the film, the term “Uncle Tom” has
become synonymous with “sellout”, degrading the real
Uncle Tom.

(Old) Uncle Tom Cobley/Cobleigh and all – дядюшка Том


Кобли и все остальные; и все прочие; и так далее; и
примкнувшие к ним; «и т.д. и т.п.»
The phrase is used in British English as a humorous or
whimsical way of saying et al. (and others), often to express
exasperation at the large number of people in a list. It comes
from a Devon folk song “Widdicombe Fair”. Its chorus ends
with a long list of people: Bill Brewer, Jan Stewer, Peter
Gurney, Peter Davy, Dan’l Whiddon, Harry Hawke, Old Uncle
Tom Cobley and all. It came last on the long list of men in this
English song (c. 1800).

Union Jack (Br inf) – «Юнион Джек» (государственный


флаг Великобритании)
The Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack, is the flag
of the United Kingdom. It retains an official or semi-official
status in some Commonwealth Realms; for example, it is
known as the Royal Union Flag in Canada. It is also used as
an official flag in some of the smaller British overseas
territories. The current design dates from the Union of Great
Britain and Ireland in 1801.

Uriah Heep – Юрая Хип (персонаж романа Ч. Диккенса


«Дэвид Копперфилд»); лицемер, ханжа, соглашатель;
знаменитая одноименная английская рок-группа
One of the best-known in literature, Uriah Heep is a
fictional character created by Charles Dickens in his novel
“David Copperfield” (1850). He is notable for his cloying
humility, obsequiousness, and insincerity, making frequent
references to his own “humbleness”. His name has become

168
Vandyke collar

synonymous with being a “yes” man. Also, Uriah Heep are


an English rock band formed in London in 1969, regarded as
one of the seminal hard rock acts of the early 1970s. Uriah
Heep’s audience declined by the 1980s, though the band
maintains a significant following and performs at arena-sized
venues in the Balkans, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands,
Russia and Scandinavia. They have sold over 30 million
albums worldwide.

V
Van Dyke/Van Dyck/Vandyck beard – борода Ван Дейка; бо-
родка клинышком
A style of facial hair named after 17th-century Flemish
painter Anthony van Dyck (Dutch pronunciation: xînå
DÇcfâz. A Van Dyke specifically consists of any growth of both
a moustache and goatee with all hair on the cheeks shaven.
The style was worn by Van Dyck himself, and by many of the
sitters for his portraits, including King Charles I of England.
The style is sometimes called a “Charlie” after the King,
who was painted by Van Dyck with this type of beard. This
style of beard was popular in Europe in the 17th century. It
died out in Britain with the Restoration, when French styles
and wigs became popular. It became popular in the United
States in the 19th century. A Chicago Chronicle columnist
condemned this style, along with the goatee, as indicative of
a man “who was selfish, sinister, and pompous as a
peacock.” It had a revival in the 19th century and was worn
by several well-known figures. Vladimir Lenin also wore a
Van Dyke.

Vandyke collar – воротник Ван Дейка; большой кружев-


ной или полотняный воротник с фестонами, зубцами
A large collar of linen or lace having a deeply indented or
scalloped edge. After Sir Anthony Van Dyke.

169
Vicar of Bray

Vicar of Bray xîfâèêz (Br) – ренегат, приспособленец, бес-


принципная личность (по имени викария XVII века,
четыре раза менявшего религию)
A Vicar of Bray is a person who changes their allegiances
and views in accordance with what is suitable at the time to
stay popular with people above them. A vicar (Simon Aleyn)
appointed to the parish of Bray in Berkshire during Henry
VIII’s reign who changed his faith to Catholic when Mary I
was on the throne and back to Protestant when Elizabeth I
succeeded and so retained his living. Also, a satirical 18th
century ballad, The Vicar of Bray, recounts the career of a
vicar of Bray, and his contortions of principle in order to
retain his ecclesiastic office despite the changes through the
course of several monarchs from Charles II to George I, and
restoration of Charles II.

W
(Hookey) Walker! – Врёшь! Не может быть! Как бы не так!
Вы серьёзно? Да пошёл ты!
The full expression was originally Hookey Walker, which
starts to appear in the early 19th century. It was an
exclamation of disbelief or of an opinion that something was
all humbug. There are several stories about where it came
from. One of them (C. Brewer “Dictionary of Phrase and
Fable”, 1894) says that John Walker was an out-door clerk
and was noted for his eagle nose, which gained him the
nickname of Old Hookey. Walker’s duty was to keep the
workmen to their work, or report them to the principals. Of
course, it was the interest of employees to throw discredit on
Walker’s reports, and the poor man was so badgered and
ridiculed that he had to quit, but Hookey Walker still means
a tale not to be trusted.
Also, Walker is a dismissive term, a colloquialism
meaning something like get lost, take a hike or yeah, rright!
Charles MacKay, a Scottish poet, journalist, and song writer,

170
War of Jenkins’ Ear

wrote this about Hookey Walker in 1841: “In the course of


time the latter word alone became the favourite, and was
uttered with a peculiar drawl upon the first syllable, and a
sharp turn upon the last. If a lively servant girl was
importuned for a kiss by a fellow she did not care about, she
cocked her little nose, and cried ‘Walker!’ If a dustman asked
his friend for the loan of a shilling, and his friend was either
unable or unwilling to accommodate him, the probable
answer he would receive was ‘Walker!’”

Walter Mitty (derog) – Уолтер Митти; человек, предаю-


щийся героическим мечтам и вводящий людей в за-
блуждение относительно своей карьеры
A person who makes up stories to make his life seem more
exciting than it really is; the main character of a short story
by James Thurber “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (1939).
The name of the main character has entered the English
language denoting an ineffectual person who spends more
time in heroic daydreams than paying attention to the real
world, or more seriously, one who intentionally attempts to
mislead or convince others that he is something that he is not.
In military circles, this usually refers to people who try to fake
an impressive career: I had come to the conclusion that he was
a Walter Mitty whose accounts of his past history were almost
entirely imaginary.

Waltz/Walk Matilda (Austr, New Zeal inf) – навьючить на


себя свою поклажу
Carry a bundle of your personal possessions/belongings
as you travel the roads. Matilda is an informal, archaic word
for a bushman’s bundle/swag. Originates in late 19th century
from the given name Matilda. The expression was famously
used by A. B. Paterson in his 1903 song “Waltzing Matilda”.

War of Jenkins’ Ear – война из-за уха Дженкинса; разду-


тый конфликт; делать из мухи слона
A conflict between Great Britain and Spain that lasted
from 1739 to 1748, with major operations largely ended by

171
Wear Joseph’s coat

1742. Its unusual name, coined in 1858 by Thomas Carlyle


(1795–1881), a Scottish writer, essayist, historian and
teacher, relates to Robert Jenkins, captain of a British
merchant ship, who exhibited his severed ear in Parliament
following the boarding of his vessel by Spanish coast guards
in 1731. This affair and a number of similar incidents sparked
a war against the Spanish Empire.

Wear Joseph’s coat – (библ.) не поддаваться искушению,


устоять перед соблазном
The phrasal meaning is to resist temptation. Joseph’s
father Jacob favored him and gave Joseph the coat as a gift;
as a result, he was envied by his brothers, who saw the
special coat as an indication that Joseph would assume
family leadership. His brothers’ suspicion grew when
Joseph told them of his two dreams (Genesis 37:11) in
which all the brothers bowed down to him. The narrative
tells that his brothers plotted against him when he was
seventeen, and would have killed him had not the eldest
brother interposed. He persuaded them instead to throw
Joseph into a pit and secretly planned to rescue him later.
However, while he was absent, the others planned and sold
him to a company of merchants for 20 pieces of silver. The
brothers then dipped Joseph’s coat in goat blood and
showed it to their father, saying that Joseph had been torn
apart by wild beasts.

Weary Willie – неэнергичный, апатичный, вялый, хилый,


слабосильный человек; тот, кто не любит работу или
избегает её
One who avoids or dislikes work; Willie, nickname for
William: Weary Willie may say that he hates work, and quite
willing to take less.

Wellington boots // wellingtons – сапоги Веллингтона, вы-


сокие сапоги; резиновые сапожки (женские, детские)
The Wellington boots, also known as rubber-boots,
wellies, wellingtons, topboots, billy-boots, rainboots, etc.

172
When Queen Anne was alive

are a type of boot based upon leather Hessian boots. They


were worn and popularized by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke
of Wellington. This novel Wellington boot became a staple
of hunting and outdoor wear for the
British aristocracy in the early 19th
century.
The Duke of Wellington instructed
his shoemaker to modify the 18th-
century Hessian boot. The boot was
dubbed “the Wellington” and the
name has stuck in British English
language ever since.

Portrait of Duke of Wellington (1829),


by George Dawe

When Adam delved (and Eve span, who was then the gentle-
man?) – «Когда Адам пахал и пряла Ева, где родослов-
ное стояло древо?» (один из лозунгов крестьянской
войны 1381 года, приписываемый сподвижнику Уота
Тайлера монаху Джону Боллу). В современном языке
говорится иронически человеку, кичащемуся своей
родословной.
This rhyme is one of the oldest known English rhymes
and can be dated to the English Peasant Revolt of 1381
headed by Walter “Wat” Tyler. The peasants realized that
they were now important in society. This seemingly
innocent rhyme was uttered and muttered by the peasants
of the land. Like many political rhymes this was easy to
remember and makes use of the simple riddle. The seeds of
an English Revolution had been sown. The peasants felt
oppressed and called for the abolition of feudal obligations
– serfdom. They wanted freedom from servitude, controlled
wages, and unfair taxes.

When Queen Anne was alive – при королеве Анне (ср.: при
царе Горохе); во время оно (употребляется как реак-

173
Wild Bill

ция на запоздавшую новость; шекспировское выра-


жение из комедии «Виндзорские проказницы»)
W. Shakespeare used the phrase when Queen Anne was
alive in “the Merry Wives of Windsor”.

Wild Bill – «Дикий Билл», популярный


герой американского Дикого Запада
James Butler Hickok (1837–1876),
better known as Wild Bill Hickok, was a folk
hero of the American Old West. His skills as
a gunfighter and scout, along with his
reputation as a lawman, provided the basis
for his fame, although some of his exploits
are fictionalized. Hickok came to the West
as a stagecoach driver, then became a
lawman in the frontier territories of Kansas Wild Bill Hickok
in 1869
and Nebraska. He fought for the
Union Army during the American
Civil War, and gained publicity after
the war as a scout, marksman, actor,
and professional gambler. Between his
law-enforcement duties and
gambling, which easily overlapped,
Hickok was involved in several notable
shootouts. He was shot and killed
while playing poker in the Number
Ten Saloon in Deadwood, Dakota Wild Bill’s present-day
Territory (now South Dakota). grave site monument.

William Crichton – Уильям Кричтон, символ веры в спра-


ведливость и естественный отбор лидеров; достойный
восхищения
The butler in James M. Barrie’s “The Admirable
Crichton” (1902), he believes in the justice of the social order
and the natural selection of leaders. His own abilities make
him leader of a group of upper-class people stranded on an
island. “The Admirable Crichton” is a 1957 British comedy
film based on J. M. Barrie’s stage comedy of the same name.

174
Yankee Doodle

Barrie’s satirical jabs at class consciousness were less relevant


in 1957; thus, “The Admirable Crichton” concentrates on
the story’s farcical and romantic elements.

Willy-boy (Am sl) – «девчонка» (о мальчике), маменькин


сынок
The slang expression willie-boy, meaning sissy.

(As) Wise as Solomon – мудрый как царь Соломон


A very wise person. Solomon, a King of Israel from
960 BC to 922 BC and according to the Talmud one of the
48 prophets, is identified as the son of David. The Hebrew
Bible credits Solomon as the builder of the First Temple in
Jerusalem and many splendid palaces, and portrays him as
great in wisdom, wealth, and power. Solomon is the subject
of many other later references and legends. In the Koran,
he is a Prophet, known as Suleiman, the Magnificent. The
wisdom of Solomon is proverbial: If you are in trouble, get
Chris to advise you. He’s as wise as Solomon.

X
Xanthippe xòñåDqféfz / Xantippe xòñåDíféfz – Ксантиппа,
жена Сократа; сварливая жена/женщина
The wife of Socrates (c. 469 BC – 399 BC), proverbial as
a scolding, shrewish and quarrelsome woman; any nagging,
peevish, or irritable woman.

Y
Yankee Doodle – «Янки Дудл» (песня времён Войны за не-
зависимость); американец
A well-known Anglo-American song, the origin of which
dates back to the Seven Years’ War (the French and Indian

175
Yellow Jack

War, 1756–1763). It is often sung patriotically in the United


States today and is the state anthem of Connecticut. The first
verse and refrain, as often sung today, runs:
Yankee Doodle went to town,
Riding on a pony;
He stuck a feather in his hat,
And called it macaroni.
Traditions place its origin in a pre-Revolutionary War
song originally sung by British military officers to mock the
disheveled, disorganized colonial Yankees with whom they
served in the French and Indian War. As a term Doodle first
appeared in the early 17th century, and is thought to derive
from the Low German dudel or dödel, meaning “fool” or
“simpleton”. The Macaroni wig was an extreme fashion in
the 1770s and became contemporary slang for foppishness.

Yellow Jack (Am sl) – (мед.) жёлтая лихорадка


Slang term for Yellow fever. An acute viral hemorrhagic
disease. The yellow fever virus is transmitted by the bite of
female mosquitoes (the yellow fever mosquito), and is found
in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and
Africa, but not in Asia. The origin of the disease is most likely
to be Africa, from where it was introduced to South America
through the slave trade in the 16th century. Since the 17th
century, several major epidemics of the disease have been
recorded in the Americas, Africa and Europe. In the 19th
century, yellow fever was deemed one of the most dangerous
infectious diseases. In some patients, liver damage with
jaundice (a yellow color in the skin, giving the name of the
disease) can occur and lead to death.

Yeti – Йети, «снежный человек»


The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like cryptid
said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet.
The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the
people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history
and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of

176
Yeti

Western popular culture in the 19th century. The scientific


community generally regards the Yeti as a legend, given the
lack of conclusive evidence, yet it remains one of the most
famous creatures of crypto-zoology. The Yeti may be
considered a sort of parallel to the Bigfoot of North America.
The word Yeti is derived from Tibetan for bear.
Selected Bibliography
1. Ayto J. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford University
Press, 2010.
2. Dictionary of Phrase & Fable. London: Wordsworth Reference, 2006.
3. Gulland D., Hinds-Howell D. The Penguin Dictionary of English
Idioms. London: The Penguin Dictionary of English Idioms, 2001.
4. Kirkpatrick B. Book of Common Phrases. Geddes & Grosset, 2004.
5. Pocket Idioms Dictionary: Longman, 2001.
6. Интернет-ресурсы.
7. Кунин А.В. Англо-русский фразеологический словарь. М.:
1967.

List of Illustration Sites


1. www.wikimedia.org
2. www.xploreandxpress.blogspot.com
3. www.about.com
4. www.theatlantic.com
5. www.smithsnewentauctions.co.uk
6. www.vistetedenovia.es
7. www.navsource.org
8. www.radikal.ru
9. www.bbc.co.uk
10. www.vejatv.com
11. www.dustymusic.com
12. www.etsy.com
13. www.deguisement-carnaval.net
14. www.fotocommunity.de
15. www.oldlawnmowerclub.co.uk
16. www.flickriver.com
17. www.thewhiskyexchange.com
18. www.novascotia.ca
19. www.geolocation.ws
20. www.richmondmarketing.com
21. www.allensboots.com
22. www.usmagazine.com
23. www.classicandsportscar.com
List of Idioms
A
Aaron’s rod 6
Abelard and Heloise 6
According to Cocker 7
According to Hoyle 7
Achilles’ heel 7
Adam style 8
Adam’s ale/wine 8
Adam’s apple 9
Adam’s rib 9
Aladdin’s lamp 9
Alexandrian solution 41
Alice band 9
Alice in Wonderland 10
All my eye and Betty Martin 10
All Sir Garnet 10
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy 11
Alnaschar/Al-Naschar dream 11
Andromeda nebula 12
Anna Kournikova 12
Annie Oakley 12
Another Richmond in the field 13
Any Tom, Dick or Harry 13
Appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober 13
Applejack 14
Archimedes’ Law/Principle 14
Around Robin Hood’s barn 14
As game as Ned Kelly 15
As old as Methuselah 15
As tight as Dick’s hatband 15
Ask Paxton 15
Astonish the Browns 16
Augean stables 16
Augustan Age 17
Aunt Jemima/Jane/Mary/Sally/ Thomasina 17
Aunt Sally 17
Average Joe 18

179
List of Idioms

B
Babbittry 18
Bacchus has drowned more men than Neptune 18
Baedeker 19
Barbie Doll 19
Barkis is willing 19
Barmecide feast 19
Beau Brummell 20
Bed of Procrustes 20
Becky Sharp 21
Before you can/could say Jack Robinson 21
Bend the bow of Ulysses 22
Benjamin of the family 22
Benjamin’s portion/mess 22
Bertie Wooster 23
Bess o’ Bedlam 23
Betty lamp 24
Between Scylla and Charybdis 24
Big Ben 25
Big Bertha 25
(The) Big Dipper 36
Big John 26
Bill Jim 26
Bird of Jove 26
Bird of Juno 26
Bird of Minerva 26
Bismarck herring 26
Black-eyed Susan 27
Black Jack 27
Black Maria 27
Blind Tom 27
Bloody Mary 28
Bobbsey twins 28
Bob’s your uncle 29
Bow down in the house of Rimmon 29
Box and Cox 29
Brand of Cain 29
Break Priscian’s head 30
Brother Jonathan 30
Brown Bess 31
Brown, Jones and Robinson 31
Buckley’s chance 31
Buggins’ turn 32

180
List of Idioms

Burden of Sisyphus 32
Buridan’s ass 32
Busy Lizzy 33
By Jove/George 33
By the Lord Harry! 34

C
Caesar’s wife must be above suspicion 34
Calamity Jane 34
Cask of Danaides 35
Cassandra warnings 35
Catch Jesse 36
Charles’s Wain 36
Charlie 37
Cheap Jack/John 37
Cheapjack/cheapjohn 37
Checkpoint Charlie // Checkpoint C 37
Chippendale (feet) 37
Cleopatra’s needle 38
Clever Dick 38, 152
Coal-oil Johnny 38
Colonel Blimp 39
Cordelia’s gift 39
Cracker Jack/jack // crackajack 39
Crêpe Suzette 40
Cup of Joe 41
Curse of Cain 29
Cut the Gordian knot 41

D
Daniel come to judgment 42
Darby and Joan 42
David and Jonathan 43
Davey/Davy Jones’s locker 43
Dead as Julius Caesar 44
Dear John letter 44
Dine with Duke Humphrey 44
Dirty Dick’s 45
Do a Lord Lucan 46
Do a Melba 46
Doctor Fell 46
Dolly Varden 47
Don Juan 47

181
List of Idioms

Don Quixote 47
Dorian Gray 48
Dorothy/Dolly bag 48
Double jack // doublejack 49
Doubting/A very Thomas 49
Douglas-fir 49
Drive like Jehu 50
Dryasdust 50
Duke of Exeter’s Daughter 50
Dumb Dora 51

E
Eisenhower jacket 52
“Et tu, Brute?” 52
Even Stephen/Steven/Stevens 53
Every man jack (of us/them) 53
Every Tom, Dick and Harry 53

F
Fabian policy/tactics 54
Feast of Lucullus 54
Florence Nightingale 54
Follow somebody like St Anthony’s pig 55
For Pete’s sake // For the love of Pete/Mike 55
Frankenstein’s monster 55
Freudian slip 56
Friend of Dorothy 56
From John o’Groats to Land’s End // From Land’s End
to John o’Groats 57
Full Monty 57
(Be) Full of the Old Nick 58

G
Gallup poll/polling 59
Gerrymander 59
Get a Charlie horse 60
Gibson Girl 60
Girl Friday 61
Give Old Harry/Harrington 132
Give somebody Jesse/jessie 61
GI Jane 61
GI Joe 61
Gladstone bag 62

182
List of Idioms

Go/Gone for a Burton/burton 62


(Be) Going Jesse 63
Good Jack makes a good Jill 63
Gordian knot 63
Gordon Bennett 63
Granny Smith 64
Great Caesar (’s Ghost)! 64
Great Godfrey! 64
Great Scot(t)! 65
Greenwell’s glory 65
Grow like Topsy 65
Guinness 65
Guinness World Records 66

H
“Hamlet” with Hamlet left out/without the Prince of Denmark 66
Handy Andy 67
Happy as Larry 67
Have a Charlie horse 60
Heath Robinson 68
Hector 69
Hemingway Solution 69
Herculean Labour(s) 69
Hercules’ Pillars 70
Hillbilly // Hill Jack // hilljack 70
Hippocratic oath 71
Hit the jackpot 83
Hobson’s choice 71
Holy Joe 72
Holy Moses 72
Home, James (home, and don’t spare the horses)! 72
Homeric laughter 72
Homer sometimes nods 73
Honest Abe 73
Honest Injun 74
Hooverville 74
House that Jack built 74

I
I’m all right, Jack 75
If the mountain will not come to Mahomet, Mahomet must go to the
mountain 75
In a Pickwickian sense 76

183
List of Idioms

In like Flynn 77
(Be) In the arms of Morpheus 77
Is Saul also among the prophets? 77
J
Jack and John 78
Jack and Jill/Gill 80
Jack around 81
Jack is no judge of Jill’s beauty // If Jack is in love, he’s no judge of Jill’s
beauty 81
Jack-leg/Jackleg (lawyer, electrician, etc.) 81
Jack of all trades // Jack-of-all-trades 81
Jack of all trades but/and/is master of none 82
Jack-in-office 82
Jack-in-the-box 82
Jackass 83
Jackboot 83
(A) Jackdaw in peacock’s feathers 83
Jackpot 83
Jackrabbit start 84
Jackroller 84
Jack Frost (who paints windows) 84
Jack-o’-lantern 84
Jack Tar 85
Jack the Lad 85
Jane Doe 85
Janus-faced 86
Jeez/Geez Louise! 86
Jeeves 86
Jekyll and Hyde 87
Jenny 87
Jeremiah 87
Jeroboam 87
Jerry 88
Jerry-built/jerry-building 88
Jesus boots/shoes 88
Jim Crow 88
Jim-dandy 89
Jingling Johnny 89
Job’s comforter 90
Joe Bloggs 90
Joe Blow // Joe Doakes 90
Joe College 90
Joe Schmo(e) 90

184
List of Idioms

Joe Sixpack 90
Joe Zilch/Storch 91
John 91
John-a-dreams 91
John Barleycorn 91
John Bull 92
John Doe (and Richard Roe) 92
John/Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon 92
John Hancock 93
John Henry 93
John Q. Public / John Q. Citizen 93
Johnny Appleseed 94
Johnny-come-lately 94
Johnny on the spot // Johnny-on-the-spot 95
Johnny One Note // Johnny one-note 95
Jolly Roger 95
Jonah 96
Judas kiss 96
Jumping Judas! 96

K
Katy, bar the door 97
Keep up with the Joneses 97
King Charles’s head 98

L
Labor of Sisyphus 32
Lady Bountiful 98
Lady Bracknell 98
Lady Luck 99
Lady/Lord Muck 99
Laurence bids wages 99
Lazy Susan 99
Let George do it 100
Let her go, Gallagher! 100
Levis/Levi’s 101
Little Mary 101
Live/Lead the life of Riley 102
Lloyd’s Coffee House on Lombard Street 102
Long Eliza // long-eliza 103
Long johns 103
Long Tom 103
Lot’s wife 103
Lynch Law // Lynching 104

185
List of Idioms

M
Mae West 104
Maggie Ann 105
Make one’s jack 105
Man Friday 105
Mao jacket 105
Mark Tapley 105
Mark of Cain 29
Marquis of Queensberry rules 106
Mary Jane 106
Mason jar 106
Maverick 107
McCormick reaper 107
McDonald’s 107
Meek as Moses 108
Merry Andrew 108
Mickey/Mike (Michael)/mick 109
Mickey Finn 109
Mickey Mouse 109
Midas touch 110
Miranda rights/warning 111
Miss Molly // Miss Nancy 111
Mister/Mr Right // Miss/Ms Right 111
Molly Coddle 111
Molotov cocktail 112
Morton’s Fork 112
Mother Bunch 113
Mother Hubbard 113
Mr Big 114
Mr Clean 115
Mr Nice Guy 115
Mrs Grundy 115
Mrs Jellyby 115
Mrs Mopp 116
Murphy’s Law 116

N
Nancy boy 116
Nervous Nellie/Nelly 116
Nessus’ shirt 148
Nice Nelly/Nellie 117
Nobel Prize 117
No more Mr Nice Guy 118

186
List of Idioms

No way, Jose! 118


Noah’s ark 118
Nosy/Nosey Parker 119
Not know Jack about something 119
Not know someone from Adam 119

O
Occam’s/Ockham’s razor 120
Old Abe 73
(As) Old as Adam 120
Old Bill 121
Old Grog 121
Old Harry 121
Old Tom 121
On one’s Jack Jones / jack jones 122
On Shank’s mare 122
Ordinary Joe 18
Oscar 123
Out-Herod Herod 123

P
Painted Jezebel 124
Pandora’s box 125
Paparazzi 125
Pareto’s Rule/Principle // 80/20 rule 126
Parkinson’s Law 127
Patience of Job 127
Paul Pry 128
Peeping Tom 128
Peter Principle 129
Peter’s needle 130
Peter’s penny 131
Pistol Pete 131
Plain Jane/jane 131
Platonic love 132
Play hell and Tommy 132
Play Old Harry (with) 132
Play the Jack with somebody 133
(As) Pleased as Punch 133
Pope Joan 133
Potemkin/Potyomkin villages 134
Prince Albert 134
Procrustean bed 20

187
List of Idioms

Prometheus fire 135


Proper Charlie 136
Pullman car 136
Pyrrhic victory 137

Q
Queen Anne is dead! 138
Queensbury rules 106

R
Raise Cain/Ned/Jack 138
Real McCoy 138
Regular Joe 18
Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s 139
Rich as Croesus 140
Richard is himself again 140
Richard Roe 140
Rip van Winkle 141
Rob Peter to pay Paul 141
Rob Roy 142
Robin Goodfellow 143
Rogerian argument 143
Roland for an Oliver 144
Rube Goldberg 144

S
Sally Lunn 145
Sam Browne belt 145
Santa Claus 146
Scavenger’s Daughter 146
Schooner Jenny 147
Scrooge 147
Sham Abraham/Abram 147
Sheila’s Maid 148
Shirt/Tunic of Nessus 148
Simon Legree 148
(Real) Simon Pure // simon-pure 148
Simple Simon 149
Since Adam was a boy 150
Singer (sewing machine) 150
Slip someone a Mickey Finn 151
Sloppy Joe 151
Smart Alec(k) 152

188
List of Idioms

Socratic irony 152


Sod’s Law 152
Somewhere to the right of Genghis Khan 153
Speedy Gonzales 153
Sphinx’s riddle 154
Spinning Jenny/jenny 154
(Carry out) St Bartholomew’s Day massacre 155
St Luke’s summer 156
St Martin’s summer 156
St Nicholas’ clerk 156
St Valentine’s Day 157
Stand Sam 157
Stanley (knife) 158
Stetsons hat 158
Sweet Fanny Adams 159
Sweet William 159
Sword of Damocles 160

T
Tail-end Charlie 161
Take the Mickey/Mick (out of someone or something) 161
Thomas/Tom/Tommy Atkins 161
Tin Lizzie 161
Tom and Dick 162
Tom and Jerry 162
Tom/John Collins 163
Tom/John/Jack Drum’s entertainment 163
Tom, Dick and Harry 164
Tom-noddy/tomnoddy 164
Tom Thumb 164
Tom Tidler’s / Tiddler’s Ground 164
Tom Tyler 164
Tomfool 165
Tom/John Long the carrier 165
Tommy 165
Tommy-rot/tommyrot 165
Tricky Dick 165
Twelve labours of Hercules 166
Typhoid Mary 167

U
Uncle Frost 84
Uncle Sam 167

189
List of Idioms

Uncle Tom 167


(Old) Uncle Tom Cobley/Cobleigh and all 168
Union Jack 168
Uriah Heep 168

V
Van Dyke/Van Dyck/Vandyck beard 169
Vandyke collar 169
Vicar of Bray 170

W
(Hookey) Walker! 170
Walter Mitty 171
Waltz/Walk Matilda 171
War of Jenkins’ Ear 171
Wear Joseph’s coat 172
Weary Willie 172
Wellington boots // wellingtons 172
When Adam delved (and Eve span, who was then the gentleman?) 173
When Queen Anne was alive 173
Wild Bill 174
William Crichton 174
Willy-boy 175
(As) Wise as Solomon 175

X
Xanthippe 175

Y
Yankee Doodle 175
Yellow Jack 176
Yeti 176
Шитова Лариса Феликсовна

PROPER NAME IDIOMS


and Their Origins
СЛОВАРЬ ИМЕННЫХ ИДИОМ

Художественный редактор А. А. Неклюдова


Корректор Е. Г. Шабалова
Компьютерная верстка А. Б. Ткаченко

Подписано в печать 21.01.2013. Формат 84x108/32.


Гарнитура Times. Печать офсетная. Бумага офсетная.
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Издательство «Антология»
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тел.: (812) 328-14-41
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Отпечатано по технологии CtP,


в ООО «Ленинградское издательство»
194044, Санкт-Петербург, ул. Менделеевская, д. 9.
Телефон / факс: (812) 495-56-10
Издательство «Антология» представляет
Шитова Л. Ф. Digital Idioms
Числительные в идиомах и устойчивых
словосочетаниях на самом деле лишь повод
для того, чтобы больше узнать об английском
языке, истории, культуре и традициях стран,
говорящих на нём.
Каждая статья состоит из цифровой идио-
мы, её эквивалента или перевода на русский
язык, истории возникновения выражения и
примера, иллюстрирующего идиому.

Шитова Л. Ф. 350 Idioms with Their Origin


Каждому английскому выражению соот-
ветствует:
• Адекватный русский эквивалент или сво-
бодный пояснительный перевод.
• Образное выражение проиллюстрировано
примером его употребления в речи.
• Подробно описано значение и происхож-
дение каждой единицы.
• Помещенные в книге рисунки подчер-
кивают пародоксальность ситуации.

Шитова Л. Ф.
Carry Coals to Newcastle. 350 Geographical Idioms and More
Идиомы и другие устойчивые словосоче-
тания разбиты на 4 группы, объединяющие:
I – реки, озера, моря, океаны, острова и горы;
II – улицы, города, страны и континенты;
III – стороны света; IV – языки и националь-
ности.
Знакомство с представленными идиомами
поможет расширить географические, истори-
ческие, этимологические и фразеологические
представления читателей.

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