worth one's salt




You might think of salt as nothing more than the inexpensive stuff that tastes good sprinkled on French fries and popcorn, but in fact it’s far more than just a seasoning and has a long history as a highly prized substance. Today, there are reportedly more than 14,000 known uses for salt. Not only does the human body need it to function properly, but salt also is utilized for everything from producing chemicals to deicing roads.

Before the days of artificial refrigeration, the main method for preserving food was to treat it with salt. In this way, salt came to represent power; without it, armies couldn’t travel great distances and explorers couldn’t sail to new lands because their provisions would spoil. Throughout the ages, a variety of cultures also used this mineral in ceremonies and religious rituals. For many centuries, until salt deposits were discovered throughout the world and extraction methods improved, salt was scarce, which made it more valuable.

In some ancient societies, roads and cities developed as a result of the salt trade.

The expression to be worth one’s salt, which means you’re competent and deserve what you’re earning, is most often said to have its roots in ancient Rome, where soldiers were sometimes paid in salt or given an allowance to purchase it. The word salary is derived from the Latin “salarium,” which originally referred to a soldier’s allowance to buy salt.
(Elizabeth Nix. Where did the expression “worth one’s salt” come from? Ask History. October 15, 2014.)

そして、"worth one"s salt"という表現もまた、「給料に見合うだけの〜」という意味合いであり、ここにも塩とお給料の関連を見てとることができます。


take something with a grain of salt




The eclipse is just one week away, and we are at the point where forecast models can start piecing together the general weather pattern for Aug. 21. However, not until about three to five days before the eclipse — or even later — will regional details start to come into focus. So we still must paint the cloudiness outlook with very broad strokes. Continue to take it with a grain of salt, and we would not recommend altering plans based on it.
(Total solar eclipse weather forecast as of Aug. 14. The Washington Post. August 14, 2017.)

アメリカでは来週21日に皆既日食(total solar eclipse)が観測できるらしいですね。というわけで、来週にかけての天気予報が天文ファンならずとも気になるのですが、ワシントンポスト紙の記事では雲がかかる地域の予想を発表しています。

"Take something with a grain of salt"という成句が使われているのですが、これは、

If you say that a piece of information should be taken with a pinch of salt, you mean that it should not be relied on, because it may not be accurate or true.
(Collins Cobuild Dictionary of Idioms)




iPhoneを使った不遜な・・・ ー flash


There’s a new iPhone craze on the subway, and it’s not the latest Candy Crush update.

New York women have discovered that creepy men are using the iPhone AirDrop app to send them photos of their privates while on the same train.

Since more straphangers using the MTA are carrying advanced iPhones and awareness of the AirDrop app has increased, local straphangers have started noticing a troubling trend first reported in London in 2015.

Britta Carlson, 28, was riding the uptown 6 train to a concert on July 27 when a mysterious message popped up on her smartphone.

“iPhone 1 would like to share a note with you,” read the note sent at 6:51 p.m. She hit “Accept” and was horrified by what she saw. “It was just a huge close-up picture of a disgusting penis,” said Carlson, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. The message was titled “Straw” and was sent by an anonymous stranger.

“It really felt like someone had actually just flashed me.”
(Melkorka Licea. AirDropping penis pics is the latest horrifying subway trend. New York Post. August 12, 2017.)

引用したのはNew York Post紙の記事からですが、スマホの機能の悪用はアメリカでも同じらしく、地下鉄に乗り合わせた女性の乗客にいきなりイチモツの画像を送りつけるいたずらが横行しているそうです。


to expose one's breasts or genitals usually suddenly and briefly to
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)


日本で性器等の露出行為は公然わいせつの罪に問われますが、iPhoneのAir Dropを悪用した露出行為も同様の罪に問われるのでしょうか。迷惑防止条例違反でしょうか。




A California man filed a stomach-turning lawsuit against Heineken beer and Kroger supermarket — claiming he sipped suds loaded with dead, canned geckos.

George Toubbeh said he got violently ill and “suffered from extreme anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder” from the beer he purchased and drank on Aug. 7, 2015, according to his lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court.

“Plaintiff consumed the Heineken beer and noted that the beer had a foul taste,” his lawyer Zahra Aziz wrote. “Immediately thereafter, plaintiff experiences severe abdominal pain followed by vomiting,”
(David K. Li. eer full of dead geckos: suit. New York Post. August 9, 2017.)




ちなみにニホンヤモリの学名はGekko japonicusと言います。


そのUSB、危険かも ― crosstalk leakage


USB connections are prone to leaking data, according to a group of researchers from the University of Adelaide.

The researchers are presenting their finding at the USENIX Security Symposium in Canada.

“We have tested over 50 different computers and external hubs and found that over 90% of them suffer from a crosstalk leakage effect that allows malicious peripheral devices located off the communication path to capture and observe sensitive USB traffic,” states the abstract of their paper, USB Snooping Made Easy: Crosstalk Leakage Attacks on USB Hubs.


The researchers used a USB-connected novelty lamp to read key strokes from a USB keyboard plugged into an adjacent port using the voltage fluctuations of the port’s data lines. Data was sent to another computer via Bluetooth.
(Rohan Pearce. Researchers reveal crosstalk USB security threat. Computer World. August 10, 2017.)

その仕組みというのは"crosstalk leakage"というものを悪用したものだそうですが、"crosstalk"という単語を知りませんでしたので辞書を引くことに。


記事をお読みいただければ分かりますが、"crosstalk leakage"とは、USBキーボードなどを使った場合に漏れてくる微妙な電圧変化や電波のことで、USBキーボードとは別に取り付けられたUSBデバイスでこれらを捉えてキーストロークの情報を盗み取ったりすることができることが実験の結果確認されたそうです。






AUSTRALIA will now get a postal vote on gay marriage after the government’s second attempt to hold a traditional plebiscite was killed off in the Senate today.

Labor, the Greens and crossbench senators from the Nick Xenophon Team voted to block the plebiscite, which failed on a tie at 31 votes to 31.

Before the vote, Labor Senator Penny Wong gave a heartfelt personal speech about what a public debate on same-sex marriage will be like for LGBTI Australians.

The fired-up Labor senator blasted the Coalition over its bid to have a plebiscite, or even a postal plebsicte, in Parliament today saying it was nothing but an expensive stunt which would hurt the gay community.
(Claire Bickers. Gay marriage debate: Tony Abbott urges Australia to vote ‘No.’ News.com.au. August 9, 2017.)




getting physical


The father of a student who joined the Mile High Club with his physics teacher on an airplane says his 16-year-old son feels terrible the educator got fired, but would now like to just “move on,” according to a report.


Eleanor Wilson, 28, was a physics teacher in the UK when she got physical with the boy in the plane’s bathroom during a July 2015 flight back from a two-week trip to Swaziland in Africa.

The hanky-panky had began earlier in the trip, when the two drank cheap whisky, the boy told his classmates.
(Yoron Steinbuch. Teen wants to move on after airplane bathroom sex with teacher. New York Post. August 2, 2017.)



she (=teacher) got physical with the boy


コンテクストから、"got physical"が「性的な関係になる"という意味は読み取れます。実際、"physical"という単語は"spiritual"(精神の)という単語の対義語として、身体の〜、肉体の〜という意味があり、さらには肉欲にふける、好色の、という意味でも用いられます。

ところで、"get physical"が常に性的な意味合いかというとそうでもなく、例えば以下の用例では暴力的なという意味合いがあると思われます。

She accused Pitt of getting physical with their eldest son, Maddox, and involved the authorities.
(Christie Z'Durilla. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are on speaking terms again, and he has a new hobby. Los Angeles Times. March 2, 2017.)

また、"(a) physical"は形容詞ではなく名詞として"physical examination"の意味となりますので、"I got a physical..."は単に健康診断を受けた、の意味となります。


歩きスマホは撲滅できるか? ー jaywalk




MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. — Admit it: You often look at your phone when you cross the street. I do it all the time. I’m sure you do, too.

Should this be an illegal act, such as jaywalking or running a red light?

Reaction has been heating up online to a new law, just signed by the mayor of Honolulu, to ban looking at your cellphone when crossing the street.

Yet it’s still OK to talk on the phone while walking.
(Jefferson Graham. Would a fine stop you from looking at your phone? USA Today. August 6, 2017.)







エチケットに欠けている、というのが、 "jay-"の意味するところ、というところでしょう。


判決 ー hand down



TAUNTON, Mass. – The young Massachusetts woman convicted of driving her boyfriend to commit suicide – by texting him to “get back in” his carbon monoxide-filled car – was sentenced Thursday to 2 1/2 years in prison.

There was an audible gasp in the courtroom, but Michelle Carter, 20, stared blankly ahead as Juvenile Court Judge Lawrence Moniz handed down the sentence after taking about 10 minutes to decide her fate, calling the case “a tragedy for two families.

Carter’s lawyers immediately asked for a stay of the sentence pending an appeal. The judge agreed, a move that allows Carter to remain free for now.
(Julia Marsh. Suicide-text girlfriend sentenced to two-and-half years in prison. New York Post. August 3, 2017.)


handed down the sentence


この"hand down"というフレーズは、遺産などを代々に伝える、引き継ぐ、といった意味がありますが、もう一つの意味としては、

to make official formulation of and express (the opinion of a court)
(Merriam-Webster Dictionary)





This patient didn’t get the happy ending he was looking for.

A Swedish man was undergoing a phalloplasty, or penile elongation and girth enhancement procedure, when things went south, doctors revealed.

The 30-year-old, who had no prior medical history besides mild asthma, went into cardiac arrest towards the end of the surgery, the Journal of Forensic Sciences reports. Doctors tried to resurrect the patient while he was rushed to an emergency hospital but were unsuccessful and he died shortly after.
(Leah Bitsky. Man’s quest for bigger penis turns deadly. New York Post. July 31, 2017.)

今日取り上げるのは、"phalloplasty"という単語ですが、既に記事で説明されているように、"penile elongation and girth enhancement procedure"ということで、男性のシンボルを大きくするための外科手術の意味です。

"Phalloplasty"のphallo-とは男性のシンボルを意味するギリシャ語phallusに由来しており、-plastyはご存知の通り、"plastic surgery"のことです。



nomen omen

ラテン語のフレーズで"nomen omen"とは、名前が運命を決める、という意味だそうです。



MILAN — There's a Latin proverb that Italians often quote: “Nomen omen” — a person’s destiny lies in his name. That couldn’t be more true than in the case of Anthony Scaramucci, the former White House communications director who lasted just 10 days on the job.

Scaramucci’s name comes from the Italian word “scaramuccia,” which means “brief fight” or “controversy of little importance.” It could be roughly translated as “scuffle” or “skirmish,” but those English terms hardly convey the nuances of the Italian word, which implies gratuitousness, pettiness and, more often than not, clownish behavior.

“Scaramuccia” is also the name of a stock clown in the Commedia dell’Arte, a type of traditional Italian theater that features a fixed set of characters or “masks,” whose recurring features are paltriness and cowardliness — a caricature version of the shortcomings of the Average Joe (or Average Giovanni).
(Anna Momigliano. Scaramucci’s name comes from the Italian word for a ‘controversy of little importance.’ Washington Post. August 1, 2017.)





"nomen omen"というフレーズについては、研究社の新英和大辞典の巻末に"FOREIGN PHRASES AND QUOTATIONS"というセクションがあり、そのなかでは"nomen atque omen"というエントリで載っているのですが、その由来は古代ローマの劇作家プラウトゥスによるPersaという作品だそうです。


crazy like a fox



A dozen inmates escaped from an Alabama jail not by cutting through steel bars, drilling through walls or ripping a toilet from a wall.

They used peanut butter.

Walker County Sheriff Jim Underwood told reporters Monday that the inmates used peanut butter to make the number on one of the cell doors look like the number on a door leading to the outside of the jail. An inmate then asked an unsuspecting jail guard in the control room to open his cell, saying he needed to get back in.

But unknown to the guard, he had inadvertently unlocked the door that opened to the outside.

“That may sound crazy, but these people are crazy like a fox,” Underwood said.

Underwood said the inmates’ plan was “well laid out,” and they took advantage of an inexperienced employee.
(Kristine Philips. Inmates in Alabama jailbreak did not need a weapon to escape. They had peanut butter. Washington Post. July 31, 2017.)



"Crazy like a fox"という表現ですが、日本語で言えば「キツネのようにズル賢い」という意味でしょうか。