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英文短語:Caught Red-Handed
撰文者: Wayne 發表日期: February 2, 2012 – 11:23 am

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版主喜歡閒逛 Youtube,看看桌球賽事或者有趣的影片。今天瀏覽影片的時候,發現過去在電視上看過的一系列整人短片,每部短片的下方都附上一段英文的內容簡介,這些用詞配上影片之後是非常好的英文學習管道,真是寓教於樂。

在這些眾多的整人影片當中,有一部的簡介出現一個實用的英文短語,現在分享給各位網友,請各位先看影片:

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Man trying to fix the bride’s shoe is caught red handed under the dress by the groom. Another reason to perhaps consider “it’s not what it looks like.” a proper excuse from time to time.

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(版主解說)

那位可憐的老兄真是被人耍了,好心幫新娘內弄鞋子,卻弄到人家的裙子內窮攪和,最後還當場被新郎抓包,這時跳到黃河也洗不清了。

網友請看,英文的表達方式是 caught red handed,這種說法跟華人的思維有點出入,先讓我們來看英文的解釋:

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Q: Do you know the origin of the phrase caught red-handed?

A We must thank (or conceivably blame) the famous Scottish writer Sir Walter Scott for having popularised this term, which was until his time purely a Scots expression. He used it first in his novel Ivanhoe of 1819: “I did but tie one fellow, who was taken redhanded and in the fact, to the horns of a wild stag”. Before then it was usually written as red-hand or redhand as in “if he be taken redhand”. It dates back to the fifteenth century.
The meaning was then the same as now. Somebody taken redhand was either in the act of committing a crime or with clear evidence of it about him. The original reference was to literal red hands, those of a murderer stained with the blood of his victim. But it soon became broadened to refer figuratively to other crimes, for example to a thief being caught carrying stolen items.

translation

“‘To be taken with red hand’ in ancient times was to be caught in the act, like a murderer, his hands red with his victim’s blood. The use of ‘red hand’ in this sense goes back to 15th century Scotland and Scottish law. Scott’s ‘Ivanhoe’ has the first recorded use of ‘taken red-handed’ for someone apprehended in the act of committing a crime. Not long after, the expression became more common as ‘caught red-handed.'”

From “Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins” by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997), Page 135-136 and 138″

Source and further information:

http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/red-handed

原來,做錯事之後當場被人逮個正著可以用 caught red-handed (手沾滿了鮮血時被活逮) 來表達。

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary 對這個短語的解釋非常清楚:

** catch sb red-handed = to catch sb in the act of doing sth wrong or committing a crime

這種說法不難理解,它在西方也可以用在不是真正犯罪的場合,只要是「做錯事當場被逮」就可以用這個英文短語。不過,東西文化還是有點差異,血淋淋的畫面對於華人來說還是過於礙眼,當我們說出某人「雙手沾滿鮮血」的時候,其實是非常嚴厲的指控,說這句話之前還是再三思考為妙。

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