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英文字典里的“鬼詞”是什么?
時間:2022-09-19來源:佛山翻譯公司點擊:72次

  遇見不認識的單詞,我們首先會想到查字典。但是如果你不知道“dord”的意思,不要在字典里找答案,除非你擁有1934年的第二版《韋氏新**詞典》。

  實際上,“dord”僅在這版的韋氏詞典里出現過,這類詞匯在英語中還有一個特殊的名字——“ghost words”,直譯成中文就是“鬼詞”。聽起來陰森森的,但其實“鬼詞”和妖魔鬼怪毫無關系。

  [Photo/Unpslash]

  Coined by philologist Walter William Skeat in 1886, ghost words are often the result of misreadings and typographical errors.

  1886年,語言學家沃爾特·威廉·斯蓋特創造了“鬼詞”這種說法,通常指被看錯或印刷錯誤的單詞。

  The Oxford Dictionary defines ghost word as “a word recorded in a dictionary or other reference work which is not actually used.” Merriam-Webster says a ghost word is “a word form never in established usage.”

  《牛津詞典》將“鬼詞”定義為“記錄在詞典或其他參考文獻中但未實際使用過的詞”。韋氏詞典稱,“鬼詞”指“從未使用過的單詞形式”。

  有時,一些字典會故意錄入鬼詞作為“防偽標志”,這樣的詞匯還有一個名稱:nihilartikel。

  Nihilartikels are deliberately phony words included to ward off would-be plagiarists.

  Nihilartikel是指為了防止有人剽竊而故意編造的假詞。

  下面來看看曾出現在《牛津詞典》和《韋氏詞典》里的5個“鬼詞”:

  1. DORD

  Dord is perhaps the most famous of the ghost words. First appearing in the 1934 second edition of Webster’s New International Dictionary, dord was said to mean “density.”

  Dord是**有名的“鬼詞”。**次出現在1934年的第二版《韋氏新**詞典》中,指“密度”的意思。

  The phantom phrase hung out until 1939, when an editor finally noticed its lack of etymology. He checked the files and found the original slip: "D or d, cont/ density,” which was actually referring to abbreviations using the letter D. At the time, words to be entered in the dictionary were typed with spaces between letters so “d or d” might have been interpreted as “d o r d.”

  這個虛幻的單詞一直流傳到1939年,當時一位編輯終于注意到它缺乏詞源。這位編輯檢查了文檔,發現原稿是:“D or(或) d,cont/density”,實際上是指使用字母D的縮寫。當時,字典里的單詞在字母之間有空格,所以“d or d”可能被理解為“dord”

  Despite having proved its non-existence, it would take until 1947 before Webster’s pages were dord-free.

  盡管這個詞是不存在的,但直到1947年,《韋氏詞典》才將其刪除。

  2. ABACOT

  Abacot made its debut in the second edition of Holinshed’s Chronicles, edited by Abraham Fleming and published in 1587. It then found its way into Spelman’s Glossarium (1664), and every major dictionary since. Almost 300 years later, James Murray, the primary editor of the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), discovered that the wordy wraith was actually a misprint of bycoket, a cap or head-dress.

  Abacot首次出現在由亞伯拉罕·弗萊明編寫并于1587年出版的《霍林什德編年史》第二版中。隨后,這個詞在1664年被收錄進斯佩爾曼的詞匯庫,并出現在此后的每一部主要詞典中。近300年后,《牛津英語詞典》主編詹姆斯·默里發現,這個“鬼詞”實際上是bycoket的印刷錯誤。Bycoket表示帽子或頭飾。

  By then, abacot had taken on a life of its own, referring to not just any cap but a “Cap of State, made like a double crown, worn anciently by the Kings of England.”

  此時,abacot已經有了更多含義,不僅指帽子,還指“古代英格蘭國王佩戴的國王帽,形似雙層王冠?!?/p>

  3. PHANTOMNATION

  A ghostly word in more than one way, phantomnation was defined by Webster’s 1864 American Dictionary of the English Language as an “appearance as of a phantom; illusion,” and was attributed to Alexander Pope’s translation of The Odyssey:

  Phantomnation是一個名副其實的“鬼詞”。1864年出版的《韋氏美語詞典》將“phantomnation”定義為“鬼魂;幻覺”,并將其歸因于亞歷山大·波普對《奧德賽》的翻譯:

  “These solemn vows and holy offerings paid

  “這些莊嚴的誓言和神圣的祭品已經兌現

  To all the phantomnations of the dead.”

  致所有死者的鬼魂?!?/p>

  The real word? The no less creepy phantom-nation, a society of specters. We can blame scholar Richard Paul Jodrell for this gaffe, who, in his book The Philology of the English Language, left out hyphens in compound words.

  這里正確的原文是phantom-nation(幽靈國家),一個同樣令人毛骨悚然的幽靈社會。這個錯誤是學者理查德·保羅·約德雷爾制造的,他在《英語語言學》一書中將這個復合詞的連字符省略了。

  4. CAIRBOW

  The curious cairbow was mentioned in an early 20th-century proof of the OED in an example sentence of “glare”: “It [the Cairbow] then suddenly squats upon its haunches, and slides along the glare-ice.”

  20世紀初出版的《牛津英語詞典》中,“glare”的例句中提到了“好奇的cairbow”:

  “它(cairbow)突然蹲坐下來,沿著刺眼的冰面滑行?!?/p>

  Cairbow? No one had heard of such thing. Was it some kind of polar creature with an affinity for ice? Did it have a big rainbow on its back?

  Cairbow?沒人聽說過這個詞。它是某種喜歡冰的極地生物嗎?它的背上有一道大彩虹嗎?

  Nope. Cairbow was merely a misreading of caribou.

  不,cairbow只是拼寫錯誤的caribou(馴鹿)。

  5. ESQUIVALIENCE

  The one faker by design, this spurious term, meaning “the willful avoidance of one’s official responsibilities,” materialized in the second edition of the New Oxford American Dictionary (NOAD).

  這是一個故意編造的假詞,意思是“故意逃避自己的職責”,出現在《新牛津美語詞典》第二版中。

  The word was invented by Christine Lindberg, one of the NOAD editors. The whole thing was part of the dictionary’s strategy for copyright protection.

  這個詞是由《新牛津美語詞典》的編輯克里斯汀·林德伯格發明的。此舉是該詞典的一種版權保護策略。

  來源:Grammarly,Mental Floss


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