What does that mean? 你真的瞭解這個慣用語嗎?

Imagery buries itself in language and takes on new meaning. The transplanted and transformed sets of words are called “figures of speech.” For a figure of speech to be effective, however, a writer must first understand the original meaning of the phrase. The following sentence contains a common figure of speech. Its original meaning is explained.

“The committee was chronically slow in responding to public concerns until protestors began showing up at monthly meetings to badger the committee chairman.”

Badgers are members of the weasel family that live in burrows and eat grubs and rodents and such. They are not dangerous to larger mammals, or people, unless cornered and then can become quite vicious in their defense. The hair of the badger is commercially popular for use in various brushes. They have short legs perfect for digging but also handy for galloping at a quick pace, which badgers can do for short distances. It is a night hunter. All in all, the badger is a tough little omnivore that has adapted well to various climates and thrives in many of them.

When a person is said to “badger” another person, he is being accused of harassing the other person. The usage came about from the experience of pioneer peoples who found badgers to be noisome creatures. The human response was to trap the animals and set dogs upon them. They thus harassed the badgers, usually unto death. The term now is generally used to describe people who persistently harass someone. Such people seem not to know when enough is enough and insist on making a point ad nauseam. Note: Persisting is a good thing, badgering is not.


Posted at 2012-09-21 10:53:23

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