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WORDS AND THEIR STORIES(28) - Circus

时间:2006-03-09 16:00来源:互联网 提供网友:sqp   字体: [ ]
    (单词翻译:双击或拖选)

WORDS AND THEIR STORIES - Circus
By Marilyn Rice Christiano

Broadcast: Sunday, November 21, 2004

Now the VOA Special English Program -- Words and Their Stories.

Circus is a word with a long interesting history. It is a Latin1 word that means "ring" or "circle". One of the most famous places in ancient Rome was the Circus Maximus. It was a kind of round stadium with rows of seats all around the inside of it. Roman citizens gathered there to watch races, games and violent bloody2 fights.

The modern circus developed in the nineteenth century. It was a traveling show of animals and people working under a large tent, later known as the "Big Top".

Traveling circuses were popular in the United States and Britain before eighteen thirty. A circus moved from town to town, putting on shows with trained animals, acrobats3 doing difficult tricks and funny colorful clowns . Circuses still travel from place to place and they still have trained animal acts, acrobats and clowns.

Today's circuses usually have three rings. Something different takes place in each of the three rings at the same time. The heads of people watching a circus turn back and forth4 as they try to see every exciting act in each ring.

The circus has been popular for so long that it is not surprising that words and expressions connected with it are part of everyday speech. For example, the word circus is used to describe any noisy place with a lot of activities going on. A teacher may use it when she walks into a room where the students are playing and talking instead of studying. She might say, "This place is a circus. Calm down and get your work done. " And if the room is really noisy, she may say, " it is a three-ring circus. "

Clowns are a very special part of the circus. They look funny with their big red noses, painted faces and clothes that are much too large for them. Everyone at a circus loves to watch the clowns do tricks on each other. Clowns have a real purpose, to make people laugh. They always succeed.

We used the expression "to clown around" when we talk about someone playing tricks and making jokes. Usually a person is clowning around if he is being funny when he should be serious. In that case, you may get angry and say "stop clowning around. This is a serious situation. "

The most celebrated5 American circus in the eighteen hundreds was PT Barnum's Greatest Show on Earth. Barnum Circus had many new acts. He began finding6 and training unusual animals, not just dogs and horses. One of the most popular of Barnum's animals was a huge elephant named Jumbo. Jumbo was very large, much larger than other elephants. Soon anything that was the largest of its kind was called "jumbo". Today, there are jumbo drinks, jumbo boxes of soap and jumbo sales of cars.

This Special English Words and Their Stories Program was written by Marilyn Rice Christiano. This is Bob Doughty7.


点击收听单词发音收听单词发音  

1 Latin 9pWzAI     
adj.拉丁的,拉丁语的,拉丁人的;n.拉丁语
参考例句:
  • She learned Latin without a master.她无师自通学会了拉丁语。
  • Please use only Latin characters.请仅使用拉丁文字符。
2 bloody kWHza     
adj.非常的的;流血的;残忍的;adv.很;vt.血染
参考例句:
  • He got a bloody nose in the fight.他在打斗中被打得鼻子流血。
  • He is a bloody fool.他是一个十足的笨蛋。
3 acrobats 0a0a55e618cb6021651a7c7a9ac46cdc     
n.杂技演员( acrobat的名词复数 );立场观点善变的人,主张、政见等变化无常的人
参考例句:
  • I was always fascinated by the acrobats at the circus. 我总是着迷于马戏团里的杂技演员。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • The acrobats' performance drew forth applause from the audience. 杂技演员的表演博得了观众的掌声。 来自《简明英汉词典》
4 forth Hzdz2     
adv.向前;向外,往外
参考例句:
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
5 celebrated iwLzpz     
adj.有名的,声誉卓著的
参考例句:
  • He was soon one of the most celebrated young painters in England.不久他就成了英格兰最负盛名的年轻画家之一。
  • The celebrated violinist was mobbed by the audience.观众团团围住了这位著名的小提琴演奏家。
6 finding 5tAzVe     
n.发现,发现物;调查的结果
参考例句:
  • The finding makes some sense.该发现具有一定的意义。
  • That's an encouraging finding.这是一个鼓舞人心的发现。
7 doughty Jk5zg     
adj.勇猛的,坚强的
参考例句:
  • Most of successful men have the characteristics of contumacy and doughty.绝大多数成功人士都有共同的特质:脾气倔强,性格刚强。
  • The doughty old man battled his illness with fierce determination.坚强的老人用巨大毅力与疾病作斗争。
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TAG标签:   word  story  word  circus
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