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[ 2011-07-26 16:51]     字号 [] [] []  
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England this week celebrated the start of the one-year countdown to the 2012 Olympics, which will be held in London. Like the Beijing Olympics in 2008, thousands of athletes from more than 200 countries are expected to compete.

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Olympics is a term that originated in Olympia, Greece, which also is the home of Mount Olympus. The first Olympic Games, dating back to at least 776 BC, featured naked athletes. Today, they keep their clothes on.

Here's how the term Olympic has evolved to mean something different in English. When cities build swimming pools that meet official Olympics regulations for size, they called them Olympic-size pools. Now that phrase is used to describe almost anything that is very big. For example: “I hope you have enough food, because he's got an Olympic-size appetite.” Sometimes English speakers will even drop the “size” part of the phrase and just say: “That party was Olympic.”

The term also is used as a title for contests that have nothing to do with sports. Many US cities hold informal “beer Olympics,” and one hamburger restaurant in Texas held a “burger Olympics.” That must give the real Olympics officials “Olympic-size headaches.”

“奥林匹克”(Olympics)一词起源于古希腊的“奥林匹亚”( Olympia),即“诸神之所”奥林匹斯山的所在地。第一届奥运会可以追溯至公元前776年,那时的运动员们都裸体参赛。

如今,Olymipic又有了其它的意思。堪比奥运会比赛标准的游泳池就是Olympic-size pools。Olympic-size现在可以用来描述任何事物非常之“大”。比如,“但愿你的食物足够多,因为他可是个大胃王(Olympic-size appetite)”。有时候,人们干脆把size也省略掉,比如,“那个派对规模真大。(That party was Olympic.)”

Olympics也可以用来指体育以外的竞赛,比如“啤酒奥运会”(beer Olympics)、“汉堡奥运会”(burger Olympics)等等。这些“冒牌奥运会”真让正牌奥运会的官员们“大大地头疼”啊(Olympic-size headaches)。

(中国日报网英语点津 实习生高美 编辑:Julie)


About the broadcaster:


Renee Haines is an editor and broadcaster at China Daily. Renee has more than 15 years of experience as a newspaper editor, radio station anchor and news director, news-wire service reporter and bureau chief, magazine writer, book editor and website consultant. She came to China from the United States.