English 中文网 漫画网 爱新闻iNews 翻译论坛
当前位置: Language Tips> 译通四海> 翻译服务

Upper crust

[ 2009-04-29 15:54]     字号 [] [] []  
免费订阅30天China Daily双语新闻手机报:移动用户编辑短信CD至106580009009

Upper crust

Nancy Matos

Reader Question: “But a mother from an upper crust New York suburb went through with it, ordering her battling 10 and 12-year-old daughters out of her car in White Plains' business district and driving off, police said Tuesday.”

Could you explain “upper crust”?

My comments: Upper crust refers to the highest social class or group, or those who are wealthy and seen as more superior. In the example above, the upper crust New York suburb being referred to could be Westchester County, for example, as it is one of the wealthiest areas in New York State.

There is debate on the origins of the term, however. People who go to England to travel in Shakespeare’s footsteps usually hear the following explanation when they enter the kitchens of old English manors:

“The ovens were so poor that they heated things unevenly, so when bread was baked, the bottom part of the loaf would burn, while the top of the loaf would toast to a lovely brown color. The burnt portion was given to the servants, while the ‘upper crust’ was reserved for the wealthy.”

Some say the above etymology (word origin), dating back to the 18th century, is false, and there is no evidence to support it. Others say upper crust dates back to the 15th century as a reference to the earth’s surface, which is sometimes referred to as the earth’s “crust”. And speaking of things on top, it is also said to be an old slang term for a hat or one’s head.

Regardless of whom you believe or its exact origin, the definition involving bread seems to be the one most people go back to, judging from the slew of cafes and businesses out there in the pizza, pastry and bread world. Just enter “upper crust” in a search engine like “Google” and see how many companies go by the name “Upper Crust”. None of them are hat shops.


Related stories

Hit the jackpot


Rock bottom



Spoiler alert


上一页 1 2 下一页