(名詞) 1. 一個人往生前預先製作或刊登的訃聞;2. 失敗的預測,尤指政治候選人落敗的預測。亦寫成 pre-bituary

Perhaps The Times could pioneer the concept of Prebituaries, by celebrating the lifetime achievements of notable people to mark their 65th birthdays? It would be a wonderful boost to their social life as they entered retirement. They could also read the bulk of their obituary at the breakfast table, rather than having to wait for the full text and then only being able to read it from their cloud using a powerful telescope.
—Adrian Fisher, "A novel idea?," The Times (London), July 16, 2008


cash for clunkers

(名詞) 舊車換津貼。

美國聯邦參眾兩院 3 月間提出一項議案,以提供抵用券的方式鼓勵車主「棄舊換新」,報廢高耗油舊車、購買節能新車,或者借助公共交通工具外出。根據這項名為「舊車換津貼」(Cash for Clunkers) 的計劃,車主若願意報廢他們耗油量高的舊車並購買節能汽車,將可獲得最高 4500 元購買新車的抵用券。若車主不想購買新車,則可以用這些抵用券購買火車、巴士、地鐵等公共交通工具的車票。據稱,該議案能有效幫助目前身陷困境的汽車業,也對擔心不能負擔購買省油汽車的消費者,尤其是失業者,提供及時的援助。

He also said he supported proposals that provided “generous” tax credits to owners who turn in older models for fuel-efficient new cars. Such programs are dubbed “cash for clunkers.”
—Sholnn Freeman, "GM, Ford to make payments for buyers who lose jobs," The Washington Post, March 31, 2009


spider cleaning

(名詞) (清潔工吊著繩索的) 高樓外牆清潔作業。若清潔工是坐在滑車上,則這種高樓外牆清潔作業就叫做 rig cleaning

As high-rise buildings mushroom across the city, facade cleaners—the ones who dangle from ropes to give those glass houses the impeccable look—are finding more jobs and more challenges.…“If a person hangs from a rope and cleans, the process is called ‘spider cleaning.’ When he sits on a seat attached to a pulley, it is ‘rig cleaning.’ In cases of spider cleaning, the rope will be connected to a pillar or an ‘I’ joint on the top of the terrace.”
—A Selvaraj, "Heights of cleanliness," Times of India, March 2, 2009


tire buster

(名詞) 輪胎剋星:路面的坑洞 (pothole)。

Another thing that we’ve done is we’ve implemented emergency response teams and these guys are able to go out within 24 hours and address any hole that are sometimes referred to as “tire busters,” those holes that can cause a tire to go flat or cause damage to a vehicle.
—Phil Sanchez, " DPW (Department of Public Works) works to fix potholes around city," WISH-TV (Indianapolis, Indiana), March 17, 2009



(形容詞) 群情激憤的 (帶有想要報復的含意)。亦寫成 torches-and-pitchforks; fiery-torches-and-pitchforks。通常與 crowd 或 mob 連用:torch-and-pitchfork crowd/mob ( 群情激憤的民眾)。

torch 和 pitchfork 的原義分別為「火把」和「乾草叉」。最近美國AIG的「肥貓」拿政府紓困的錢大分紅利,引發美國輿論一片譁然,群情激憤,就連總統歐巴馬亦出面大肆抨擊,氣得連講話也噎到。站長已多次在CNN和BBC的新聞報導中聽到 torch-and-pitchfork mob 這個詞,甚至有主播拿出一把實體的乾草叉揮舞著,做出呼籲 torch-and-pitchfork mob 攻向AIG的動作。

President-elect Obama has signaled his disinterest in show trials of the sort proposed by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Detroit. Obama argues persuasively that the new administration has bigger fish to fry, and better ways to let the world know there's a new sheriff in town.

Meanwhile, the outgoing president could pre-empt the torch-and-pitchfork crowd by issuing blanket pardons for Dick Cheney, ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and others.
—Brian Dickerson, "Give Cheney, others immunity," Detroit Free Press, January 18, 2009

Before the game was over, the howls had begun. That Delhomme was able to walk out of the stadium on his own two feet Sunday is the first testament to his resilience, since the torch-and-pitchfork crowd hadn't gotten him yet.
—Darin Gantt, "'Bad night to have a bad night'," The Herald, January 12, 2009


ghost call

(名詞) 鬼電話;鬼打來的電話 -- 某人不慎撥錯或誤觸手機撥號鍵所打來的未出聲的電話。這個字亦可當動詞用,意為「打鬼電話」。
-- ghost calling (現在分詞/動名詞):打鬼電話。
-- ghost caller (名詞):打鬼電話的人。

One added problem for the emergency teams, particularly at this time of the year, is the inadvertent ghost call made on mobile phones.

Supt Bell said: "With lots of people getting new mobiles for Christmas it is important they know how to lock their keypad. It's easy when unlocked phones are in handbags or pockets to knock them and unwittingly make '999' calls.
—"Don't be a 999 ninny during the New Year," Evening Gazette, December 30, 2008

I am a priest and a woman in my church group was used to calling her husband three or four times a day or more. She is extremely jealous and basically uses the cellphone to track his movements. A while back he must have sat on his phone or something because he "ghost-called" his wife when having drinks with another woman. He was supposed to be at work.
—David Eddie, "Is having a drink with a woman cheating?," The Globe and Mail, March 6, 2009


quo vadis haircut

(名詞) 剪短的頭髮;短髮。亦叫做 close-cut locks (lock 在此意為「頭髮」,通常用複數)。

And for all of his 16 years giving Mr. Obama his “quo vadishaircut—black parlance from the 1960s for close-cut locks—Zariff said he is not about to start ribbing Mr. Obama. “We do not tease about the gray at all,” he said.
—Helene Cooper, " For young president, flecks of gray," The New York
, March 5, 2009



(名詞) 奢華的背包客 (backpacker)。這個字是由 flash 和 backpacker 拼綴而成,亦寫成 flash-packer
-- flashpacking (現在分詞/動名詞):背包旅行。

flash 這個形容詞頗為古老,最早可追溯至 1785 年,意為「奢華的;炫耀的;擺闊的」-- 通常指這種奢華或炫耀行徑已到沒有品味的程度,因此是個貶抑之詞。

Europe's hostels now offer cool upmarket accommodations at bargain prices. There are still the communal areas that made hostels the social place to be in the early '90s, but now they are matched by posh facilities. The clientele includes fewer backpackers, more flashpackers: holidaymakers with a taste for the nice things but who are cost-cutting in keeping with the climate.
—Lucy Tobin, "Hostels hustle to add an upmarket tag," The Boston Globe, February 22, 2009



(形容詞) 在小塊土地上 -- 尤其是在都市環境中 -- 密集栽種蔬菜及其他農作物的。這個字是 Small Plot INtensive 的頭字語 (acronym)。

Some cities, most notably Vancouver, have websites that match urban landowners who don't care to garden with those who have no space but want to immerse their hands in soil. Here and elsewhere, a few entrepreneurs, engaging in SPIN, or Small Plot Intensive, agriculture, rent backyards — several at a time — to grow produce for sale.
—Peter Gorrie, "In gardens, a design for the city," The Toronto Star, February 22, 2009


throwaway society

(名詞) 東西或物品用沒多久就不要丟棄的社會。