I'm Susan Clark with WORDS AND THEIR STORIES, a program in Special English on the Voice of America.
    这里是美国之音慢速英语词汇掌故节目,我是Susan Clark。

    People often say that money talks. They mean that a person with a lot of money can say how he or she wants things done. But it is not easy to earn enough money to gain this kind of power.

    Ask anyone in a business. They will tell you that it is a jungle out there. The expression probably began because the jungle is filled with wild animals and unknown dangers that threaten people. Sometimes people in business feel competing businesses are as dangerous as wild animals. And they feel that unknown dangers in the business world threaten the survival of their business.

    People in business have to be careful if they are to survive the jungle out there. They must not be led into making bogus investments. Bogus means something that is not real.

    Nobody is sure how the word got started. But it began to appear in American newspapers in the eighteen hundreds. A newspaper in Boston, Massachusetts said the word came from a criminal whose name was Borghese. The newspaper said Borghese wrote checks to people although he did not have enough money in the bank. After he wrote the checks, he would flee from town. So, people who were paid with his checks received nothing. The newspaper said Americans shortened and changed the criminal's name Borghese, to bogus.

    People trying to earn money also must be aware of being ripped off. A person who is ripped off has had something stolen, or at least has been treated very unfairly.

    A writer for the magazine "American Speech" said he first saw the expression used in nineteen seventy-one. It was on a sign that a student carried during a protest demonstration at a university. The message on the sign was that the student felt ripped off, or cheated.
    一位《名人演讲》(American Speech)杂志的撰稿人称,他在1971年第一次看到使用这种措辞。它出现在一所大学的示威活动一个学生举着的标牌上。标牌上的信息是,这个学生觉得被欺骗了。

    Perhaps the best way to prevent getting ripped off in business is to not try to get rich quickly. To be successful, a person in business works hard and tries to get down to brass tacks.

    This expression means to get to the bottom or most important part of something. For example, a salesman may talk and talk about his product without saying the price. You get down to brass tacks when you say, "it sounds good, but how much does it cost?"
    (get down to brass tacks)这个短语的意思是,触及事物的底部或最重要的部分。例如,一个推销员大谈特谈他的产品却不说价格。你开门见山地说,“这听起来不错,但是他售价是多少?”

    Word expert Charles Funk thinks the expression comes from sailors on ships. They clean the bottom of a boat. When they have removed all the dirt, they are down to the brass tacks, the copper pieces that hold the boat together.
    词汇专家Charles Funk认为,这个短语来自船上的水手。当他们清理完船舶底部所有污垢后,他们就能触及黄铜钉这个将船连接到一起的铜件。

    So, if we get down to brass tacks, we can prevent ripoffs and bogus ways of earning money in that jungle out there. And, some good luck will help, too.

    Money talks:金钱万能;有钱能使鬼推磨。

    It is a jungle out there:直译为这是一片丛林。形容在做生意时的不安全和危险,处处是陷阱和欺诈。


    Ripped off: 欺骗,敲诈,诈骗

    Get down to brass tacks触及实质,开门见山,直击主题。