Hello and welcome to the VOA Learning English program Words and Their Stories. I'm Anna Matteo and today we are going to talk about the brain!

    We all know what a brain is. A doctor will tell you that the brain is the organ of the body in the head. It controls our body's functions, movements, sensations, emotions and thoughts.

    But a brain can mean so much more.

    A brain can also simply be a smart person. If a person is called brainy, she is smart and intelligent. If a family has many children but one of them is super smart, you could say, "She's the brains in the family."

    And if you are the brains behind something you are responsible for developing or organizing something. For example, Bill Gates is the brains behind Microsoft.
    如果你是幕后主导者(brains behind something),意思就是说你负责开发或组织它。例如,比尔·盖茨(Bill Gates)是微软的幕后主导者。

    A brain trust is a group of experts who give advice. Word experts say the phrase "brain trust" became popular when Franklin D. Roosevelt first ran for president in 1932. Several professors gave him advice on social and political issues facing the U.S. These professors were called his "brain trust."
    智囊团(brain trust)是指提供建议的专家团队。词汇专家表示,1932年罗斯福首次竞选总统时,智囊团这个词开始流行。几位教授就美国面临的社会和政治问题给他提供了建议。这些教授被称之为他的智囊团。

    These ways we use the word "brain" all make sense. But other ways we use the word are not so easy to understand.

    For example, to tease is to make fun of someone. But a brainteaser is not one who makes fun of someone else's brain. A brainteaser is a riddle or puzzle that makes you think. Here is a fun brainteaser: What can go all around the world but still stays in one corner? The answer – a stamp! You can share that brainteaser with your friends.
    例如,to tease是指取笑别人。但是brainteaser不是指取笑别人的大脑。Brainteaser是指让你思考的谜题或难题。以下就是一个有趣的谜题:什么东西能走遍世界却仍然停留在一个角落?答案就是邮票。你可以和朋友分享这个谜题。

    To understand the next brain expression you first need to know the word "drain." As a verb, to drain means to remove something by letting it flow away. So, a brain drain may sound like a disease where the brain flows out the ears. But, brain drain is when a country's most educated people leave their countries to live in another. The brains are, sort of, draining out of the country.
    要了解下一个和brain相关的词汇,你首先必须认识drain这个单词。作为一个动词,to drain的意思是流走。因此,brain drain(人才流失)可能听起来像是大脑从耳朵流出去的一种疾病。但是brain drain的意思是指一个国家教育程度最高的人离开祖国到别的国家去生活。这些聪明人都从这个国家流失了。

    Next, we have a brainchild. A brainchild sounds like a really smart kid. But it isn't. A brainchild is an idea that one has without any help from others. If you have a really great idea, it is your brainchild – no one else's.

    However, if many people are responsible for a great idea, you could say they brainstormed it. Here, brainstorm is not an act of weather. It is a process of thinking creatively about a complex topic. For example, business leaders may use brainstorming to create new products, and government leaders may brainstorm to solve problems.

    But if you can't find a solution to a problem, or if you can't even remember what the problem is, you may have to rack your brains. This expression means to think very hard about something.
    但是如果你找不出问题的解决方案,或者你甚至不记得问题是什么,你可能需要绞尽脑汁( rack your brains)。这个词汇的意思是努力地去想某个问题。

    To pick someone's brain is quite different. For example, if you meet someone who knows a lot about a subject you like, you may want to pick his brain to learn more.
    To pick someone's brain(向某人请教)的意思完全不同。例如,如果你遇到一个对你喜欢的学科懂得很多的人,你可能要向他请教以学会更多东西。

    But do not mix these expressions up! You cannot rack someone else's brain or pick your own.

    Now, if people are brainwashed it does not mean their brains are nice and clean. To brainwash means to make someone accept new beliefs by using repeated pressure in a forceful or tricky way. Keep in mind that brainwash is never used in a positive way.

    And that's all for this week's Words and Their Stories. If you have Words and Their Stories on the brain that means you cannot stop thinking about it. Don't worry. There are more shows on our website.
    以上就是本周词汇掌故节目的全部内容。如果你have Words and Their Stories on the brain是指你对词汇掌故节目念念不忘。别担心,我们网站上还有更多节目。

    I'm Anna Matteo.