Abstract: Figurative idioms paly an important role in English language. They represent the national culture and they are the core in language. The fgurative meaning and unity of idiom make the language colourful and vivid. Keywords: Figurative idiom; English language; Unity With the continual development of human society, language is developing as a tool which of people using it to express thoughts and communicate with each other.
In all the elements of language, the change of lexicology is fastest and the most remarkable.
Figurative palys an important role in the evolution og semantics, and the most part of importance in figurante are figurantive idioms. Any developed language contains a large amount of idioms, and thus these idioms consist of a enormous lexical sustem with cultural character in language. There are many idioms exoressing meaning with the help og some specific image.
For example, a noun phrase: a dog in the manger (a person who prevents others from doing or enjoying something that he does not want or does not use himself); a verb phrase: to have a bone to pick with (to argue with somebody); a preposition phrase: in deep water (in some difficult suituation).
All of these phrases are counting on figurative. So they called figurative idioms. They are the central part of English language. The most important character of figurative idioms is that have the meaning of figurative. Because of this , they can make the language more lively, more symbolization, more vivid and humorous.
Without this kind of sense, the express of language will be colourless and unlively.
These idioms use the form of specifical and “even kids can knows” to express their meaning. For example: “to help a lame dog over the stiles”. It use a lame dog to stand for the man who are in tuouble. It is very vivid to tell us that. “He who laughs last laughs best”. We can know it very easy even when we look it at the first place. “Between the devil and the deep sea”. This idiom describe vividly the difficult suituation the man faced. So we can see what the figurative idioms worked.
The figurative meaning of idioms is very important to the language. Language and culture are contact very closely. The idioms also hce this connection because of it is the most important part in spicial language. Idioms is a mirror that can reflect the culture character of a nation. No matter coordinating relationship or subordinating relationship , we could say, the idiom is national. The formation of some idioms are caused by a story. For example: “Achille’s heel”(the only mortal weakness). This idiom is originated from a legend. Achille’s mother Thetis wanted her son to be invincible.
Then she immersed Achille in the Styx, only the heel she catched did not immer in water. So in some way, Achille could be defeated. From then on, in all of the wars that Achille faced, he became the winner. But in Troy War, Achille was dead for his heel which shooted by Troy’s prince Paris. “(donot) count one’s chickens before they are hatched”(something that you say in order to warn someone to wait until a good thing they are expecting has really happened before they make any plans about it). This idiom is originated from Aesop’s Fables. A milkmaid was going to the market. She carried her milk in a Pail on her head.
As she went along, she began calculating what she would do with the money she would get for the milk. “I’ll buy some fowls from Farmer Brown”, said she, “and they will lay eggs each morning, which I will sell to the person’s wife. With the money that I get from the sale of these eggs, I’ll buy myself a new dimity frock and a chip hat, and when I go to market, won’t all the young men come up and speak to me! “Polly Shaw will be that jealous, but I don’t care. I shall just look at her and toss my head like this. ” As she spoke she tossed her head back, the Pail feel off it, and all the milk was spilt.
So she had to go home and tell her mother what had occurred. “Ah, my child”, said the mother “Do not count your chickens before they are hatcher. ” And there have a lot of idioms like those. Some of them are originated from famous book or Bible. The formation and existence of them are reflecting a nation’s culture character. Therefor, these idioms have profound sense of English language. The other important character og figurative idioms is the unity in semateme. So the whole meaning of the idiom is not the every word’s combination. We can not think about the idiom as each word’s meaning.
In another way, the origin meaning of figurative idioms is not exist. What we used is just the idioms figurative meaning. So we can say that the figurative meaning of the frigurative idiom is their origin meaning. For example: “Fell bule”. On word’s meaning, bule is just a kind of colour. We can not think about the feeling is colour. But as its figurative meaning is feel depressed. “Bite the band that feeds one”. From the idiom’s surface meaning, it just an action and meaning nothing. But the figurative meaning is that do harm to someone who does good things for you. Almost every idioms have the figurative meaning.
And nowadays, we only use it as its figurative meaning. So on some extent, the origin meaning is the figurative meaning. Figurative idioms throughout the whole culture, have very significant meaning. They make the language more lively and symbolization. They enrich the system og language. The figurative meaning and the unity of idiom make the language colourful and vivid. They represent the national culture. In all the elements of language, the figurative idioms are the most important part. So above all of them, we can find the figurative idioms made the materilly influnce of English language.
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