为何伊丽莎白女王不说Merry Christmas? Too Low!

又是一年一度的圣诞节,每到这个时刻,尊贵的伊丽莎白女王都会发表圣诞致辞。一口标准的伦敦帝王腔,被广大网友戏称英式发音终极教程。细心的网友在听过历届女王圣诞致辞后,都会有个疑问:

为何英国伊丽莎白女王几十年坚持说Happy Christmas而非Merry Christmas?

在解释这个问题之前,首先让我们来一起回顾下“Merry Christmas”的来历,看看它究竟为什么这么红。

Merry Christmas 圣诞节快乐

Merry Christmas最早现身是在1565年的一份手稿上,据说是一位海军元帅写在信里的祝福。

狄更斯
狄更斯

虽然出身早,但是要红还不是说你想红就能红的,说到底,得感谢有着英国鲁迅之称的扛把子一哥——狄更斯。

狄更斯在《圣诞颂歌》中多次用到Marry Christmas,薄薄一册书用到了将近14次,捧红之心可谓昭然。斗转星移,不管是Merry还是Happy,其实对于多数中国人,乃至于全世界广大人民来说都没有什么太多分别,重要的是火树银花为寒冷冬日带来的温馨,还有最最重要的就是开心。

言归正传,虽然Merry Christmas红遍了大江南北,但是伊丽莎白二世却从不使用Merry Christmas。在每年的圣诞讲话中,女王陛下都会不疾不徐地道一声:Happy Christmas,今年也不例外。为什么呢?

因为Merry的原意是“jovial, and outgoing, probably mildly intoxicated”,就是天性活泼的,可能还有些醉了。说白了,Merry这个单词是个穷苦出身。在维多利亚时期,这个词主要混迹在社会底层,指以酗酒为乐。

更早之前,在《圣经》当中也出现过merry这词,意思也跟喝酒作乐差不离。旧约里面曾经写到一个凶悍的富商纳巴尔(Nabal),在家里大操大办,大搞奢靡之风,最后被上面给干掉(当然,这里的“上面”不是穿越过去的党中央,而是耶和华)。

在1840年代推出的第一批Merry Christmas贺卡,场景中也是一家人饮酒作乐。所以,Merry Christmas 的本义应该是“圣诞喝到嗨”! 斗转星移,Merry Christmas早已不再是喝酒那点事。但对于那些讲究出身的人士,一身酒气的Merry明显没有健康阳光的Happy看着顺眼。所以,即便Merry Christmas赢得了主流民意,Happy Christmas却依然深得女王的偏爱。所以“超长待机”的女王在每年的圣诞讲话中都会不疾不徐地道一声:

Happy Christmas
而非Merry Christmas

许多人都为女王的“超长待机”时间所惊讶,今年英国已经开始庆祝女王的90岁生日了。去年,伊丽莎白二世打破她的曾曾祖母——维多利亚女王的在位63年零216天的纪录,成为自诺曼征服者登陆英伦岛以来,41位英国国王和女王中在位时间最长的一位。

伊丽莎白女王各时期照片
伊丽莎白女王各时期照片

在位六十余载,“超长待机”的女王已经经历了12位英国首相,从二战时期任职的丘吉尔到今天的卡梅伦。正所谓“流水的首相,铁打的女王”。

女王发音非常清晰,语速较慢,而且用词很高贵,很大气。听到女王引用Mother Teresa的名言:Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,让人不禁想到中国的那句老话“勿以善小而不为”。

1929年4月29日,《时代》周刊封面“公主Lilybet”。“Lilibet”是女王小时候的小名。有传取这个小名是因为女王发不了自己正式名字的读音,不管怎样,这个名字叫起来还蛮可爱的。在成为女王之前,伊丽莎白就是封面女孩了。 3岁时,她就登上了《时代》杂志的封面。

伊丽莎白女王上时代周刊

英国女王2016年圣诞致辞:鼓舞人心的一年
Queen’s Christmas message 2016

There was a time when British Olympic medal winners became household names because there were so few of them. But the 67 medals at this year’s Games in Rio and 147 at the Paralympics meant that the GB medallists’ reception at Buckingham Palace was a crowded and happy event. Throughout the Commonwealth there were equally joyful celebrations. Grenada, the Bahamas, Jamaica and New Zealand won more medals per head of population than any other countries.
曾几何时,英国奥运奖牌获得者家喻户晓,因为他们凤毛麟角。可今年里约奥运会上我们斩获67枚奖牌,残奥会147枚,这让在白金汉宫里招待大不列颠的奖牌得主变得拥挤而欢乐。英联邦各处亦欢欣鼓舞,格林纳达、巴哈马群岛、牙买加、新西兰比其他任何国家的人均奖牌数都多。

Many of this year’s winners spoke of being inspired by athletes of previous generations. Inspiration fed their aspiration; and having discovered abilities they scarcely knew they had, these athletes are now inspiring others.
今年许多胜利者谈到,自己受到前辈的鼓舞。心受鼓舞令人志存高远,这些运动员发现了自己都难以置信的能力,现在他们正鼓舞着他人。

A few months ago, I saw inspiration of a different kind when I opened the new Cambridge base of the East Anglian Air Ambulance, where Prince William works as a helicopter pilot. It was not hard to be moved by the dedication of the highly skilled doctors, paramedics and crew, who are called out on average five times a day.
几个月前,我受到另一种鼓舞,我为东盎格鲁救援飞行队在剑桥的新基地剪彩,威廉王子是那里的直升机飞行员。训练有素的医生、医疗护理人员和机组成员,他们平均每天出勤五次,人们被他们的奉献精神感召并不困难。

But to be inspirational you don’t have to save lives or win medals. I often draw strength from meeting ordinary people doing extraordinary things: volunteers, carers, community organizers and good neighbours; unsung heroes whose quiet dedication makes them special.
但要鼓舞他人,你并不非定要救死扶伤或赢取奖牌。我常常从普通人身上汲取力量,他们做着不平凡的事:志愿者、老人看护、社区组织者和友善的邻居,他们是无名的英雄,默默无闻的奉献让他们与众不同。

They are an inspiration to those who know them, and their lives frequently embody a truth expressed by Mother Teresa, from this year Saint Teresa of Calcutta. She once said: ‘Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love’.
他们鼓舞着认识他们的人,他们的生活每每体现着特雷莎嬷嬷表达的真理,今年特雷莎封圣为“加尔各答的圣特雷莎”。她曾说:“并非每个人都能建立丰功伟业,但我们可以满怀着爱做一些小事。”

This has been the experience of two remarkable organizations, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and The Prince’s Trust, which are 60 and 40 years old this year. These started as small initiatives but have grown beyond any expectations, and continue to transform young people’s lives.
有两个出色的组织正是如此,它们是今年六十周年的爱丁堡公爵奖和四十周年的王子信托基金。它们从小做起,如今却超乎预料,并继续改变着年轻人的生活。

To mark my 90th birthday, volunteers and supporters of the six hundred charities of which I have been patron came to a lunch in The Mall. Many of these organizations are modest in size but inspire me with the work they do. From giving friendship and support to our veterans, the elderly or the bereaved; to championing music and dance; providing animal welfare; or protecting our fields and forests, their selfless devotion and generosity of spirit is an example to us all.
为纪念我九十岁生日,来自600个慈善团体的志愿者和支持者来林荫大道参加午宴,我一直以来资助这些团体。许多机构并不大,它们做的事却鼓舞着我。它们把友谊和支持给予退伍老兵、老年人和丧亲之人;它们赞助音乐和舞蹈;它们推动动物福利;它们保护我们的土地和森林;它们无私的风险和慷慨堪为典范。

When people face a challenge they sometimes talk about taking a deep breath to find courage or strength. In fact, the word ‘inspire’ literally means ‘to breathe in’. But even with the inspiration of others, it’s understandable that we sometimes think the world’s problems are so big that we can do little to help. On our own, we cannot end wars or wipe out injustice, but the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of goodness can be bigger than we imagine.
遭遇挑战的人们有时会说,深吸一口气,拿出勇气和力量。事实上,“鼓舞”的字面意思就是“吸气”。可即便受到他人鼓舞,我们有时还是发现,这个世界的问题太大,我们所做的不过杯水车薪,这是可以理解的。就我们自己而言,我们无法结束战争,扫荡不公,可成千上万微不足道的善行累加起来,却产生我们想象不到的影响。

At Christmas, our attention is drawn to the birth of a baby some two thousand years ago. It was the humblest of beginnings, and his parents, Joseph and Mary, did not think they were important.
圣诞之际,我们回想两千年前诞生的一个婴儿。他生于忧患,起于毫末,父母约瑟和玛丽并没以为他们算什么重要人物。

Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never travelled far. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ’s example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe.
耶稣基督一生微不足道,从未能行走天下,尽管自己并没做错什么,很多人还是排挤他。然而如今,数十亿人追随他的教诲,从他身上发现生命中引路的明灯。我就是其中一员,因为基督之范让我看到以大爱行小善的价值,无论是谁,无论他信仰什么。

The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows.
今年的圣诞致辞让我们不要忘记,鼓舞是一种既要赠予又要接纳的礼物,爱起于垒土,却终成九层之台。

I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
祝君圣诞快乐。

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