爱思英语编者按:世界各国都有“三大姓”的说法,中国有张王李;英国是Smith, Jones, Williams; 美国是Smith, Johnson, Carson; 法国是Martin, Bernard, Dupont; 德国是Schultz, Mueller, Shmidt; 苏联是Ivanov, Vasiliev, Deternov

一些古怪搞笑姓氏逐渐会被淘汰,请看下面有关英国姓氏变迁的有趣新闻:

The number of people in Britain with surnames like Cockshott, Balls, Death and Shufflebottom--likely the source of schoolroom laughter--has declined by up to 75 percent in the last century

一些容易成为校园笑柄的英国怪姓在过去一个世纪里下降了75%,这些姓氏包括考克夏特、鲍尔、戴斯和苏佛尔鲍特姆。

A study found the number of people with the name Cock shrank to 785 last year from 3,211 in 1881, those called Balls fell to 1,299 from 2,904 and the number of Deaths were reduced to 605 from 1,133.

一项研究表明,1881年有3211人以Cock(在俚语中有“男子生殖器”的意思)为姓,去年这个数字下降至785人;姓Balls(意思同Cock)的从2904人下降到了1299人,姓Deaths(死亡)的人由1133人降为605人。

People named Smellie decreased by 70 percent, Dafts by 51 percent, Gotobeds by 42 percent, Shufflebottoms by 40 percent, and Cockshotts by 34 percent, said Richard Webber, visiting professor of geography at King's College, London

伦敦国王学院地理系客座教授理查德韦伯表示,姓Smellie(臭)的人口减少了70%,姓Dafts(愚蠢)的减少了51%,其它减少的姓氏有:Gotobeds(上床)42%,Shufflebottom(苏佛尔的屁股)40%,Cockshotts(一种游戏)34%。

"If you find the (absolute) number goes down, it's either because they changed their names or they emigrated," Webber, author of the study, told Reuters on Wednesday  

负责此项研究的韦伯周三对路透社表示,如果你发现姓氏的数量减少了,那可能是人们改姓或者移民了。
He said that in many cases, people probably changed their surnames as they came to be regarded as in bad taste. "It's because the meaning of words can change. Take the name Daft --that as a term for a stupid is a relatively recent innovation."

多数情况下,一旦人们觉得自己的姓氏没品味,他们就可能改姓。“词汇的含义会不断改变。比如随着词义的变化,Daft这个词就新增了‘愚蠢’的含义。”

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, Daft meant "mild" or "meek" in Old English, whereas it means "foolish" today. "That's why there are names which people think aren't really very pleasant names and you wonder why they persisted as long as they did."

《牛津英语字典》显示,Daft在古英语中是“温和”与“温顺”的含义,而如今它却是“愚蠢”的意思。“这就是为什么在人们眼中不讨喜的名字却在过去存在了许久的原因。”

Webber, whose work can be seen on the website mapyourname.com, got his data for 2008 from credit card firm Experian and mapping service Geowise. He then compared it with the census of 1881.

mapyouname.com网站显示了韦伯的研究成果。韦伯2008年的统计数据来自于信用机构Experian和地理分析软件供应商Geowise。他将这些数据同1881年人口普查的数据进行了对比。

Webber also discovered that the most popular names in Britain have not changed over the past 127 years. Last year, Smith, Jones, Williams, Brown and Taylor held the top five spots, in exactly the same order as they did a century ago

韦伯也发现,英国127年以来排名靠前的姓氏始终未变。去年的统计显示,史密斯、琼斯、威廉姆斯、布朗和泰勒占据了姓氏排名的前五位,而这个排名一个世纪以来未有变动。

Webber also found that between 1996 and 2008, the names Zhang, Wang, and Yang experienced the fastest growth. Zhang rose by 4719 percent, while Wang grew by 2225 percent

韦伯同时发现,在1996至2008年期间,张姓、王姓和杨姓成为增幅最大的几个姓氏。其中姓张的人口飙升了4719%,而姓王的人口增加了2225%。


逐渐消失的英国搞笑姓氏: http://insuns.com/article/18819-1.html