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a close call

Chinese translation: 好险;九死一生;捡回一条命

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:a close call
Chinese translation:好险;九死一生;捡回一条命
Entered by: Wenjer Leuschel
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04:35 Aug 30, 2008
English to Chinese translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / Common Expression
English term or phrase: a close call
One night Nasreddin awoke, thinking he had heard a strange noise outside his window. Looking out, he saw a suspicious white figure.

"Who goes there?" shouted the Hodja.

Hearing no reply, Nasreddin reached for his rifle, loaded a bullet, took aim, and shot in the direction of the mysterious figure. Satisfied that the intruder now would do him no harm, Nasreddin returned to bed and slept until dawn.

By morning's light he examined the scene outside his window, only to discover his own white shirt hanging on the clothesline and pierced by the bullet that he had fired during the night.

"That was a close call," murmured the Hodja. "My own shirt, shot through by a bullet! What if I had been wearing it at the time!"

Questions: I know what the expression means, but I would like to know why such a situation is called "a close call." Are there any other equivalents in either English or Chinese? In short, we would usually say "That was close!" but why a close "call"?

TIA!
Wenjer Leuschel
Taiwan
Local time: 14:01
好险;九死一生;检了条命
Explanation:
当为close call of death之略。另有close shave, narrow escape等,常译为“九死一生”。

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Note added at 11 mins (2008-08-30 04:46:25 GMT)
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中文还有一个半口语半书面的说法叫"与死神擦肩而过", 那还真是差一点儿就让死神给call或shave上。

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Note added at 15 mins (2008-08-30 04:51:02 GMT)
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上面的“检”应为“捡”。在我们老家,如果有人差点死掉(大病、车祸等),亲戚朋友尤其是老人见了,很可能会说“你可真是捡了条命”。
Selected response from:

orientalhorizon
Local time: 14:01
Grading comment
谢啦,东方地平兄!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +3好险;九死一生;检了条命
orientalhorizon
5call = decisionhwgr01
Summary of reference entries provided
Gertrude Tsau

  

Answers


7 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +3
好险;九死一生;检了条命


Explanation:
当为close call of death之略。另有close shave, narrow escape等,常译为“九死一生”。

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 11 mins (2008-08-30 04:46:25 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

中文还有一个半口语半书面的说法叫"与死神擦肩而过", 那还真是差一点儿就让死神给call或shave上。

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 mins (2008-08-30 04:51:02 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

上面的“检”应为“捡”。在我们老家,如果有人差点死掉(大病、车祸等),亲戚朋友尤其是老人见了,很可能会说“你可真是捡了条命”。

orientalhorizon
Local time: 14:01
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
PRO pts in category: 28
Grading comment
谢啦,东方地平兄!
Notes to answerer
Asker: 明白了。谢谢。其它的说法,a close shave, a narrow escape 等等比较容易懂。但上帝的名可明说,死神的名大多略去,所以我看到 a close call 时,有点困惑。


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  clearwater: 侥幸脱险;死里逃生;从鬼门关回来;好玄/真玄
20 mins
  -> Terrific! Thank you very much!

agree  Gertrude Tsau
1 hr
  -> Terrific! Thank you very much!

agree  MinnieHuyang
21 hrs
  -> Thank you very much!
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2 days22 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
call = decision


Explanation:
在一些运动比赛中,比如羽毛球、网球..... 等,裁判人对每一球,每一局、甚至整场比赛的结果和判断,都是大声叫出来(call)的。在某一个比较具争议性的情况之下,比如球的落点非常接近边界,裁判、司线员、对垒球员和观众都各自有自己的看法 ......... 在这情况之下,裁判所下的判断,就是叫做“a close call”。原因是这个判断其实可以是相反也未尝不可。

a close call = a close decision



hwgr01
PRO pts in category: 4
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Reference comments


1 hr
Reference

Reference information:
Idioms: close call

Also, close shave. Narrow escape, near miss. For example, That skier just missed the tree--what a close call, or That was a close shave, nearly leaving your passport behind. The first phrase dates from the late 1800s and comes from sports, alluding to an official's decision ( call) that could have gone either way. The second, from the early 1800s, alludes to the narrow margin between closely shaved skin and a razor cut. (This latter usage replaced the much earlier equation of a close shave with miserliness, based on the idea that a close shave by a barber meant one would not have to spend money on another shave quite so soon.) http://www.answers.com/topic/close-call

Gertrude Tsau
United States
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Chinese
PRO pts in category: 8
Note to reference poster
Asker: 谢谢你这个参考资料。这篇其实是从土耳其民间故事Nasreddin Hoja改编的东西。此人确实存在过,但他的故事有许多是后人的伪作;我的改编也算是一种伪作,好玩而已。

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