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Word for the Wise July 20, 2006 Broadcast Topic: Words from the moon

We would guess Neil Armstrong was over the moon about his (and mankind's) first step on the moon 37 years ago today, but it was Buzz Aldrin—who followed Armstrong onto the moonscape—who gets the credit as the Moon's First Gardener. After all, it was Aldrin who planted the American flag. Today, in honor of that historic 1969 landing, we look at the phrase over the moon and at the term moonraker. (来源:英语杂志 http://www.EnglishCN.com)

To be over the moon is to be "very pleased; in high spirits," much the way the astronauts were back in July 1969. One would also expect that a bovine who leaped high into the sky would be, at the least, pleased. And lexicographers believe the over the moon phrasing that appears in the nursery rhyme's "cow jumping over the moon" was in the spoken language well before it appeared in print.

Before we dig into moonraker, we'll acknowledge our lexicon does contain a moon plant: it is an East Indian vine whose milky juice yields an intoxicating beverage.

Moonraker is not especially common in American English, but it is still used in British English, where it is synonymous with simpleton. Originally (and for reasons unknown), moonraker referred to a native of Wiltshire County, England.

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