VOCABULARY – BAH HUMBUNG!

Jim Carrey as Ebeneezer Scrooge In A Christmas Carol main imageL’espressione Bah humbug! quasi certamente esisteva anche prima, ma acquisì una certa rilevanza dopo il 1843, a seguito della pubblicazione di A Christmas Carol di Charles Dickens. Nel capitolo di apertura del libro il personaggio di Ebenezer Scrooge riceve dal proprio nipote gli auguri di Buon Natale. Ecco come si svolge il dialogo:

“A merry Christmas, uncle! God save you!” cried a cheerful voice. It was the
voice of Scrooge’s nephew, who came upon him so quickly that this was the rst intimation he had of his approach.
Bah!” said Scrooge, “Humbug!”
“Christmas a humbug, uncle!” said Scrooge’s nephew. “You don’t mean that, I am sure?”
“I do,” said Scrooge. “Merry Christmas! What right have you to be merry? What reason have you to be merry? You’re poor enough.”
“Come, then,” returned the nephew gaily. “What right have you to be dismal? What reason have you to be morose? You’re rich enough.”
Scrooge having no better answer ready on the spur of the moment, said, “Bah!” again; and followed it up with “Humbug.
Don’t be cross, uncle!” said the nephew.
“What else can I be,” returned the uncle, “when I live in such a world of fools as this? Merry Christmas! Out upon merry Christmas! What’s Christmas time to you but a time for paying bills without money; a time for nding yourself a year older, but not an hour richer; a time for balancing your books and having every item in ’em through a round dozen of months presented dead against you? If I could work my will,” said Scrooge indignantly, “every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!”
“Uncle!” pleaded the nephew.
“Nephew!” returned the uncle sternly, “keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”

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