위 그림을 보면 한번에 알 수 있다.
The world is your oyster!!“세상은 너의 것이야!!”

오늘은 “세상은 너의 것이다!!” 를 의미하는 The world is your oyster라는 표현을 연구해보자.
The world is your oyster
  • [Definition] All opportunities are open to you, the world is yours to enjoy
왜 세상은 oyster(굴)일까?
이 표현은 사실 셰익스피어의 윈저의 즐거운 아낙네들( “The Merry Wives of Windsor”) 에서 나온 표현이다.
  • Falstaff: I will not lend thee a penny.
  • Pistol: Why then the world’s mine oyster, Which I with sword will open.
  • Falstaff: Not a penny.
원래 context 에서는  ”굴 껍질을 칼을 쓰던, 어떻게든 열어서 그 안의 진주를 얻겠다는, 즉 수단과 방법을 가리지 않겠다”라는 다소 난폭한 뉘앙스가 없잖아 있었지만,   본 의미가 점차 와전되어 현재의 동기부여적 의미(“세상에 못할 것은 없어!!”)로 변했다.
출처: English StackExchange
[From News]
  • In effect, the world is Berkshire’s oyster (NYT)
  • I’m not seeing students saying, ‘We went to Vassar and think the world is our oyster,‘” says Raymond. “They’re saying, ‘Gee, I’ve had this great experience and how can I parlay that into the working world?” (Bloomberg)
  • As teenagers the world was their oyster, but for this generation, living in the shadow of the baby-boomers, life does not always live up to expectations. (Economist)
[From Movies & TV Shows]
  • The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you. Their eyes are full of hope, just like you. (Dead Poets Society)
  • He’s just a kid, nineteen, twenty tops, and if he stays healthy and he stays focused, the world is his oyster. (Custody)
  • You make a lot of money and the world is your oyster. But you don’t know shit about loading a dishwasher. (Rachel Getting Married)
  • Son, I know just how you feel~- You got a great little girl, and the world’s your oyster. (The Simpsons)
  • If you think the world is your oyster, go ahead, take it. But how do you think the boy will feel when he finds out what you are? (Walk On The Wild Side)
[From Twitter]
  • I’m just making the world my oyster.
  • I’ve always felt more like I was the world’s oyster.
  • One night in Bangkok makes the world your oyster.
[Meta & Context]
  • Is it a slang : No
  • Can I use it in the email? : Yes
  • Can I use it in the formal setting?: Yes
  • Frequency : 동기부여 강사(motivational speaker)가 쓰는 말 같아서,  평소 대화에서는  자주는 안 쓰지만, 가끔 이 표현이 적절한 순간이 찾아온다. “기회”를 이야기하는 자리에서 특히 말이다.
Source: Davies, Mark. (2008-) The Corpus of Contemporary American English: 450 million words, 1990-present. Available online at http://corpus.byu.edu/coca/

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