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Bury The Hatchet

刊登日期: 2019.05.17
作者: Grace Tse  

Since the China-U.S. trade war began about a year ago, the world has been very concerned when both powerful countries will end the hostilities against each other. In particular, the business community hopes that they will “bury the hatchet” and reach an agreement soon. 

A hatchet is a small axe with a short handle. If a person puts a hatchet into the ground, that means he or she is not going to do anything violent. The idiom “bury the hatchet” appeared in a treaty between the colonial governor of New York, Benjamin Fletcher, and some Native American tribes in 1694. 

The French Indians should come to me, and desire to bury the hatchet, …. 

It is believed that the idea of the idiom originated much earlier than 17th century, when the expression “bury the hatchet” was literally a custom practised by Native Americans (土著美國人〔即印第安人〕). When the tribes agreed to stop fighting, they would bury their weapons, which were a type of hatchet called “tomahawks”, to pledge that they would make peace. 

As described in the reports called “The Jesuit Relations” in 1644, the Native Americans “proclaim that they wish to unite all the nations of the earth and to hurl the hatchet so far into the depths of the earth that it shall never again be seen in the future.” The reports were written by Jesuit ( 天主教耶穌會) missionaries in the area colonised by France in North America. 

Nowadays, this idiom is widely used from politicians to school children. 

Shirley and Fiona buried the hatchet(化干戈為玉帛;和解) yesterday and now they are good friends again.  


Glossary 
Hostilities 
敵意
Agreement 
協議
Hatchet 
短柄小斧
Violent 
暴力
Colonial governor 
殖民地總督
Tomahawks 
美洲印第安人用的戰斧
Pledge 
發誓
Missionaries 
傳教士

 

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