今天要跟大家分享一个常用英语俚语：“Concrete Jungle”。还记得美国女歌手艾丽西亚·凯斯（ Alicia Keys）在歌曲《Empire State of Mind》里脍炙人口的那句歌词吗？“Concrete Jungle where dreams are made of（用梦想编织的混凝土森林）”。那么“Concrete Jungle”到底是神马意思呢？
那么这一俚语起源于何处呢？嗯......很难说。来自牙买加的唱作歌手鲍勃·马利（Bob Marley）在歌词中用“Concrete Jungle”来形容牙买加人的生活，从此该词得以广为流传。不过，再往前可追溯至1949年，著名作家厄普顿·辛克莱（Upton Sinclair）的小说《屠场》（The Jungle）出现了“asphalt jungle（沥青丛林）”的表达。
此后，“Concrete Jungle”便开始在各流行歌曲中频繁出现，其中也包括鲍勃·马利和艾丽西亚·凯斯的作品。甚至有一部拍摄于上世纪八十年代的电影以Concrete Jungle为名，可见这句流行语在西方国家流传甚广。
“I feel like I haven’t seen the sky in months, but I guess that’s life in the Concrete Jungle!”（好几个月没见着蓝天了，这就是“水泥森林”中的生活吧！）
“I love how New York City is always alive and in motion, like a real Concrete Jungle!”（好喜欢纽约的生机和快节奏，一座活生生的“水泥森林”！）
Welcome to English Friday, a weekly series where we will be tackling common grammar mistakes and trending English slang you should know — so you can express yourself like a total pro in another language. Happy learning!
When we hear the phrase “Concrete Jungle,” many people immediately think of the lyric “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,” from Alicia Key's hit song Empire State of Mind. But, what does this common phrase actually mean?
The Concrete Jungle is a conceptual phrase used to describe an urban area containing a high density of buildings, especially pertaining to a city that lacks greenery and seems harsh, undesirable, or unattractive. It's exactly how it sounds: a towering wilderness of concrete city.
Like the jungle, there is always so much going on in a city. From the depths of the underground trains to the heights of the towering skyscrapers, everything is so loud and alive that it can truly feel like a manmade concrete jungle.
So, where did this term come from? It's difficult to say. Bob Marley made the phrase famous with his song “Concrete Jungle” about the lifestyle of Jamaicans. However, it is likely that the term first originated with Upton Sinclair, a famous author, who coined the phrase “asphalt jungle” in his 1949 novel The Jungle.Since then, there have been many pop culture references to a “concrete jungle.”
There are countless songs about concrete jungles, aside from Bob Marley’s well-known tune and Alicia Keys' smashing hit. There was even a film made in the 80’s called Concrete Jungle. The term has clearly established itself in the English language.
No matter how much we may love a city, living in a concrete jungle can be overwhelming. Some great examples of concrete jungles are New York City, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Moscow, and New Delhi. When I first arrived in Shanghai, I was completely blown away by the chaos and the magnitude of the towering buildings — it still takes my breath away every time I come back!
Here are some examples of how to use “concrete jungle” in a sentence:
“I feel like I haven’t seen the sky in months, but I guess that’s life in the Concrete Jungle!”
“I love how New York City is always alive and in motion, like a real Concrete Jungle!”