Artful DodgerとSlick Willie

辞書は引くだけでなく、読んでみるといろいろ面白い発見があるものだが、先日触れた "Art is long, life is short." にからんで、紙の辞書で art の前後を眺めていたら、artful dodger (または大文字で Artful Dodger) という面白い言葉があることを知った。dodge は「ドッジボール」にもあるように、「~をかわす」「のがれる」「ごまかす」ということである。そこで、

悪賢いぺてん師(Charles Dickens の小説 Oliver Twist 中のすりのあだ名から)


- [the~] 巧みなかわし屋 ((Dickens, Oliver Twist (1839) に登場する若くて頭のいいスリ John Dawkins の通称))

- 策士、世渡り上手 ((Charles Dickens の David Copperfield (1849) の中の作中人物から))





After Boies rephrased his question, Gates played the artful dodger. "It doesn't appear I'm talking about any other companies in that sentence," he replied, coyly.



Can Slick Willie do an Artful Dodger in Monicagate too?

An unsurpassed reputation as an artful dodger and a skilled manipulator is on test this afternoon as US President Bill Clinton has -- at the time of writing -- just walked in the White House map room to testify in camera before a Grand Jury investigating his conduct.


"Slick Willie" は、クリントンのファーストネーム William をもじったあだ名であろう。調べてみるといくつもヒットがあったので、定着しているといってもよさそうだ。こんな文もあった。

Clinton was (and still is) seen as "Slick Willie," the artful dodger who gets away with everything, from draft evasion to sexual shenanigans, thanks to his cleverness and lack of scruples.


次も見出しと記事の冒頭だが、これは妻のヒラリーについてのもの。似た意味を持つ duck も使われている。

Sen. Hillary Clinton an artful dodger
Candidate masters the art of ducking, just like her husband did

Slick Hillary? Former President Clinton earned the nickname "Slick Willy" for his mastery in the political arts of ducking and dodging.



A street thief, especially a young one; an agile, clever trickster or con artist.

The term comes from a character in Charles Dickens's novel Oliver Twist. Artful Dodger was the star of Fagin's gang of child thieves and was the most accomplished pickpocket of them all. His name was Jack Dawkins, but in tribute to his slippery skills he was called the Artful Dodger.

(Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Allusions)

The Artful Dodger is a character in the Charles Dickens novel Oliver Twist. The Dodger, whose real name is Jack Dawkins, is a pickpocket, so-called for his skill and cunning in that respect. (中略)

The nickname "Artful Dodger" is still commonly used to refer to someone who is good at avoiding responsibility or the consequences of his or her actions.


Billary Clinton