Phraseological semantics closely contiguous to lexical, but nevertheless, it has peculiar row of characteristic features. The subjects of discussion are types of meanings in the sphere of phraseology, phraseological recomprehension, phraseological abstraction, inner from of phraseologisms, aspects of phraseological meanings. During the analysis of phraseological units’ meanings, it is necessary to articulate semantic elements, no more than that or another aspects of phraseological meanings.
Semantic structure of phraseological units is wider then its meanings, as its not confined only by significative, denotative and connotative aspects, but also defined by inner form, with construction of all formation as a whole, types of grammatical meanings, for example, number and cases, monosemy and polysemy, also with systemical linguistic and speech connections.
The term “national — culture meaning” is used conditionally, as it means denotative — significative meaning of a word, which has fully national — cultural content. Unequivalent typological study of languages, and serving to different cultures refer to these group of words. Unequivalents, as known, are words, serving for expression of notions, which are not observed in another culture and don’t have equivalent in the limits of language, which they belong.
National — cultural component of meanings in phraseological units with some facts of cultures, social and common life of nation. Acquaintance with phraseology opens a new view to some tradition and customs. For example, nautical phraseological units open less know for us life of England as naval power.
National — cultural component of meanings in phraseological units contains in preconditions of its origin, in other words, its inner from, which have been discussed the previous paragraphs and further paragraphs.
Every language has vivid examples, expressions that express the notions — actual for the life of society in the definite historical period. Historical actual events throughout the world give a foundation for the development of the meanings of set-expressions. Some phraseological units are indebted with their appearance to some historical facts. For example: a cat o’nine tails, from China to Peru, the city of Angels, the city of Brotherly Love, the city of Magnificent Distances, the city of the Notions, the city of the One Hundred Hills, the city of the Saints, the city of the Seven Hills, the city of the Falls, the Crescent City, the Empire City, the Eternal City, the Federal City, the GoldenCity, the Windy City, Kangaroo closure.
Besides mentioned above, a phraseological unit can be nationally colored and include some words which mark it as the product of a certain nation. For instance, “to set the Thames on fire” means– “достатьлунуснеба”, т.е. “сделать что-либо необычное, изряда вон выходящее” and “to carry coal to Newcastle” means– “возить уголь в Ньюкасл”, т.е. “возить что-либотуда, где этого итак достаточно” are undoubtedly British.
But “to discover America” means “открыть Америку,т.е. говорить о том, что всем давно известно” is, of course, the American idiom.
Phraseological units come from a variety of customs. For example, “at Later Lammes”, “as tall as a Maypole”, “Christmas comes but once a year”; these idioms come from customs of festivals. “Read coat”, “wear the stripes”, “the Queen Berets”, “cap and bells”, “flower child”, “blue stocking a feather in one’s cap”, “put on the blackcap”, these idioms come from customs of clothing. In addition, “daily bread”, “a piece of cake”, “Adam’s apple”, these idioms come from customs of eating. “Go to church”, “ask in church”, “for better or for worse”, “take somebody for better of for worse”, “fleet street marriage”, “left-handed marriage”, “jump over the broomstick”, “wear the willow”, these idioms come from customs of wedding and funeral, so from above examples we can see that custom-loaded idioms imply various differences in cultures and meanings.
Britain is an island nation, which is surrounded by water. Unique marine resources and fishery resources make sea, fish, and water the very common things in people’s life. Thus, in English there are a lot of idioms, which are related with water, fish and sea, for example, “drink like a fish” (drink enormously), “to miss the boat” (to miss the golden chance).
Customs and habits are inherited from generation to generation. This is commonly seen in the use of the PU, especially the PUs concerning the customs of the religion, diets, festival and clothing, from which, we can see the PUs with specific cultural aspects.
While investigating the semantic classifications of PUs with the components of national coloring and considering the above made research we decided to investigate them according to two items, a) according to their thematic classifications and b) according to their development of semantic structures.
Thematic classifications of PUs with the components of national coloring
According to gathered materials we classified them into following items:
1.The PU concerning the customs of clothes
In English, except a very small number of idioms, such as “a hard hat”(a builder with a helmet), a hat was national garment of English people, “to throw down the gauntlet”(to challenge someone to a contest — In medieval times the knights of England wore it), “red shirt”(a soldier from the group of Harribalds), “red letter day”(a happy day), “to roll a red carpet for somebody”(to warmly welcome somebody), the idioms concerned with “red” always represent bad things. It is often related with "bloodshed, violence, danger, warning" or some awful things. So in the matrimony, the bride will not wear red clothes, but white clothes, which represent purity in the western.
2.The PU concerning the customs of diet
English-speaking people live in different area and has different climate, so that the English people have different diets, hobbies, the way of entertaining guests, cooking utensils from us.
From the following idioms we can know that the bread is the staple food of the English people: “as I live by bread”(it is very true), “bread and butter”(something to be depended to earn a living), “bread and cheese”(common tea and rice), “break bread”(dine), “daily bread”(daily diet), “earn one’s bread”(earn one’s living), “out of bread”(out of work), “quarrel with one’s bread and butter”(disagree with one’s job), ‘hard cheese”(bad luck), “use your loaf”(use your brain).
Cakes and pastry, pies, pudding, potato and hamburger are the important food of the westerner. So the PU concerning this food are commonly seen. First, the idioms concerning cake: “a piece of cake”(a very easy thing), “cake and ale”(eat, drink and be merry), “sell like hot cakes”(sell well), “have one’s cake baked”(live a rich life) and so on. Second, the idioms combined with pies: “as easy as pie” (very easy), “in apple-pie order”(in right order), “as good as pie”(very pleasant), “cut a pie”(mind other’s business), “pie in the sky”(happiness that is hard to got), “have a finger in the pie”(mind other’s business) and so on. Third, the idioms concerned with pudding are still of a great number: “As fit as a pudding for a friar’s mouth”(very proper), “live on wind pudding”(starve), “more praise than pudding”(more compliments but less benefits), “puddings and pies”(eyes), “the proof of the pudding is in the eating”(the test is whether it works or not) and so on. Fourth, the idioms combined with potato: “hot potato” (problem that ishard to solve), “small potatoes”(good for nothing), “the quite clean potato”(a decent man), etc. In addition, hamburger and sandwich are also one of the most popular foods in the Western. All the fast food shops provide this kind of food. The idiom “make hamburger out of somebody” means “beat somebody into hundreds of pieces”, “a sandwich course”(a course which provides practical instruction as well as lectures on theory, the practical being ‘sandwiched’ between the theoretical) which shows us a vivid image. Enjoying the sweet food after meals is a habit of the westerners. Offering them the onion after the meals is stupid. So there is an idiom “garlic for desert” (the last thing). In ancient, if English people entertained guest the shoulder of sheep, it means that the host do not like this guest. So “cold shoulder” means “cold treatment”. The ancient English people will invite the respected guest to sit in the seat of honor, which is at the front of the salt bottle, and the ordinary people to sit below the salt bottle, so there is the idiom “sit below the salt”.
Furthermore, in the West, pot-luck means a party that everybody who joins in this party should bring one kind of food, so the idiom “come and have pot-luck with us” means “come and have dinner with us”.
Pan is the main cooking utensil of the westerners. There are a great number of PUs with the word “pan” such as “dead pan”(a face without expression), “as flat as a frying pan”(very flat), “on the pan”(very strictly criticized), “out of the frying pan into to the fire”(out of minor trouble but in big trouble), “ as flat as a pan cake”(very flat), etc. Knife and fork are the main tableware of the westerners. They do not only the tableware, but also means eating and the people who can eat a lot such as “see somebody over a knife and fork”(expect somebody to eat something), “a capital knife and fork”(a man with a very good appetite), “play a good knife and fork”(have a big meal) and so on.
3. The PU concerning festival customs
Different countries have different festival culture such as Navruz in Asia and Christmas in the Western. Like the other cultures, this can also be reflected in PUs. For example, white Christmas, April fool, Christmas stocking.
4. The PU concerning religious customs
In the United Kingdom and other Western countries, the impact of the Christianity is the greatest. In the Westerners’ hearts, God has the supreme power. So, there are many English idioms, which are associated with God such as “God helps those who help them elves”, “Man proposes, God disposes”. People often say “God damn you” when he or she curses somebody, and say “Thank God” or “God bless you” after the danger. Christian doctrine—Bible has been regarded as a classic of Western culture. Many English idioms come out from it such as “finger on the wall”, “cast one's bread upon the waters”. In the westerners’ churches, there is no food for mouse, so there comes the idiom “as poor as the church mouse”.
5. The PU concerning intellectual abilities of person
“Dot your i’s and cross t’s” (to express one’s point of view appropriately), “From A to Z”(learn everything), ‘balmy (barmy) on the crumpet (off one’s crumpet)” (stupid, fool), “cousin Betty(fool man), “dump Dora”. (stupid girl), Tom fool (Fool), “Tom o’Bedlam”(fool beggar), more (people) know Tom Fool than Tom Fool knows, “a proper Charley (Charlie)”(stupid in reality), “a Daniel come to judgement”(fair judge), “clever Dick’( know everything), “the Admirable Crichton”(a well educated person, scholar), “(even) blind Freddy could see it”( very obvious thing), “Solomon’s wisdom”(to think as wise) and etc.