BBC 6 Minute English | CHINS | English CC | Daily Listening

source: Daily Listening    2016年9月15日
What's the point of having a chin?
Almost every part of our body seems to be the subject of endless debate. But there’s one part you don’t hear much about - the chin. Join Rob and Neil as they investigate this forgotten part of our face and explain some related vocabulary.

0:07 Hardly a day goes by without hearing someone talking about some aspect of our bodies.
0:12 Do you know what I mean, Neil?
0:13 Oh, yes, Rob.
0:14 Almost every part of our anatomy seems to be the subject of endless debate.
0:20 It could be our stomachs and what we eat.
0:22 It could be our posture and how we stand.
0:26 It could be our skin and how we should look after it.
0:29 Yes, I know, it gets very tedious – that means boring – so I don't really take any
0:34 notice, as you can see!
0:37 But there’s one part of our body you don’t hear much about – and that is the chin.
0:42 The chin?
0:44 You mean the small bit of bone under the mouth?
0:46 It’s not the most interesting part, is it Rob?
0:49 I mean, it doesn’t do anything, does it?
0:52 I must admit I’ve never even thought about it.
0:55 What’s it for, anyway?
0:56 Well, some people think it’s very useful for folding up large sheets and towels.
1:01 You know, you hold one end under your chin like that with it…
1:05 Come on, Rob, you're not being serious!
1:07 Of course not.
1:09 But seriously, the more you think about it, the more interesting the chin becomes.
1:13 You’ve still got to convince me, Rob.
1:15 A chin is just a chin.
1:17 That’s all there is to it.
1:19 Not so fast, Neil.
1:20 The chin may turn out to be a more important part of the body than you think.
1:25 But before we get into that, let’s turn to the quiz.
1:27 Chin up, Neil.
1:28 A good phrase - it means stay positive and optimistic.
1:32 OK well how optimistic are you about getting this question right?
1:37 How long ago do you think humans developed chins?
1:41 Was it... a) 150,000 years ago?
1:43 b) 2 million years ago? or c) 5 million years ago?
1:47 Hmm.
1:48 I have no idea.
1:50 They all sound far-fetched to me.
1:52 Far-fetched means something is difficult to believe.
1:55 But I think I’ll go for 2 million years ago.
1:59 'B'.
2:00 Okay.
2:01 Well, we'll find out if you're right or wrong later on.
2:04 But the first thing to say is that humans are the only animals to have developed a chin.
2:09 Let’s listen to Dr James Pampush from the University of Florida.
2:13 What word does he use to mean it sticks out?
2:16 Humans are the only animal that have a chin and by that I mean, you have this bony projection
2:24 underneath your teeth that sticks out past your teeth on the lower portion of your jaw
2:31 and it’s such an unusual feature, that in a way it sort of helps define what it means
2:37 to be human.
2:39 So he used the word projection which means something that sticks out from the main surface.
2:45 And the word jaw is used to describe the lower part of the face, which the chin is part of.
2:51 So, we now know exactly what the chin is.
2:53 But why did it develop?
2:55 Now from what I understand, Rob, it has a lot to do with when humans started to cook
3:00 their food, so the food they ate became much softer.
3:04 Therefore, our ancestors – that’s the people related to us from a long time ago
3:09 – they didn’t need powerful jaws or sharp teeth anymore.
3:13 And, strangely, that made the jaw drop and produced that odd piece of bone we know as
3:20 the chin.
3:21 But some time later the chin became associated with sexual attraction in men.
3:26 Males with prominent – that means easy to see - jaws were supposed to be attractive
3:31 to women.
3:32 And men with small chins were thought to be unattractive or weak people.
3:36 They were even called chinless wonders sometimes.
3:39 Chinless wonder, an interesting phrase!
3:41 So, let’s have a look at yours, Rob.
3:43 Are you a chinless wonder?
3:45 Mmm.
3:46 Looks pretty normal to me.
3:48 How about mine?
3:49 Well, Neil, your chin is rather pointed if you don’t mind me saying.
3:53 But I’m not sure what that means, to be honest.
3:54 So, let’s move swiftly on.
3:56 Let's hear what Dr Pampush has to say about this.
4:00 He uses a word that means this theory is likely to be true.
4:06 It seems plausible to me that chins emerged as some kind of feature and then later were
4:11 selected to be sex ornaments.
4:15 But not the presence of the chin but, rather, the shape of the chin being some kind of marker
4:20 for sexual identity.
4:23 The word he used was plausible meaning something that is acceptable or believable.
4:28 The word chin has also given us some interesting expressions.
4:31 A double chin, for example, describes loose skin hanging beneath the chin which makes
4:37 people look like they’ve got two chins!
4:39 It’s something that people don’t like and often try to get rid of.
4:43 And then there’s the verb to chinwag.
4:46 That means to talk a lot or to chat in a relaxed way with friends.
4:50 A chinwag tends to be a conversation about things that aren't very important – but
4:55 our conversation about chins is very important!
4:58 I guess so Neil, OK – so how about the answer to that question I asked you earlier?
5:03 I asked you how long ago did humans develop chins?
5:07 Was it a) 150,000 years ago?
5:09 b) 2 million years ago or c) 5 million years ago?
5:13 And I said 2 million years ago.
5:16 You know your chins, you were right.
5:18 Well done!
5:19 Ah brilliant!
5:20 Chins really have been around for a long time.
5:21 Now, before we go, it’s time to remind ourselves of some of the vocabulary that we’ve heard
5:27 today.
5:28 Neil.
5:29 tedious chin up
5:31 far-fetched projection
5:34 jaw ancestors
5:37 prominent chinless wonder
5:41 plausible double chin
5:43 chinwag. Thanks Neil.