来自中世纪法语 abeiance（期待），源于拉丁语 batare（张口）， 来自 a-（同 ad-，这里表示“at”）+ bey-（张嘴，词源同 bay，想想海湾是不是很像张开的嘴，实在太形象了）+ -ance（名词后缀）→ 字面意思就是“处于张嘴期待的状态”，这在法语中原本是一个法律术语，在法语中表示“某人有望获得某份财产”，因此这个人就会“张嘴期待”，相当于我们中国人的习惯说法“翘首期待”，进入英语后表示“某份财产处于归属待定的状态”，现在在日常生活中表示某一工作或活动处于搁置、停顿状态。同源词：bay（海湾）。
- abeyance (n.)
- 1520s, from Anglo-French abeiance "suspension," also "expectation (especially in a lawsuit)," from Old French abeance "aspiration, desire," noun of condition of abeer "aspire after, gape" from à "at" (see ad-) + ba(y)er "be open," from Latin *batare "to yawn, gape" (see abash).
Originally in French a legal term, "condition of a person in expectation or hope of receiving property;" it turned around in English law to mean "condition of property temporarily without an owner" (1650s). Root baer is also the source of English bay (n.2) "recessed space," as in "bay window."
- 1. The matter was left in abeyance until Haig saw French.
- 2. The question is in abeyance until we know more about it.
- 3. The law was held in abeyance for well over twenty years.
- 4. The decision is in abeyance until the returns from holiday.
- 5. The sanctions againt the country fell into abeyance yesterday.