“鳄鱼的眼泪”之说从何而来?“鳄鱼的眼泪”英语怎么说?

    几百年来,人们一直习惯用“鳄鱼的眼泪”来比喻虚假的同情和伪装的悔过,为什么鳄鱼的眼泪就是虚伪的呢?鳄鱼真的会在进食的时候为口中的猎物哭泣吗?来看科学家为你解密。

我们来看一段相关的英文报道

    If someone is crying in an attempt to fake remorse or empathy, we say they are shedding “crocodile tears.” But how and why did we start pegging insincere displays of emotion to the toothy reptiles?
    The origin may have become popular around the 14th century when a bestselling memoir, The Voyage and Travel of Sir John Mandeville, referenced serpents who sob while eating their human victims.
    In the centuries since, crying crocodiles have become a metaphor for superficial remorse. The expression has been used as a fable to teach sincere repentance, by Shakespeare to convey false grief, and, more recently, by media mocking tearful politicians or murder suspects.

    如果某人哭泣是为了装出悔过或同情的样子,我们就说他们掉的是“鳄鱼的眼泪”。但是我们是怎样又是为何会把不真诚的感情流露和鳄鱼联系在一起的呢?
    这个说法大约是在14世纪开始流行起来的,当时有一本畅销的回忆录叫《约翰·曼德维尔爵士的航海旅行》,里面提到蛇在吃人的时候会流泪。

    从那以后的数个世纪以来,哭泣的鳄鱼便被用来比喻虚伪的悔恨。这个表达曾作为寓言用来告诫人们要真心悔悟,也曾被莎士比亚用来指代假意的悲伤,到了现代,则被媒体用于嘲讽流泪的政客或谋杀嫌疑犯。


【讲解】
    2007年,佛罗里达大学的动物学家肯特·弗利特证明了动物在进食的时候确实会哭泣(
the animals do sob while snacking)。弗利特的理论是,当动物用力地咀嚼食物时,咀嚼的动作会迫使空气流经鼻窦,从而让眼泪涌出来( when the animals enthusiastically smack their jaws, the movement forces air through the crocodiles’ sinuses and ultimately empties tears into their eyes)。据弗利特在短吻鳄公园亲眼目睹,它们的眼睛不但会流泪,还会冒出泡沫,一些鳄鱼甚至在准备吃鸡、鹌鹑和饼干的时候就流下了眼泪。

双语报道来源:中国日报网英语点津