最近30日間のアクセス数トップ3記事

2011年8月11日木曜日

英語の中の猫(4) ― cat's-paw

英語の中の猫、というテーマでお送りしている今週ですが、4日目の今日は、"cat's-paw"という表現を取り上げます。

"paw"とは、四足動物の脚のことです。"cat's paw"(ハイフンをつけない場合もあるようです)は、猫の脚、あるいは猫の手、といってもよいでしょう。

実はこの表現、イソップ童話に由来するものです。

仲良しのサルとネコが昔いました。サルは火中の栗を取るのに、ネコをおだてて、自分では手を動かすことなくネコに取らせて、ちゃっかりと栗だけはいただきます。ネコは火傷したということです。

このことから、他人に思うように操られる人のことを、"cat's-paw"と表現するようになりました。


When Lobsang Sangay is sworn in as Tibet’s first elected prime minister he will face one of the most daunting challenges in international politics – to replace the Dalai Lama as the face of the Tibetan movement, confront China over its abuses in Tibet, while reassuring the restless younger generation of exiles that he can make progress towards an accommodation with Beijing.

(中略)

“He has big shoes to fill and his challenge is to lead without the Dalai Lama. He must prevent the Tibetan movement sliding, establish good connections with the Indian government, which will be looking at him with suspicion that he will follow an American agenda,” said Mohan Guruswamy, director of India’s Centre for Policy Alternatives and a leading commentator on China.

He said he will have to inspire his own people at a time of transition and that he will have to be more ‘pro-active’ than the Dalai Lama has been to achieve this. “He will have to actively drum up support all over the world at a time when the Tibetan movement is becoming not militant, but more pro-active and he will have to establish his credibility. But the more he does that the more he will face charges that he is an American cat’s paw,” he added.
(Tibet's first prime minister: the challenges ahead. The Telegraph. August 10, 2011.)


ちょっと引用が長くなりましたが、チベットの新首相に選ばれたロブサン・センゲ氏に関する記事なのですが、国際政治の舞台でのこれからのチャレンジについて書かれているものです。難しい舵取りを求められる中、アメリカの”手先”とも取られかねないリスクもあるということのようです。

もう1つ>引用します。裁判の話題ですが、この表現の成り立ちについて触れている個所があります。


An old fable, sometimes inaccurately attributed to Aesop, is so rich in parallels to human behavior that it has provided us with a legal theory and some lessons in business management.

The fable tells this story: A cat and a monkey are always hungry and always getting into mischief around the house. In the kitchen, some chestnuts have been roasting and are now ready to eat but are still in the hot embers of the fire. Using flattery — “I could do it, but you are SO much better at it” — the monkey talks the cat into retrieving the chestnuts, saying that they would share them. The cat pulls them out of the embers, burning her paw in the process, but the monkey runs off with them all.

The fable gave rise to the expression “cat’s paw,” to describe someone who is unwittingly manipulated into doing something. It’s a polite way of referring to a dupe or a stooge.
(James McCusker. ‘Cat’s paw’ fable offers employment law lesson. Snohomish County Business Journal. July 28, 2011.)


法解釈の細かい話はよく分かりませんが、この語の成り立ちがよく分かります。




0 件のコメント:

コメントを投稿