Don't shoot the messenger.

前回、「シューテム・アップ」 Shoot 'Em Up という映画のタイトルについて書いたが、shoot のつながりでひとつ表現を取り上げたい。 shoot the messenger を載せている辞書とそうでない辞書があるのは、比較的新しい表現ということだろうか。また、よくありそうな状況に使われるものだが、相当する日本語の決まり文句があるだろうのか、どうも頭に浮かばない。


- Kay figured Joseph had been sent by Rice, and there was nothing to be gained by shooting the messenger. He was amazed at how sensitive she was.

- As a consequence, General Franks threatened to fire this commander. Instead of learning the lessons of the war and adapting, he wanted to shoot the messenger.




- to blame or punish the person who tells you about something bad that has happened instead of the person who is responsible for it.
And now for tomorrow's weather - it's going to be cold, wet and stormy, but don't shoot the messenger!

- "Shooting the messenger" is a metaphoric phrase used to describe the act of lashing out at the (blameless) bearer of bad news.

- to blame a problem on whoever reported it; to hold somebody accountable a problem because he/she brought attention to it.
I know you won't like this news, but please don't shoot the messenger.

- Don't shoot the messenger.
said to warn someone not to be angry with the person who tells them something bad

「新しい表現だろうか」と冒頭に書いたが、Wikipedia にあるこの表現の説明を読んだら、

- The advice "Don't shoot the messenger" was first expressed by Shakespeare in Henry IV, part 2 (1598) and in Antony and Cleopatra (1606-07). Prior to that, a related sentiment was expressed in Antigone by Sophocles as "No one loves the messenger who brings bad news."
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なお Wikipedia には類似表現として、"Killing the messenger," "Attacking the messenger," "Blaming the bearer of bad tidings," また "Don't shoot the piano player; he's doing the best he can." さらに参照としておなじみの scapegoat、さらにラテン語の ad hominem という単語があげられていた。

アメリカの西部開拓時代、酒場には客同士のケンカのとばっちりが及ばないようにと、「ピアニストを撃たないで」という貼り紙があったそうだが、上の "Don't shoot the piano player..." はこれと関係があるのだろうか。余談だがエルトン・ジョン Elton John に "Don't Shoot Me, I'm Only the Piano Player" という長いタイトルのアルバムがあるが、邦題は「ピアニストを撃つな」となっている。