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2016年10月11日 | 英語の本を読む

Why would she cut herself on purpose--something a doctor would consider doing only with anesthetic and strict protocols? So although she was in my office for a heart consult, I asked her. She answered matter-of-factly, "My shrink says I'm trying to kill myself. But I'm not. If I wanted to die, I would. Cutting just makes me feel better. It relieves me." Her answere jibed with what other cutters say.
上の引用文に出てくる "shrink" は何年か前に覚えた単語ですが、私には幸い厄介になる必要性がない精神科医の意味だったと記憶しています。意味は覚えていましたが、語源が気になったので調べます。
・Vocabulary.com: Shrink is the informal word you can use to talk about a therapist. Talking about your problems with her can hopefully help you shrink them, or make them smaller.
The word shrink is related to the Swedish skrynka meaning "to wrinkle." Think about what happens to a lone forgotten fruit at the bottom of your fridge drawer. After a while, it begins to wrinkle or shrink. Clothes washed in hot water tend to shrink, so be wary of the setting on your washing machine. The use of shrink as referring to therapists started as late as the 1960s -- with the idea of a psychologist being a "head-shrinker."
"head-shrinker" とは何やら眉唾ですね。もう一つのサイト、 Word-Detective(http://www.word-detective.com/030698.html#shrink)から説明も抜粋します。
  The slang term "shrink," applied to psychiatrists and psychotherapists and psychologists, is a shortened form of "headshrinker," a derogatory comparison of the profession to primitive tribes who ritually dry and shrink the heads of their slain enemies. The term "shrink" dates back at least to the early 1960's, and first showed up in print in Thomas Pynchon's "The Crying of Lot 49" in 1966.
If "headshrinker" seems a bit exotic for an insulting metaphor, it may help to note that magazine cartoons of the 1950's and 1960's were awash in cannibalistic natives, witch doctors and the like, so the imagery of "shrink" is not all that surprising. And if your wife's feelings are a bit hurt by this revelation of the term's origins, just remember the wisdom of my personal psychological counselor, Pogo: Don't take life so serious -- it ain't nohow permanent.
結論としては "headshrinker" の世話にはなりたくありません、ですね。

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