Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Is this baby cying 닭똥 같은 눈물?

In the caption of the video, the mother describes her baby's crying as pretty, but then goes on to describe her tears as 닭똥 같은 눈물, which means "tears like chicken shit." Some people may think "chicken-shit tears" are pretty, but is that baby really crying chicken-shit tears?

닭똥 같은 눈물 are tears that form around the edges of the eyes into big teardrops that eventually succumb to gravity and fall to the ground, supposedly like droppings from a chicken's butt. However, as anyone who has ever watched a chicken poop knows, a person crying chicken-shit tears would need to have his or her head bowed so that the tears drop directly from the eyes to the ground rather than run down the face. Therefore, since the baby in the video is crying while lying on her back, those tears cannot be "chicken-shit tears."


  1. I think the point is them are some pretty big ass tears man

  2. My wife says the large size of the tear droplets are all that the idiom describes. Also, poop or dung would be a more accurate translation of 똥.

  3. Hi Judah,

    My book describes 닭똥 같은 눈물 as follows:

    고개를 숙인 채 눈물을 흘리면 눈물이 흐르지 않고 눈가에 고여 있다가 뚝뚝 방울져 떨어진다. 몹시 서러워서 눈물이 많이 나오면 눈물 방울이 클 것이다. 얼마나 큰지 '닭똥'에 비유한다.

    The first sentence in the description translates as follows:

    If one cries with one's head bowed, the tears do no flow but gather around the edges of the eyes and fall in drops.

  4. Judah,

    Another description can be found HERE.

    닭똥같은 눈물은 절대로 흐르지 않습니다. 흐르기도 전에 눈가에서 바닥으로 떨어집니다. 투욱~!

    닭똥같은 눈물 absolutely does not flow. They fall to the ground from the edges of the eyes before they flow. With a plump.

  5. I also agree that poop or dung is a better translation for 똥 than is SH**

    In any case, if they don't fall to the ground they become really big. Honestly, watching this video, those are pretty remarkably huge tears. They collected not in the space around the eyes, but around the eyes and on the cheeks, too, and didn't fall off the babies face. I think that looking at the video makes any argument about what is 딹똥 같은 눈물 to be pretty moot.

    A picture is a thousand words ~

  6. Joseph,

    According to the definitions I have read of 닭똥 같은 눈물, the tears are not 닭똥 if they run down the cheek of the baby. Afterall, chicken poop does not run down the leg of a chicken, does it?

    The tears have to drop from the eyes directly to the ground. That happens a lot in Korea because people often cry with their heads bowed.

    If you want to refer to just the size of the tears, then I think you should use a different expression.

  7. Today, I looked up 닭똥 같은 눈물 in Korea's online version of the dictionary 표준국어대사전. Here is the definition it gave:

    몹시 방울이 굵은 눈물을 비유적으로 이르는 말.

    According to the dictionary, the phrase is used figuratively to refer only to the size of the teardrops, not to the fact that they must fall directly from the eyes to the ground. The definition is different from the definition given in my book of idioms. Now I do not know what to believe.

  8. I saw on a Simpson's show the subtitle 닭똥 눈물 for something referring to crying really hard. It also did not have the idea about them having to fall on the ground.

    I also saw your definition in the Naver dictionary, but assumed you had more thorough references. This has been hacked to death by now !!


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