his eyes swimming

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by Fredddd, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. Fredddd Senior Member

    France
    French
    Hi ! bonsoir !
    context : old man stuck in a lift/elevator worrying for his wife who has heart problems and who is waiting for him outside .
    "I snuck off to buy her some perfume", he explained, his eyes swimming."
    Is he begininng to cry or are his eyes rolling ? this being a bit strange and excessive for the one who is not ill !
    Est-ce qu'il a les yeux humides, est-ce qu'il est au bord des larmes ? ou est-ce qu'il a les yeux qui se révulsent ? ce qui serait bizarre,ou, du moins excessif comme réaction, vu que c'est sa femme qui est malade, pas lui.
    Thanks for explaining. Merci de vos suggestions
     
  2. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    His eyes are full of tears, he is on the edge of tears, because he is sad about her illness.
    (I do not find this as strange as you do - I think my father would much more upset if my mother were sick than if he were sick himself.)
     
  3. Fredddd Senior Member

    France
    French
    thanks Kelly B. What I found strange was if his eyes were rolling as if he was himself sick instaed of her. But, thanks to you, I can keep my "yeux humides" which means he is, in fact on the edge of tears. One problem off ;-)
     
  4. Language Hound Senior Member

    American English
    eyes swimming (with tears) = des yeux noyés ou baignés de larmes

    I don't find the old man's reaction strange or excessive.
    His wife has heart problems and instead of surprising her with a
    nice thoughtful gift, right now he's stuck in an elevator.
    His wife may be worrying about him now, thereby complicating her
    health problems. He's probably blaming himself (i.e., If only I hadn't
    snuck off to buy her perfume...), and he feels helpless.
     

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