laugh or cry, don't know whether to

laugh or cry, don't know whether to

I am amused and upset at the same time. This expression is a modern version of several much earlier sayings. Chaucer wrote, “She ys fals [is false]; and ever laughynge, with oon eye, and that other wepynge,” indicating more hypocrisy rather than being torn by conflicting feelings. This version became a proverb, “Cry with one eye and laugh with the other” (in Ray’s 1678 and Fuller’s 1732 collections). Another version, “to laugh and cry both with a breath”—that is, to laugh and cry at the same time—was so put by Shakespeare (in Venus and Adonis) and also recorded in the above-named proverb collections. The modern cliché dates from the nineteenth century.
See also: know, laugh
Full browser ?