Crocodile Tears: Definition, Origin & Practical Examples in English

Crocodile tears! In this lesson, you will find the meaning of this phrase, the origin of the phrase, examples of how it is used in conversation/statements and other ways you can say to convey the same meaning.

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Crocodile Tears

Crocodile Tears Meaning

The popular slang “crocodile tears” expresses fake sadness. It means to pretend a sorrow that one doesn’t in fact feel or insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grief.

Origin of Crocodile Tears

The idea comes from the ancient belief that crocodiles weep while luring or devouring their prey and as such is present in many modern languages, especially in Europe where it was introduced through Latin. While crocodiles do have tear ducts, they weep to lubricate their eyes, typically when they have been out of water for a long time and their eyes begin to dry out. There are reports of references in French that date the belief back to 1230, although I’ve not been able to confirm those.

Example Sentences

  • They weep crocodile tears for the poor and disadvantaged but are basically happy with things as they are.
  • The sight of Ginger shedding crocodile tears made me sick.
  • Crocodile tears, they’re tearing me apart.
  • Let’s have no more politicians shedding crocodile tears for the unemployed.
  • So much for the exiles’ crocodile tears over Emma’s removal.
  • He showed his crocodile tears when aunt died.
  • Don’t soften your heart; he was shedding crocodile tears.
  • They were only crying crocodile tears at the old man’s funeral.
  • She shed crocodile tears when she dismissed him from his job.
  • Sarah shed crocodile tears over his death.
  • Silly shed crocodile tears when she dismissed him for his job.
  • Politicians shed crocodile tears over the plight of the unemployed.
  • My daughter already had crocodile tears sprouting in her eyes.
  • The woman cried crocodile tears at the news.
  • He wept a few crocodile tears over his wife’s death and then go married again at once.
  • Don’t crocodile tears over his misfortune. I know you hate him.
  • Don’t shed crocodile tears to me.
  • The new king crocodile tears on hearing of his father’s death.
  • The secretaries wept crocodile tears over the manager’s dilemma.
  • Your crocodile tears fool no body.

Related Phrases for Crocodile Tears

  • Affected tears
  • Fake tears
  • False show of emotion
  • False tears
  • Insincere tears

Crocodile Tears Infographic

Crocodile Tears

Crocodile Tears: Definition, Origin & Practical Examples in English 1

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