crocodile tears


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to crocodile tears: crocodile tears syndrome

crocodile tears

A false, insincere, or hypocritical display of sadness or remorse. Derived from an ancient anecdote that a crocodile will weep to lure in its victims, or that it weeps as it eats them. The prime minister's crocodile tears belie the government's involvement with the massacre of its citizens. Jessica shed crocodile tears over the expulsion of her rival, Jacob.
See also: crocodile, tear

crocodile tears

An insincere display of grief, as in When the play's star broke her leg, her understudy wept crocodile tears. This term comes from the mistaken notion that crocodiles weep while eating their prey, one held in ancient Roman times. The actual term was picked up by Shakespeare and many other writers after him, and remains current. [Late 1500s]
See also: crocodile, tear

crocodile tears

False or hypocritical displays of emotions. A 14th-century adventurer named Sir John Mandeville reported that crocodiles attract their prey's sympathy by weeping and then continued to cry while consuming their victims. Shakespeare referred to such a belief in Othello: “O devil, devil! If that the earth could teem with woman's tears, / Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile.” An alternate explanation is that since those reptiles cannot cry, then crocodile tears are nonexistent shows of emotion. However, and for what's it's worth, zoologists tell us that crocodiles do in fact have functional tear ducts, although with no emotional connection.
See also: crocodile, tear
References in periodicals archive ?
And as for Gazza's showbiz pals, like Chris Evans and Danny Baker, save your crocodile tears and attacks on Glen Hoddle.
This documentary examines the phenomenon of crocodile tears, where criminals have feigned innocence on camera while making appeals for information.
Instead they wave the white flag and cry crocodile tears as they lament the demise of public services.
Dear food for the millions and cheap labour for the millionaire, that is the policy the Tory party offers you, greed and hypocrisy and plundering of the nation's wealth while weeping crocodile tears over the state of the nation.
His 'frustration' at the Government is nothing more than crocodile tears.
1 Alex Rider: Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz (Walker Books, pounds 14.
But Peta said fishing was cruel and suggested that anglers were crying crocodile tears.
Despite the crocodile tears of Labour MPs it is their own government in Westminster that has brought about this death knell to our communities.
While pop singers you have never heard of receive awards for ruining yet another sixties classic, and over-emotional actors cry crocodile tears over their Oscars, the real heroes will be at the London Hilton, where Carol Vorderman presents the Pride of Britain Awards 2003.
Cowbells, catcalls, crocodile tears, critics' jeers - nothing can drown out the rhythm in their heads.
He added: "Any remorse he says he has shown is crocodile tears.
It's a pity that the same sort of concern and crocodile tears were not shed when the closing of the biggest tractor factory was taking place, when the thousands that had worked and laughed there over the years were not given a second thought.
People know this and understand and they won't be kidded by your crocodile tears.
THERE were few crocodile tears shed when a herd of angry hippos took exception to an unwanted visitor at their watering hole.