crocodile tears


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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

a display of insincere grief.
This expression draws on the ancient belief that crocodiles wept while luring or devouring their prey.
See also: crocodile, tear

ˈcrocodile tears

an insincere show of sadness: They never visited her when she was ill, but they came to her funeral and shed (= cried) a few crocodile tears.In the past, people believed that crocodiles trick people into approaching them by pretending to cry, and then eat them. Another belief was that crocodiles cry after eating somebody as if they are sorry.
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 ?
LABOUR politicians have consistently supported Government policies on post offices so they are crying crocodile tears over their closure.
While the film's intentions are noble, as a drama it is somewhat plodding, building to a courtroom showdown that is guilty of crocodile tears and emotional manipulation.
WE hope no crocodile tears will be shed by connections should, God forbid, anything befall Therealbandit if he goes for the Gold Cup this year, the sad demise of Gloria Victis being fresh in the memory.
And of course the people of Ireland decided that this was unmissable television The one-time Queen of Gossip shed crocodile tears on 'Terry' as she spoke about how old wrinkly features cried when she told him she might be pregnant.
And as for Gazza's showbiz pals, like Chris Evans and Danny Baker, save your crocodile tears and attacks on Glen Hoddle.
Rupert and Glencairn have agreed to allow First Western to earn a 40 percent interest in the 50 square kilometre Crocodile Tears property with Rupert retaining a 30 percent interest.
Enda Kenny was accused in the Dail of crying crocodile tears over the lack of resources, a familiar claim in our parliament.
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.
DONALD Trump and his employees should dry their crocodile tears and consider what they are saying.
People know this and understand and they won't be kidded by your crocodile tears.
Don't be taken in by crocodile tears from Plaid, where was he when this decision was being taken?
1 Alex Rider: Crocodile Tears by Anthony Horowitz (Walker Books, pounds 14.
As for her tears in court, they were 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.
Cowbells, catcalls, crocodile tears, critics' jeers - nothing can drown out the rhythm in their heads.