crying towel

crying towel

1. A figurative towel used to wipe away someone's tears; used sarcastically to imply that the person's woes or complaints are uncalled for or exaggerated. Oh, you have to pay a bit more in taxes because you're now making $100,000 more per year? Shall I get out a crying towel for you?
2. A person who listens to and/or offers sympathy for someone's troubles, complaints, or grief. I'm getting a little tired of being Charlie's crying towel every time he breaks up with some new boyfriend.
See also: crying, towel
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

crying towel

A figurative towel for wiping the tears of a self-pitying individual. For example, So you didn't make the first team? Get out the crying towel. This expression is always used sarcastically. [Slang; 1920s]
See also: crying, towel
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

crying towel

n. someone or something used to comfort someone. It’s so sad. I guess I really need a crying towel today.
See also: crying, towel
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Here is a big green and yellow crying towel for Judy Spoelstra, who was crying about the officiating in the Duck win over the Beavers Sunday.
There are no retakes allowed in these competitions: What you see is what happened, and you're sure to hear trash-talking and see the crying towels come out when the scores are added up.
HR leaders were, and unfortunately often still are, viewed as little more than party organizers, production workforce baby-sitters and organizational crying towels. But we continue to do so at our peril, as the turning of generational and economic cycles has created a new HR imperative.