turn on the waterworks

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turn on the waterworks

To start crying profusely, either genuinely or in order to get attention. My little sister turns on the waterworks the moment she doesn't get what she wants. I could tell the kid was about to turn on the waterworks, so I bought him an ice cream.
See also: on, turn
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

turn on the waterworks

Fig. to begin to cry. Every time Billy got homesick, he turned on the waterworks. Sally hurt her knee and turned on the waterworks for about twenty minutes.
See also: on, turn
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

turn on the waterworks

Start to weep, as in Whenever Dad refuses a request of hers she turns on the waterworks. This term implies that one begins to weep deliberately, as though switching on a system of pipes connected to reservoirs.
See also: on, turn
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.

turn on the ˈwaterworks

(informal, disapproving) start crying, especially in order to get sympathy or attention: You can turn off the waterworks for a start, as that won’t make me change my mind.
See also: on, turn
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

turn on the waterworks

in. to begin to cry. His lower lip was quivering, and I knew he was going to turn on the waterworks.
See also: on, turn
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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