- shed crocodile tears
- weep crocodile tears
- cry crocodile tears
Meaning | Synonyms
- fake cry
- fake tears of regret
- shed phony tears of sorrow
- crying of grief that are hypocritical
- show sadness that is not real or sincere
- She deceived him when he lost everything in his life, now again when he is rich man, she approached him to get together and shedding crocodile tears.
- You seem to be crying crocodile tears at the thought of having to miss work tomorrow.
- When my daughter does not get what she wants she cries crocodile tears. It works every time.
- She has found a great way to manipulate her husband. A few crocodile tears and he does whatever she wants.
- Every knows your reality, therefore stop shedding crocodile tears, now it will not help you fool people anymore.
The phrase is derived from an old legend that states that crocodiles cry while eating their prey. Crocodiles blow out large quantities of air while eating and that can cause their eyes to tear up. They are not actually crying, though.
One of the first documented examples of this myth dates back to the 1500s. The stories of the travels of Sir John Mandeville:
"These serpents slay men, and they eat them weeping"
Another example that the phrase was widely used can be found in Shakespeare’s Othello (1603):
"If that the earth could teem with woman's tears,
Each drop she falls would prove a crocodile."
The first example of the phrase, insinuating that someone is not being sincere can be found in a story called Life and Acts of Edmund Grindal, written by John Strype in 1710:
" ... and his tears, crocodile tears."