Crocodile tears


      • fake sympathy or remorse
        To express insincere or fake emotions, often in an attempt to manipulate or deceive others.

      • hypocritical display of emotion
        Used to describe a person who pretends to feel sorrow or sadness, but in reality, does not genuinely care about the situation or person.

      • superficial display of emotion
        Refers to a person who puts on a show of feeling emotional or upset, but in reality, is not truly affected by the situation or event.

    Examples of Crocodile tears

    • She put on quite a show, crying uncontrollably in front of us, but I could tell they were crocodile tears.

      The phrase "crocodile tears" is used to describe someone who appears to be crying sincerely but is actually faking it to deceive others. In this example, the person being talked about seems to be genuinely upset, but the speaker is doubtful and considers the tears to be insincere, much like how crocodiles shed tears as a way to attract prey and then eat them.

    • He claimed that he was heartbroken and sincerely regretted his actions, but I saw crocodile tears in his eyes.

      This example has similar meaning to the first one. The phrase "crocodile tears" can also be used to describe someone who appears to be remorseful but is actually being insincere. In this instance, the person is trying to convince the speaker that he is genuinely sorry for his past behavior, but the speaker has reason to believe that he is just saying what needs to be said to avoid punishment or to gain sympathy.

    • The politician's speech was filled with crocodile tears as he appealed to the emotions of the crowd.

      This example shows how the phrase "crocodile tears" can be used to describe someone who is emotionally manipulating others. In this case, the politician is using his words to evoke strong feelings in the audience, but some may see his actions as insincere and manipulative, much like how crocodiles shed tears to lure prey.

    • My sister put on quite a show after we told her the truth, but I knew it was just crocodile tears.

      This example shows how the phrase "crocodile tears" can be used to describe someone's reaction to bad news. In this case, the speaker's sister seems to be genuinely upset after learning something upsetting, but the speaker doesn't believe that she is truly upset, and thinks that her reaction is insincere. Overall, the phrase "crocodile tears" is used to describe someone's behavior when they are faking emotions in order to deceive others.

    • After being caught embezzling from the company, the CEO shed crocodile tears in front of the board members, trying to gain their sympathy and avoid getting fired.

      Crocodile tears refer to false displays of emotion, in this case, the CEO's attempt to appear remorseful and contrite despite actually being guilty of a serious offense.EXample: During the heated argument, Jane rolled her eyes and accused her partner of shedding crocodile tears, implying that they were pretending to be upset in order to manipulate her. EXPLANATION: Crocodile tears can also be used as a derogatory term, implying that someone's supposed emotions are insincere or manipulative.

    • The politician gave a tearful speech, blaming his opponents for the negative campaign ads and accusing them of shedding crocodile tears.

      In this example, crocodile tears is being used as a figurative way of accusing someone of falsely appearing emotional in order to gain sympathy.

    • After losing the election, the candidate suddenly became very emotional, shedding crocodile tears and blaming the unexpected loss on voter fraud.

      Crocodile tears can also be used to suggest that someone's emotions are overly dramatic or exaggerated, especially in response to a disappointing outcome or perceived injustice.

    • The salesperson gave a convincing presentation, but I still felt that she was shedding crocodile tears when she begged for my business.

      Although the salesperson seemed sincere during her presentation, the speaker felt that she was not genuinely interested in winning the business and was only putting on a show to manipulate them into making a purchase. The use of "crocodile tears" implies that the salesperson was being overly emotional and exaggerating her emotions for personal gain.


    The idiom "crocodile tears" is used to describe insincere, hypocritical, or superficial displays of emotion. It conveys the idea that someone is pretending to feel a certain way in order to manipulate or deceive others.

    The phrase is often used in a negative context, to criticize someone for their insincerity or lack of genuine emotion. It can also be used to warn others not to fall for someone's fake display of emotion.

    Origin of "Crocodile tears"

    The origin of the idiom "crocodile tears" can be traced back to an ancient Greek legend. According to the legend, crocodiles would shed tears while devouring their prey. This was seen as a deceitful act, as the tears were not genuine but merely a way for the crocodiles to lure their victims.

    The phrase was later popularized in the 16th century by English playwright William Shakespeare in his play "Othello." In the play, the character Iago says, "O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on," comparing jealousy to a crocodile's tears.

    Over time, the idiom became a common saying, used to describe any insincere or fake display of emotion. It is now a widely recognized idiom in the English language, with its origins deeply rooted in ancient legends and literature.