Cry over spilt milk


      • Express regret or sorrow over something that cannot be changed
        To lament or dwell on a past event or mistake that cannot be undone, usually in a way that is unproductive or unnecessary

      • Dismiss the importance of something
        To suggest that something is not worth worrying about or getting upset over, as it has already happened and cannot be changed

    Examples of Cry over spilt milk

    • Sarah accidentally knocked over her glass of milk and it spilled all over the table. Instead of cleaning it up, she started crying and saying, "Why does this always happen to me? I should have been more careful. Now I'll have to wash all these dishes."

      The idiom "cry over spilt milk" means to regret or worry about something that cannot be changed. In this example, Sarah is regretting the fact that she spilled her milk and is wishing she could go back and prevent it from happening. However, crying over spilt milk won't change the fact that the milk is already spilled, and Sarah will have to clean it up eventually.


    The idiom "cry over spilt milk" is commonly used to express regret or sorrow over something that has already happened and cannot be changed. It can also be used to dismiss the importance of something and suggest that it is not worth dwelling on. In both cases, the idiom conveys the idea that it is futile to worry about or lament something that has already occurred.

    Origin of "Cry over spilt milk"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 17th century, when it was first used in a literal sense to refer to someone actually crying over spilled milk. This meaning is still used today, but the idiom has evolved to take on a more figurative and metaphorical sense.

    One theory suggests that the idiom may have originated from the fact that milk was a valuable commodity in the past and therefore spilling it was seen as a significant loss. This loss would have caused someone to cry or become upset, hence the phrase "crying over spilt milk." Another theory suggests that the idiom may have originated from a German proverb which translates to "who cries over spilled milk, should not pour water into the jug," implying that one should not dwell on past mistakes.

    Regardless of its exact origin, the idiom has become a common phrase in the English language, used to remind people not to waste time and energy on things that cannot be changed. It serves as a reminder to focus on the present and future, rather than the past.