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Crocodile tears

Crocodile tears are an insincere display of grief or sadness. The idea of crying crocodile tears reputedly began in antiquity, though the modern use of the phrase stems from the book The Voyage and Travail of Sir John Maundeville, published around 1400. In the book, the author speaks of crocodiles which are “serpents [that] slay men, and then, weeping, eat them”, which gives rise to the myth of remorseful crocodiles. Later, the myth evolves into the belief that crocodiles weep heartbreakingly  in order to lure unsuspecting prey. By the mid-1500s the term crocodile tears was used by Archbishop Edmund Grindal as a noun to indicate an insincere display of grief or sadness.


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Examples

Their display of crocodile tears in Lheidli T’enneh Memorial Park is nothing more than a photo opportunity. (The Prince George Citizen)

“It is clear you have no love lost for Punjabis or their sentiments so please stop shedding crocodile tears over drugs in Punjab,” SAD spokesman Daljit Cheema said in a statement here. (The Daily News & Analysis)

Punjab Pradesh Congress Committee (PPCC) president Capt Amarinder Singh on Friday said Union I&B minister Arun Jaitley was only shedding crocodile tears on the ‘Udta Punjab’ issue. (The Times of India)

“In the event, shedding crocodile tears and issuing a bland statement by the spokesperson of the U.S. State Department calling on ‘both sides to show restraint’ cannot impress anyone” Eritrea’s statement added. (The Sudan Tribune)

He added: ‘The left and LGBT cry their crocodile tears, but THEY are responsible for the murder of over 50 people in a gay club in Orlando.” (The Daily Mail)

Some things, like the fact that American authorities are not in control against Islamic terrorism are worth crying about—and that should absolutely preclude the crocodile tears of Mitt Romney. (The Canada Free Press)

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