Crocodile tears

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Crocodile Tears

Crocodile tears refers to a false, insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grief. The phrase derives from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey, and as such is present in many modern languages, especially in Europe where it was introduced through Latin.

Etymology[edit | edit source]

The phrase originated from the ancient anecdote that crocodiles weep for the victims they are eating. This tale was spread widely in English in the stories of the travels of Sir John Mandeville in the 14th century.

In Literature[edit | edit source]

The concept of crocodile tears has been used in literature, from works of classical antiquity to modern times. In Shakespeare's Othello, the antagonist Iago says that he has "shed crocodile tears" to deceive people.

In Psychology[edit | edit source]

In psychology, crocodile tears syndrome is a condition in which a person cries or produces tears without any emotional reason. This can occur as a result of conditions such as Bell's palsy or other neurological disorders.

In Popular Culture[edit | edit source]

The term "crocodile tears" has permeated popular culture, being used in song lyrics, book titles, and as a colloquial expression to denote insincere sorrow.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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