30 Idioms for Crying

These expressions, rooted in the rich soil of language and culture, provide a colorful lens through which we can examine the diverse ways in which humans relate to their emotions.

30 idioms for crying

Idioms for Crying

1. “Crocodile Tears”

Meaning: Fake or insincere crying, typically to deceive or manipulate others.

In a Sentence: She shed crocodile tears at the funeral, pretending to mourn a loss she never truly felt.

2. “Cry over Spilt Milk”

Meaning: To lament or be upset over something that cannot be changed or undone.

In a Sentence: There’s no use crying over spilt milk; let’s focus on finding a solution instead.

3. “Cry Your Eyes Out”

Meaning: To cry very hard or for a long time.

In a Sentence: After watching the heart-wrenching movie, she needed to cry her eyes out to release the emotional tension.

4. “Bawl Your Eyes Out”

Meaning: To cry very hard or for a long time.

In a Sentence: The breakup was so devastating that she bawled her eyes out for hours.

5. “Cry on Someone’s Shoulder”

Meaning: To seek comfort or solace from someone during a time of emotional turmoil.

In a Sentence: Feeling overwhelmed, she needed to cry on her best friend’s shoulder for support.

6. “Cry Foul”

Meaning: To protest or complain about something that is unfair or unjust.

In a Sentence: The team didn’t hesitate to cry foul when they noticed the opposing side breaking the rules.

7. “Cry Havoc”

Meaning: To create or incite chaos or destruction.

In a Sentence: Releasing the classified information could cry havoc in the political landscape.

8. “Cry Wolf”

Meaning: To make false or exaggerated claims, particularly for attention or sympathy.

In a Sentence: He always cried wolf about being sick to avoid going to school.

9. “Cry Baby”

Meaning: Used to describe someone who cries easily or excessively.

In a Sentence: Stop being a cry baby; not everything requires tears.

10. “Cry Me a River”

Meaning: An expression of disbelief or skepticism towards someone’s tears or emotional display.

In a Sentence: Oh, please, cry me a river; I’ve heard enough of your excuses.

11. “Cry Uncle”

Meaning: To give up or surrender, often used in the context of physical exertion or competition.

In a Sentence: After the third round of the wrestling match, he had no choice but to cry uncle.

12. “Cry for the Moon”

Meaning: To demand something unattainable or unrealistic.

In a Sentence: Asking for a promotion after just one month on the job is like crying for the moon.

13. “Cry Hard Enough and Long Enough”

Meaning: To persist in crying until getting what one wants.

In a Sentence: The toddler knew that if he cried hard enough and long enough, he’d get that extra cookie.

14. “Cry Your Heart Out”

Meaning: To express deep emotions in intense crying.

In a Sentence: After the breakup, she went to her room and cried her heart out.

15. “Cry on the Inside”

Meaning: To keep one’s emotions and feelings inside while hiding them from others.

In a Sentence: Despite the tough exterior, she would often cry on the inside when facing challenges.

16. “Cry the Blues”

Meaning: To express feelings of sadness or disappointment through music or song.

In a Sentence: The old blues singer had a unique ability to cry the blues, making his music resonate with raw emotion.

17. “Cry of Victory”

Meaning: To express joy or elation, especially after achieving a long-sought goal or objective.

In a Sentence: His cry of victory echoed through the stadium as he scored the winning goal.

18. “Crying Shame”

Meaning: An unfortunate event or situation that is worthy of feeling sadness or sorrow.

In a Sentence: It’s a crying shame that such a talented artist didn’t get the recognition he deserved.

19. “Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of War”

Meaning: An idiomatic phrase from Shakespeare’s play “Julius Caesar” meaning to incite chaos or violence.

In a Sentence: The dictator’s speech seemed to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war, leading to widespread unrest.

20. “Cry over Cut Onions”

Meaning: To pretend to be emotional to manipulate the situation, to pretend crying.

In a Sentence: She would cry over cut onions to avoid helping in the kitchen, a clever tactic to escape chores.

21. “Cry Like a Stuck Pig”

Meaning: To screech loudly or squeal, can also refer to somebody crying loudly and inconsolable.

In a Sentence: When the child lost his favorite toy, he started to cry like a stuck pig, drawing attention from everyone around.

22. “Cry Like a Baby”

Meaning: To cry uncontrollably, especially like a young child.

In a Sentence: Facing the horror movie alone, he couldn’t help but cry like a baby at every suspenseful moment.

23. “Cry Like a Banshee”

Meaning: To scream or wail with an intense and piercing sound; the banshee is a female spirit in Irish folklore who would cry when someone was about to die.

In a Sentence: The wind howled, making the trees sound like they were crying like banshees in the night.

24. “Cry on Command”

Meaning: To be able to cry at will or on demand, typically for acting or performance.

In a Sentence: As an actor, she mastered the art of crying on command, bringing authenticity to emotional scenes.

25. “Cry Uncle”

Meaning: To give up or surrender, often used in the context of physical exertion or competition.

In a Sentence: After an intense game of chess, he had no choice but to cry uncle in the face of his opponent’s strategic brilliance.

26. “Cry One’s Heart Out”

Meaning: To express deep emotions in intense crying or to be deeply hurt emotionally.

In a Sentence: The breakup left her devastated, and she needed to cry her heart out to heal.

Summary

IdiomMeaning
Crocodile TearsFake or insincere crying, typically to deceive or manipulate.
Cry over Spilt MilkTo lament or be upset over something that cannot be changed.
Cry Your Eyes OutTo cry very hard or for a long time.
Bawl Your Eyes OutTo cry very hard or for a long time.
Cry on Someone’s ShoulderTo seek comfort or solace from someone during emotional turmoil.
Cry FoulTo protest or complain about something unfair or unjust.
Cry HavocTo create or incite chaos or destruction.
Cry WolfTo make false or exaggerated claims, often for attention.
Cry BabyUsed to describe someone who cries easily or excessively.
Cry Me a RiverExpression of disbelief or skepticism towards someone’s tears.
Cry UncleTo give up or surrender, often in physical exertion or competition.
Cry for the MoonTo demand something unattainable or unrealistic.
Cry Hard Enough and Long EnoughTo persist in crying until getting what one wants.
Cry Your Heart OutTo express deep emotions in intense crying.
Cry on the InsideTo keep emotions hidden from others.
Cry the BluesTo express sadness or disappointment through music or song.
Cry of VictoryTo express joy or elation after achieving a long-sought goal.
Crying ShameAn unfortunate event worthy of sadness or sorrow.
Cry Havoc and Let Slip the Dogs of WarTo incite chaos or violence (Shakespearean phrase).
Cry over Cut OnionsPretend to be emotional to manipulate a situation.
Cry Like a Stuck PigTo screech loudly or cry inconsolably.
Cry Like a BabyTo cry uncontrollably, especially like a young child.
Cry Like a BansheeTo scream or wail intensely, like the banshee in Irish folklore.
Cry on CommandTo cry at will or on demand, often for acting or performance.
Cry UncleTo give up or surrender, often in the context of competition.
Cry One’s Heart OutTo express deep emotions in intense crying or be deeply hurt emotionally.

Conclusion

As we wrap up this journey through the diverse idioms for crying, it becomes clear that language, like tears, is a powerful tool for expressing the myriad emotions that define the human experience.

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