cry someone a river



Probably from the song Cry Me a River (1953).[1]


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cry someone a river

  1. (idiomatic, often sarcastic) To weep profusely or excessively in the presence of another person.
    • 2008 March 4, Michele Hanson, “I cry over anything lately”, in The Guardian[1]:
      It is rather shaming to be quite so wet over nothing in particular, but at least Fielding does it too. He cries gallons over slow-motion bits at the ends of films, especially Gladiator, and begins to worship Roman values, then Italian footballers kissing in slo-mo to the strains of Nessun Dorma. Sniffle, sniffle. And QPR being relegated in 1996. He can cry you a river over that one, and over a darling little clump of daffodils growing by the traffic island.
  2. (idiomatic, usually sarcastic, by extension) To try to obtain the sympathy of another person by complaining or sniveling.
    • 1968, A. B. Geraci, "Letter to Editor: PAT Should End Its Free Passes," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 3 Oct., p. 16, (retrieved 20 Oct. 2008):
      Port Authority Transit should cry me a river. Before raising fares it should cut an unnecessary expense.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Arthur Hamilton (lyrics and music) (1953), “Cry Me a River”: “Now you say you're lonely / You cry the long night through / Well, you can cry me a river / Cry me a river / I cried a river over you”