Open main menu

Wiktionary β

cry someone a river




Probably from the song "Cry Me a River" (1953).


cry someone a river

  1. (idiomatic, often sarcastic) To weep profusely or excessively in the presence of another person.
    • 2008, Michele Hanson, "I cry over anything lately,", 4 Mar. (retrieved 20 Oct. 2008):
      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.