Apr. 10th, 2017

prettygoodword: text: words are sexy (Default)
crocodilian (krok-uh-DIL-ee-uhn) - adj., of, resembling, or pertaining to a crocodile or other reptiles of the order Crocodylia; hypocritical, insincere.


That's a bit of a leap for that metaphoric extension, innit? There was a belief in medieval times that crocodiles wept either to lure prey or while eating it (or sometimes, when specifically eating humans), whence the idiomatic phrase crocodile tears, meaning an insincere display of grief -- which is more appropriate for the luring belief. The crocodillians include true crocodiles, alligators, caimans, and gavials, and are archosaurs like the dinosaurs. The word ultimately goes back to Greek krokódeilos, literally pebble worm, referring to the rough skin.

---L.

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