Halsey is an American singer and songwriter.

Asked by Destin Jones in Alligators and Crocodiles, Halsey

Is “alligator tears” an acceptable variant of “crocodile tears”?

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“Crocodile tears” is definitely the more common phrase. To shed crocodile tears is to fake a show of grief, based on the fact that crocodiles (and alligators and caimans) sometimes “cry” as they’re eating. For them, it has no basis in emotion or trying to trick onlookers—as far as we know, it has to do with them hissing as they eat, forcing air through their sinuses and triggering tears. Maybe Halsey was trying to be a little less cliché, or she needed that extra syllable. Either way, even if it’s not technically the “right” phrase, “alligator tears” definitely gets her point across, and alligators do the crying thing, too, so no need to cancel Halsey for this one.

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