Top 60 Slang For Crying – Meaning & Usage

Tears, sniffles, and heartache – we’ve all been there. But have you ever stopped to think about the various ways people express their emotions when it comes to crying? From “ugly crying” to “waterworks,” our team has put together a list of the top slang terms for crying that will have you nodding in recognition and maybe even chuckling at the creativity of language. So grab a tissue and get ready to explore the diverse ways we describe shedding a tear.

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1. Bawl

To cry loudly and uncontrollably, often accompanied by wailing or sobbing. “Bawl” is a term used to describe a particularly intense and emotional form of crying.

  • For example, “After the breakup, she bawled her eyes out for hours.”
  • A parent might say, “Don’t bawl like that over a small scrape.”
  • In a sad movie scene, a character might bawl and say, “I can’t believe he’s gone!”

2. Sob

To cry audibly and with deep sorrow or grief. “Sob” refers to a type of crying characterized by loud, convulsive gasps and a breaking voice.

  • For instance, “She sobbed uncontrollably when she heard the news.”
  • A person might say, “I couldn’t help but sob when I watched that heart-wrenching movie.”
  • In a moment of despair, a character might sob and exclaim, “Why is life so unfair?”

3. Weep

To cry quietly and softly, often as a result of sadness, grief, or emotional pain. “Weep” describes a type of crying that is more subdued and controlled compared to bawling or sobbing.

  • For example, “She wept silently as she read the heartbreaking letter.”
  • A person might say, “Sometimes, all you need is a good weep to release your emotions.”
  • In a touching scene, a character might weep and whisper, “I miss you so much.”

4. Wail

To cry loudly and mournfully, often as an expression of grief or sorrow. “Wail” refers to a type of crying that is characterized by high-pitched, prolonged sounds.

  • For instance, “The mourners wailed at the funeral, their cries filling the air.”
  • A person might say, “She wailed in agony when she received the devastating news.”
  • In a moment of despair, a character might wail and ask, “Why is life so cruel?”

5. Snivel

To cry or complain in a feeble or whining manner, often out of self-pity or dissatisfaction. “Snivel” is a term used to describe a type of crying that is accompanied by sniffles and a generally pitiful demeanor.

  • For example, “Stop sniveling and deal with your problems like an adult.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t stand it when people snivel about every little inconvenience.”
  • In a moment of frustration, a character might snivel and mutter, “Why does everything always go wrong for me?”

6. Blubber

This term refers to crying in a loud, wailing manner, often accompanied by sobs and tears.

  • For example, “She couldn’t hold back her emotions and began to blubber uncontrollably.”
  • When a character in a movie receives bad news, they might blubber, “Why is this happening to me?”
  • A person might say, “I always blubber during sad movies, even if I’ve seen them before.”

7. Lament

This word is often used to describe a deep expression of sorrow or grief, often accompanied by tears.

  • For instance, “She lamented the loss of her beloved pet.”
  • In a poem about heartbreak, the writer might lament, “I cry for the love we once had.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t help but lament when I think about all the missed opportunities.”

8. Shed tears

The phrase “shed tears” is a simple way of expressing the act of crying or weeping.

  • For example, “She shed tears of joy when she received the good news.”
  • When a character in a book is overcome with emotion, they might shed tears, “Unable to contain her sadness, she shed tears.”
  • A person might say, “I often shed tears when I watch emotional movies.”

9. Waterworks

This term refers to crying in a copious or uncontrollable manner, often producing a significant amount of tears.

  • For instance, “When she heard the news, the waterworks started and she couldn’t stop crying.”
  • In a comedy show, a character might say, “Whenever I see a sad commercial, the waterworks turn on.”
  • A person might say, “I always bring tissues to sad movies because I know the waterworks will start.”

10. Ugly cry

This term describes crying in a manner that is not considered aesthetically pleasing, often involving loud noises, red and puffy eyes, and facial contortions.

  • For example, “She had an ugly cry after receiving the heartbreaking news.”
  • When a person is overwhelmed with emotion, they might say, “I can’t help but have an ugly cry when I’m really sad.”
  • A friend might say, “Don’t worry about how you look, just let it out and have an ugly cry.”

11. Turn on the waterworks

This phrase is used to describe someone who is crying, often in an exaggerated or insincere manner.

  • For example, “She turned on the waterworks when she didn’t get her way.”
  • One might say, “He always turns on the waterworks to get sympathy from others.”
  • In a discussion about manipulative behavior, someone might comment, “Beware of people who turn on the waterworks to manipulate others.”

12. Have a good cry

This phrase is used to describe the act of crying in a cathartic or therapeutic way, often to release pent-up emotions.

  • For instance, “Sometimes, all you need is to have a good cry to feel better.”
  • One might say, “I had a good cry after a long and stressful day.”
  • In a conversation about emotional well-being, someone might suggest, “If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try having a good cry to let it all out.”

13. Break down

This phrase is used to describe someone who is unable to control their emotions and begins crying intensely.

  • For example, “After receiving the bad news, she broke down and couldn’t stop crying.”
  • One might say, “I saw him break down at the funeral, and it was heartbreaking.”
  • In a discussion about emotional vulnerability, someone might comment, “It’s okay to break down and cry when you’re feeling overwhelmed.”

14. Burst into tears

This phrase is used to describe the sudden onset of crying, often accompanied by strong emotions.

  • For instance, “When she saw the surprise, she burst into tears of joy.”
  • One might say, “He burst into tears after hearing the heartbreaking news.”
  • In a conversation about emotional reactions, someone might mention, “I always burst into tears when I watch sad movies.”

15. Sniffle

This word is used to describe the act of crying with soft, quiet sniffs, often indicating a restrained or suppressed emotional response.

  • For example, “She tried to hide her sadness and only let out a few sniffles.”
  • One might say, “He couldn’t hold back the sniffles during the emotional speech.”
  • In a discussion about subtle expressions of emotion, someone might comment, “Sometimes, a sniffle can speak volumes about how someone is truly feeling.”

16. Drip tears

This phrase is used to describe the act of crying or shedding tears. It implies a slow and steady flow of tears.

  • For example, “After the breakup, she couldn’t help but drip tears.”
  • In a sad movie scene, a character might say, “The emotional scene made me drip tears.”
  • Someone might comment, “Seeing her walk down the aisle made me drip tears of joy.”

17. Let it out

This phrase is used to encourage someone to release their emotions by crying. It suggests that holding back tears can be unhealthy and that it’s better to let them flow.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “It’s okay to let it out. Crying can be cathartic.”
  • In a therapy session, a counselor might advise, “Don’t be afraid to let it out and express your emotions.”
  • A person reflecting on a sad event might say, “I finally let it out and cried for hours.”

18. Get emotional

This phrase is used to describe the act of becoming emotionally overwhelmed, often leading to tears. It implies a strong emotional response.

  • For example, “During the graduation ceremony, I couldn’t help but get emotional.”
  • When watching a heartwarming video, someone might say, “I always get emotional when I see acts of kindness.”
  • A person discussing a sentimental moment might say, “The speech was so touching, it made everyone get emotional.”

19. Cry a river

This phrase is used to describe the act of crying a lot or crying excessively. It implies a large amount of tears being shed.

  • For instance, “After the breakup, she cried a river for days.”
  • In a sad movie scene, someone might comment, “That scene always makes me cry a river.”
  • A person discussing a personal loss might say, “I cried a river when my pet passed away.”

20. Boo-hoo

This phrase is used as an onomatopoeic representation of the sound made when crying. It is often used in a mocking or dismissive manner.

  • For example, “Stop your boo-hooing and get over it.”
  • In a playful argument, someone might say, “Oh, boo-hoo, cry me a river.”
  • A person imitating a baby’s cry might say, “Boo-hoo, I want my bottle.”

21. Have a weep

This phrase is used to describe the act of crying or shedding tears. It implies a temporary emotional release through tears.

  • For example, “After a long day, I just needed to have a weep.”
  • Someone might say, “I watched a sad movie last night and couldn’t help but have a weep.”
  • In a conversation about emotional moments, a person might share, “I had a weep when I saw my child graduate.”

22. Choke up

This phrase describes the feeling of becoming emotional or teary-eyed, often due to sentimentality or overwhelming emotions.

  • For instance, “During the wedding ceremony, the groom started to choke up.”
  • A person might say, “Whenever I hear that song, it always makes me choke up.”
  • In a discussion about heartwarming stories, someone might share, “This story always gets me choked up.”

23. Turn on the tear faucet

This phrase is used to describe the act of crying heavily, as if someone has turned on a faucet of tears.

  • For example, “When she heard the news, she couldn’t help but turn on the tear faucet.”
  • Someone might say, “Watching that heartbreaking scene in the movie made me turn on the tear faucet.”
  • In a conversation about emotional moments, a person might share, “Whenever I see someone in pain, it immediately turns on my tear faucet.”

24. Bawling

This term is used to describe the act of crying loudly and uncontrollably, often accompanied by wailing or sobbing.

  • For instance, “The child was bawling after falling off the bike.”
  • A person might say, “I couldn’t hold back my emotions and ended up bawling in front of everyone.”
  • In a discussion about emotional breakdowns, someone might share, “When I received the bad news, I just started bawling.”

25. Weeping

This word describes the act of crying softly and silently, often accompanied by tears streaming down the face.

  • For example, “She sat alone in her room, weeping for hours.”
  • A person might say, “Whenever I watch a sad movie, I can’t help but start weeping.”
  • In a conversation about personal struggles, someone might share, “During my lowest moments, I found solace in weeping.”

26. Sobbing

Sobbing refers to the act of crying loudly and uncontrollably, often accompanied by audible sounds of distress.

  • For example, “She couldn’t contain her emotions and started sobbing uncontrollably.”
  • In a sad movie, a character might sob and say, “I can’t believe he’s gone.”
  • A person might describe their emotional state by saying, “I’ve been sobbing all night.”

27. Wailing

Wailing is the act of crying loudly and mournfully, often associated with grief or intense emotional pain.

  • For instance, “The child fell and started wailing in pain.”
  • In a funeral scene, a person might wail and say, “Why did you have to leave us?”
  • A person might describe their heartbreak by saying, “I couldn’t stop wailing after the breakup.”

28. Sniveling

Sniveling refers to the act of crying or whining in a weak or self-pitying manner, often accompanied by sniffles and tears.

  • For example, “Stop sniveling and take responsibility for your actions.”
  • In a disagreement, one person might accuse the other of sniveling and say, “You’re just trying to gain sympathy.”
  • A person might describe someone’s behavior by saying, “He’s always sniveling about something.”

29. Blubbering

Blubbering refers to the act of crying in a noisy and uncontrolled way, often accompanied by sobs and incoherent speech.

  • For instance, “She was so overwhelmed with emotion that she started blubbering.”
  • In a moment of extreme sadness, a person might blubber and say, “I can’t believe it’s over.”
  • A person might describe their reaction to a sad movie by saying, “I was blubbering like a baby.”

30. Shedding tears

Shedding tears simply refers to the act of crying or producing tears, without specifying the intensity or manner of crying.

  • For example, “She couldn’t hold back her tears and started shedding tears of joy.”
  • In a touching moment, a person might say, “His speech was so moving, it brought tears to my eyes.”
  • A person might describe their emotional state by saying, “I’ve been shedding tears over the loss of a loved one.”

31. Tears flowing

This phrase describes the act of crying with tears streaming down one’s face. It indicates a strong display of emotion or sadness.

  • For example, “After the breakup, she couldn’t stop her tears from flowing.”
  • In a touching movie scene, a character might say, “The emotional ending had tears flowing in the theater.”
  • A person might describe their reaction to a heartwarming moment, saying, “I couldn’t help it, tears were flowing down my cheeks.”

32. Breaking down

This phrase refers to the act of losing emotional control and crying uncontrollably. It suggests a complete emotional collapse or overwhelming sadness.

  • For instance, “After receiving the devastating news, she broke down and couldn’t stop crying.”
  • In a stressful situation, a person might say, “I felt like I was breaking down and couldn’t hold back the tears.”
  • A character in a book might experience a traumatic event and describe their emotional state as, “I couldn’t handle it anymore, I broke down in tears.”

33. Crying like a baby

This phrase compares the act of crying to that of a baby, implying a high level of intensity and volume. It suggests a complete surrender to emotions.

  • For example, “When she heard the sad news, she started crying like a baby.”
  • In a humorous context, a person might say, “After watching the emotional movie, I was crying like a baby.”
  • A friend might comfort someone by saying, “It’s okay to cry like a baby, let it all out.”

34. Welling up

This phrase describes the sensation of tears gathering or welling up in one’s eyes, indicating the onset of crying. It suggests a strong emotional reaction.

  • For instance, “As she listened to the touching song, tears started welling up in her eyes.”
  • In a sentimental moment, a person might say, “I could feel the tears welling up as I watched the bride walk down the aisle.”
  • A character in a book might describe their emotional state, saying, “I felt the tears welling up, but I managed to hold them back.”

35. Getting emotional

This phrase refers to the act of becoming emotional and experiencing feelings that may lead to crying. It suggests a heightened emotional state.

  • For example, “During the heartfelt speech, she couldn’t help getting emotional.”
  • In a personal conversation, a friend might say, “I always get emotional when I think about my childhood.”
  • A character in a movie might confess, “I’m getting emotional just thinking about how much I love you.”

36. Letting it all out

This phrase is used to describe the act of releasing pent-up emotions and crying without holding back.

  • For example, after a long and stressful day, someone might say, “I just need a good cry and let it all out.”
  • In a conversation about dealing with grief, a person might say, “Sometimes you just have to let it all out and cry.”
  • When comforting a friend, you might say, “It’s okay to let it all out and cry. I’m here for you.”

37. Sniffling

This term refers to the action of sniffing repeatedly while crying, typically due to a runny nose or congestion.

  • For instance, if someone is crying and sniffling, you might say, “She was sniffling throughout the whole movie.”
  • When describing a sad scene in a book, you might write, “The character’s sniffling intensified as she tried to hold back tears.”
  • If someone asks why you’re sniffling, you can simply say, “I’m just a bit emotional right now.”

38. Drowning in tears

This phrase is used to describe intense crying or crying to a great extent, as if one is being overwhelmed or consumed by tears.

  • For example, if someone is visibly crying and unable to control their tears, you might say, “She’s drowning in tears.”
  • When describing a heartbreaking moment, you might write, “The sight of her sobbing uncontrollably made it seem like she was drowning in tears.”
  • If someone asks how you’re feeling after a breakup, you might say, “I’m just drowning in tears right now.”

39. Getting teary-eyed

This phrase is used to describe the state of becoming emotional to the point where tears start to well up in one’s eyes.

  • For instance, when watching a touching movie scene, you might say, “I always get teary-eyed during that part.”
  • When describing a heartfelt speech, you might write, “Her words were so moving that many in the audience got teary-eyed.”
  • If someone asks why you’re blinking rapidly, you can say, “Oh, I’m just getting a bit teary-eyed.”

40. Crying a storm

This phrase is used to describe crying with great intensity, as if a storm of tears is pouring out.

  • For example, if someone is crying loudly and uncontrollably, you might say, “She’s crying a storm.”
  • When describing a scene in a sad movie, you might write, “The character’s heartbreak was evident as they cried a storm of tears.”
  • If someone asks why your eyes are red and puffy, you can say, “I’ve been crying a storm lately.”

41. Having a good cry

This phrase refers to the act of crying as a way to release emotions or relieve stress. It implies that crying can be a healthy and cathartic experience.

  • For example, after a breakup, a person might say, “I just need to have a good cry and let it all out.”
  • When feeling overwhelmed, someone might confide, “Sometimes, having a good cry is the best way to decompress and reset.”
  • In a supportive conversation, a friend might say, “It’s okay to have a good cry. I’m here for you.”

42. Bawling one’s heart out

This phrase describes crying in a loud and intense manner, often accompanied by sobbing. It suggests a deep emotional pain or distress.

  • For instance, if someone receives devastating news, they might be seen bawling their heart out.
  • In a dramatic scene in a movie, a character might bawl their heart out after a tragic event.
  • In a personal essay or memoir, an author might recount a time when they bawled their heart out due to overwhelming grief.
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43. Crying one’s eyes dry

This phrase implies crying to the point of exhausting one’s tears. It suggests a prolonged and intense emotional response.

  • For example, after a heartbreaking loss, someone might say, “I cried my eyes dry last night.”
  • In a discussion about emotional vulnerability, a person might admit, “There have been times when I cried my eyes dry, but it helped me heal.”
  • In a poem or song lyrics, an artist might use the phrase to convey the depth of their emotional pain.

44. Whimper

This word describes a low, soft cry or sob. It often implies a sense of vulnerability or helplessness.

  • For instance, a child who has been scolded might whimper as a sign of remorse or fear.
  • In a story or novel, a character might whimper when faced with a difficult situation.
  • During a sad movie scene, a viewer might comment, “That scene always makes me whimper.”

45. Mourn

While not exclusively referring to crying, this word encompasses the act of grieving and often involves tears.

  • For example, after the loss of a loved one, a person might mourn and cry as a way to process their grief.
  • In a discussion about coping with loss, someone might mention, “I mourned for months after my pet passed away.”
  • During a memorial service, attendees may mourn together, sharing tears and memories.

46. Keen

To keen means to sob uncontrollably or loudly. It is often used to describe intense crying or wailing.

  • For example, “She received the news of her grandmother’s passing and began to keen.”
  • In a sad movie scene, a character might keen after a heartbreaking event.
  • A person might say, “I couldn’t help but keen when I found out my pet had passed away.”

47. Snot

To snot means to snivel, which is to cry or sniffle in a way that produces mucus or snot. It is often used to describe crying in a messy or unattractive manner.

  • For instance, “He was so upset that he started to snot uncontrollably.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t snot all over your sleeve, use a tissue.”
  • In a funny movie scene, a character might fake snotting to make others laugh.
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48. Floodgates open

To have the floodgates open means to start bawling, which is to cry loudly and uncontrollably. It is often used to describe a sudden outburst of tears.

  • For example, “When she saw her surprise birthday party, the floodgates opened and she started bawling.”
  • A person might say, “I tried to hold back my emotions, but once the floodgates opened, I couldn’t stop crying.”
  • In a touching moment, a character might have the floodgates open after a long period of emotional struggle.

49. Bawl one’s eyes out

To bawl one’s eyes out means to weep uncontrollably. It is often used to describe intense and prolonged crying, often accompanied by loud sounds or wailing.

  • For instance, “After the breakup, she locked herself in her room and bawled her eyes out.”
  • A person might say, “I couldn’t help but bawl my eyes out when I heard the devastating news.”
  • In a sad movie scene, a character might bawl their eyes out after a tragic event.

50. Cry like a baby

To cry like a baby means to weep profusely, resembling the crying of a baby. It is often used to describe someone crying in a loud and intense manner.

  • For example, “When she lost the competition, she cried like a baby.”
  • A person might say, “I was so overwhelmed with joy that I cried like a baby.”
  • In a comedic scene, a character might cry like a baby for a humorous effect.

51. Break down in tears

– For example, “After receiving the bad news, she broke down in tears.” – In a sad movie scene, a character might break down in tears after a heartbreaking moment. – A person overwhelmed with emotions might say, “I just can’t help but break down in tears.”

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52. Drown in tears

– For instance, “She was so devastated by the loss that she drowned in tears.” – During a funeral, people may drown in tears as they mourn the loss of a loved one. – A friend might say, “Don’t worry, I’ll be there for you if you ever need to drown in tears.”

53. Let it all out

– This phrase encourages someone to express their feelings by crying. For example, “After holding it in for so long, she finally let it all out.” – A person going through a tough time might say, “I just need a good cry to let it all out.” – A friend might offer support by saying, “If you need to talk or let it all out, I’m here for you.”

54. Snuffle

– For instance, “She tried to snuffle quietly so that no one would hear her crying.” – A child might snuffle after a minor injury to express their discomfort. – A person trying to hide their tears might snuffle instead of openly crying.

55. Wail and gnash teeth

– This phrase describes crying in a very intense and dramatic way. For example, “She wailed and gnashed her teeth when she heard the devastating news.” – In a tragic movie scene, a character might wail and gnash their teeth after a heartbreaking event. – A person overwhelmed with grief might say, “Sometimes, all I can do is wail and gnash my teeth.”

56. Bawl one’s heart out

This phrase is used to describe crying with great emotion and intensity, often in a loud and unrestrained manner.

  • For example, “After the breakup, she bawled her heart out for hours.”
  • A person might say, “I couldn’t help but bawl my heart out when I heard the sad news.”
  • In a touching movie scene, a character might bawl their heart out after a heartbreaking event.

57. Cry one’s eyes dry

This expression means to cry so much that all the tears are exhausted and there is nothing left to cry.

  • For instance, “She cried her eyes dry after the devastating loss.”
  • A person might say, “I cried my eyes dry during that emotional movie.”
  • When going through a tough time, someone might feel like they’ve cried their eyes dry.

58. Cry buckets

To cry buckets means to cry a large amount, often without restraint, resulting in tears flowing continuously.

  • For example, “She cried buckets when she found out her pet had passed away.”
  • A person might say, “I cried buckets during the emotional reunion scene.”
  • When overwhelmed with emotions, someone might cry buckets.

59. Snivel and whine

This phrase is used to describe someone crying while also complaining or expressing dissatisfaction.

  • For instance, “Stop sniveling and whining about it, and do something to change the situation.”
  • A person might say, “He always snivels and whines whenever things don’t go his way.”
  • When faced with a minor inconvenience, someone might snivel and whine about it.

60. Let the tears flow

This phrase means to allow oneself to cry freely and without trying to suppress or control the tears.

  • For example, “She finally let the tears flow and released all her pent-up emotions.”
  • A person might say, “Sometimes it’s good to let the tears flow and release all the built-up sadness.”
  • When feeling overwhelmed, someone might find solace in letting the tears flow.