‘Crocodilism’ – a dem⦁n’s definition

by Marie Marshall

crocodilism, n.


  1. The political principle whereby a state claims or occupies smaller states, territories, or disputed regions; extended to any corporation, body, or individual who appropriates possessions by virtue of their proximity rather than by any recognised right.


  1. The practice of girls walking in a long column of twos whilst holding hands; extended to the progress of any slow-moving procession of objects close together.


  1. The practice of weeping or making any pretence of woe for the purpose of entrapment; extended to the general philosophy that such pretence and the gaining of an advantage by it is acceptable.


  1. The worship of Sobek.


  1. The deliberate eating of something considered by others to be unnatural or unacceptable.

    “Thes forsothe among polutid thinges shulen be holde, of hem that ben meued in erthe; a wesil, and a mouse, and a cokedril, eche after his kynde.” Leviticus 11:29 Wycliffe version (1395)


  1. The practice of a philosophy where captious or sophistical argument is used; extended to any deliberate use of trick questions.

    “A woman sitting by the side of Nilus, a Crocodile snatched away her child, promising to restore him, if she would answer truly to what he asked; which was, Whether he meant to restore him or not. She answered, Not to restore him, and challeng’d his promise, as having said the truth. He replyed, that if he should let her have him, she had not told true.” Thomas Stanley, The History of Philosophy vol. II, viii, 57 (1656)


  1. The affectation of flattery, clemency, or any other favourable behaviour by a person holding any power or influence over others.


  1. The habit of removing irritations from a person from whom one wishes to gain favour.


  1. The hoarding and bringing into use of things past their time of practical usefulness.


  1. The condition of being all mouth and no ears.

[I recently rediscovered this introduction to a poetry project. I thought it might be worth popping here. M.]