cut/chop onions vs. cry

zaffy

Senior Member
Polish
In another thread I asked about 'cutting onions' to mean cry as a result of being moved and I got the impression it is not commonly used. Now I again came across this expression, though it is 'chopping onions' this time. An AE speaker said "You'll definitely be chopping onions as you watch that video". So is that expression used or not? Is this an AE/BE thing? Should I avoid it or not?
 

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  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    The picture you attached seems to be badly cropped - it seems to give no context to the question at all - can you help? (Is it something to do with the rubber glove?)
    In another thread I asked about 'cutting onions' to mean cry as a result of being moved and I got the impression it is not commonly used.
    Your impression is correct - give up on any idea of "'cutting onions' to mean cry as a result of being moved." :thumbsup:
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    The picture you attached seems to be badly cropped - it seems to give no context to the question at all - can you help? (Is it something to do with the rubber glove?)
    It is not the rubber glove. :) It is the subtitle I wanted to point out, pausing the video where a glove happened to be exposed :)
     
    Last edited:

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's not a common expression, but it is perfectly obvious what it means - watching the video will bring tears to your eyes. I don't suppose it is specifically AE or BE.
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    He bought a car for his parents as a gift; they were very moved and cried. He recommended watching the video, anticipating that the viewers will be crying too. So he said "You'll definitely be chopping onions as you watch that video"
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I've never heard anyone say it in that context.

    I've heard characters in movies use it as an excuse.

    "Are you crying?"
    "No, I was just chopping onions." Or "No, it was just the onions." (said while cooking.)

    I don't think I have even heard that in real life.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    So is that expression used or not?
    NOBODY can tell you "it is used or not". Do you think we control the internet? Billions of people are on the internet, and they can write anything they like. None of us can control them.

    Don't find one use on the internet and say "this contradicts something" or "this proves something".

    This expression is not common, normal, or standard. I have never heard it, in over 60 years of speaking English.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    As kentix implies, "chopping onions" might be used as an excuse to explain tears when someone does want to show their emotion. However it does not mean "to cry".

    My interpretation
    You'll definitely be chopping onions as you watch that video ---> You will be trying to hold back your tears as you watch that video.
     
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