The Alternative Esperanto Dictionary: krokodili

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Entry definition

krokodili {{wikipedia}} etymology From krokodilo. The origin of the expression is unclear. Several suggestions have been made:
  • From crocodile tears. A crocodile sheds tears while eating its prey. The krokodilanto bemoans the fate of Esperanto while not bothering to speak it.
  • Ferrari, an Esperantist in Paris in the 1930s, would comment Kion volas tiuj krokodiloj? (What do those crocodiles want?) when noisy non-Esperantist entered the cafe where we was speaking Esperanto with friends.Andreo Ĉerpiljodo (2006: 185) ''Lingvaj Babilaĵoj''
  • Students of . When Cseh taught Esperanto, students were only allowed to speak their native language when they were holding a wooden crocodile he always brought with him.
The latter two may be allusions to the idiom rather than its source.
  • /krokoˈdili/
verb: {{eo-head}}
  1. (slang) to speak among Esperantist in a language besides Esperanto, especially one's native language or a language not spoken by everyone present (literally: "to 'crocodile'")
    • {{quote-magazine }}
  • malkrokodili
{{eo GCSE}}

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