I am looking for a word to describe the situation :

A poor person describes his struggles of poverty, while a middle-class (economically speaking) lady is faking her empathy to the man – and the conversation goes in the lines of "Do not despair, keep hoping, work = reward... " etc. All these words very often repeated to the poor person, but his state does not change due to certain unchanging social situations. The lady is aware of it.

Nevertheless, just to virtue-signal, the lady who never experienced the struggles of the other – goes on making empty, often condescending remarks to the guy, without genuine empathy, just mechanically repeating the statements everyone else does.

She even goes on to invent some silver lining, such as the positive effects of poverty is that you will not have to manage a big house..

My question
Is there a word to describe the remarks of the lady? Patronizing does not quite hit the nail, and condescending does not quite capture the part in italics. Are there any words to describe what I am looking for?


[Name] at this point is truly tired of continuous _______ from every 4th middle-class . The last thing he'd appreciate now is pity.

Part of Speech: Noun;
I searched thesaurus for patronizing and condescension

A single word would be better than a phrase .

marked as duplicate by Edwin Ashworth single-word-requests Aug 10 at 15:47

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Thank you! This word fits best. Why dont you post this as an answer? – Sean Aug 10 at 14:21
  • 'Saccharine', 'smarmy', 'unctuous' and 'obsequious' all appear in the earlier thread (" 'Patronizing' does not quite hit the nail, and 'condescending' does not quite capture the part in italics" licenses adjective answers). – Edwin Ashworth Aug 10 at 15:50

One term that broadly fits your description, although not exactly in the example sentence you give, is crocodile tears. Here is the first part of the Wikipedia's article on the term, which explains its origin:

Crocodile tears (or superficial sympathy) is a false, insincere display of emotion such as a hypocrite crying fake tears of grief.

The phrase derives from an ancient belief that crocodiles shed tears while consuming their prey, and as such is present in many modern languages, especially in Europe where it was introduced through Latin. While crocodiles do have tear ducts, they weep to lubricate their eyes, typically when they have been out of water for a long time and their eyes begin to dry out. However, evidence suggests this could also be triggered by feeding.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crocodile_tears

  • Crocodile tears is not a term for condescending fake empathy. – Jim Aug 10 at 6:36
  • @jim But that's exactly what it is. As the reference actually indicates. – Jason Bassford Aug 10 at 8:22
  • @JasonBassford - The way I have always understood crocodile tears is that they are used by the perpetrator to prey on the victim. If I cry great crocodile tears and you feel sorry for me I have conned you into doing what I want you to do. Your sympathy is real. But in OP's context the person is pretending to feel sorry for the true victim. I am truly poor and in need. my tears are not crocodile tears they are real, and you are paying lip service to my plight to appease me while really not intending to help me at all. – Jim Aug 10 at 8:40
  • @Jim You could, for instance, cry crocodile tears at the funeral of somebody you don't know, offering sympathy you don't feel, simply in order to get the free food. You are pretending to be empathetic, by expressing fake sorrow in order to appear to understand what they're feeling. Empathy and sympathy are both very often mutual. If I'm expressing the fact that I understand your grief—by crying myself—but I really don't and I'm just pretending to, then that's fake and hypocritical. – Jason Bassford Aug 10 at 15:35

Slang and slightly vulgar, I would consider "bullshit".

"At this point Peter is truly tired of continuous bullshit from the Lady"

bullshit (noun)

  • A blatant lie, a fragrant untruth, an obvious falicy.
  • Stuff that is made up for the purpose of placating someone. Most often false or ridiculous.

Urban Dictionary

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