Idiom Decoded: 'Crying Over Spilled Milk'

Idiomatic Expressions (talinhaga in Filipino language) – are phrases or words that does NOT imply or talk about LITERAL (word per word) meaning.

One of those idioms is:

This phrase means ‘to regret about anything that cannot be changed or undone. Meaning, to wish that a thing has not been said or done just to result in an UNFORTUNATE outcome. ‘Crying’  represents ‘being sorry for’ or ‘grieving’ because of what happened. ‘spilled milk’ here resembles ‘a good chance’ that has passed or slipped away.  We are talking more about connotations of each word not literal sense when we say Idioms. ‘Over’ only means about.

I have provided you with sample sentences to elaborate more what it means.


Celine has been crying over spilled milk when she failed the Licensure Examination for teachers.

- Celine regrets that she had let go of the chance to become a legitimate educator.
- Celine felt sorry that there is no way that the result of the exams may be changed or undone.
- Celine could have done something more to have passed it.

Caesar is crying over spilled milk after his girlfriend dumped her because of infidelity.

- Caesar regrets that he played around.
- Caesar let go his chance to be with the man she really loves.
- Caesar could have been faithful to have saved their wasted relationship.

The mother is crying over spilled milk when her daughter committed suicide.

- The mother thought that she could have given her daughter a chance to explain herself.
- The mother wishes she could have been more open-minded to hear her daughter out.
- The mother regret that she could not bring turn back the time.

I do hope that I have helped you understand the above idiom better and I have been planning to put ‘Idiom Decoded’ page for more of posts similar to this.

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Thanks a lot for doing that. I hope you will not end-up crying over spilled milk like our example situations above :) Have a blessed day ahead. 

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Family, Daily Living & Style by Angelita Galiza-Madera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.