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mince (one's) words

to soften the effect of one's words. Tell me what you think, and don't mince your words. A frank person never minces words.
See also: mince, word

not mince words

to say what you mean as clearly and simply as possible Tom didn't mince any words - he told us right at the beginning of the meeting that he was quitting his job.
Usage notes: sometimes used in the form mince words (to say something that is not clear): The report minces words, trying not to offend anyone.
See also: mince, not, word

not mince (your) words

to say what you mean clearly and directly, even if you upset people by doing this The report does not mince words about the incompetence of some government officials. Never a woman to mince her words, she described the former minister as self-centred and arrogant.
See also: mince, word

mince matters

Also, mince words. Moderate or restrain one's language to be polite or avoid giving offense. Today these phrases are nearly always put negatively, as in Not to mince matters, I feel he should resign, or Don't mince words-say what you mean. The usage dates from the mid-1500s and transfers cutting something such as meat into small pieces to minimizing the harsh impact of words.
See also: matter, mince
References in periodicals archive ?
They look like you took a hot barbecue briquette and threw it into snow," Nature quoted Mincer, as saying.
ZENA SAYS: Moulinex still make a mincer but the 2009 version also has biscuit-maker, sausage-filler and vegetable-cutter attachments - and when we tested mincers last year it came out tops.
In many ways the marathon is a beautiful thing and wonderfully democratic too, because everyone who sets off, whoever they are, knows that they will all be going through the mincer.
The 31-year-old Derry man - who's believed to have lost several fingers - was rushed to Altnagelvin hospital in agony after mangling his hand in a meat mincer on Friday.
Not only do the likes of Cracknell, Pinsent and the rest of the British Olympic hopefuls put themselves through the mincer, but Joe Public can have a chance to try out against the best.
FAMILY firms put through the mincer by businessman Gerry Robinson in BBC2 series I'll Show Them Who's Boss may have found the experience pretty unpleasant, but those who took his advice are prospering.
There's nothing locked down,'' said spokesman Marty Mincer.
Hashimoto (1982) and Leighton and Mincer (1981) suggest that, since human capital models predict workers will pay for at least part of any on-the-job training through reductions in wages, a binding minimum wage will reduce training opportunities.
Edward Lazear, chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers and a Hoover senior fellow on leave, is the recipient of the 2006 Society of Labor Economists' Jacob Mincer Prize honoring lifetime achievements in the field of labor economics.
Tenders are invited for Extension Of Dates For The Tender For Meat Mincer For Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi Till 21.
Barry Berlin, prosecuting for Birmingham City Council, said the small supermarket, which employed three to four people and sold fresh and packaged products, kept the mincer in the meat room.
The team--Erik Zettler from Sea Education Association (SEA), Tracy Mincer from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), and Linda Amaral-Zettler from the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), all in Woods Hole, Mass.
There were also meat cleavers, knives, wooden chopping blocks, a commercial sausage-making machine, a commercial mincer and weighing scales.
How frustrating for our farmers to have to abide by so much regulation to ensure the traceability of their animals, just to see the whole system put in a mincer by the processing industry.