pour oil on troubled waters


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pour oil on troubled waters

to do or say something in order to make people stop arguing and become calmer She was furious with Dave for forgetting her birthday so I tried to pour oil on troubled waters by offering to take them both out for a meal.
See also: oil, on, pour, trouble, water

pour oil on troubled waters

Soothe or calm down something or someone, as in The twins are quarreling so I'd best go pour oil on troubled waters. This term alludes to an ancient practice of pouring oil on ocean waves to calm their turbulence, which was mentioned in the eighth century. [Mid-1800s]
See also: oil, on, pour, trouble, water