softly


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softly-softly

adjective Cautious, tentative, gradual and careful, especially to an overbearing degree. (Also written "softly, softly.") I just wish his parents weren't so softly-softly with him all the time. The kid needs to learn how to be a bit more brazen and independent! I think we should take things a bit softly, softly at this stage in development.

softly, softly approach

A calm and thoughtful method for dealing with a problem. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. When dealing with unmotivated teens, the softly, softly approach doesn't always work—sometimes you have to do something to get their attention. Many parents use the softly, softly approach when trying to calm their toddlers' tantrums.
See also: approach, softly

softly, softly, catchee monkey

A slow and careful way of resolving an issue, typically when dealing with a deceptive or otherwise challenging person or thing. Don't you worry, we'll lull that crook into a false sense of security and then trap him—softly, softly, catchee monkey.
See also: monkey

speak softly and carry a big stick

A phrase popularized by US President Theodore Roosevelt that encourages one to attempt peaceful negotiations while also being armed and ready for battle. Because that group is violent and unpredictable, I think you need to speak softly and carry a big stick when you deal with them.
See also: and, big, carry, softly, speak, stick

walk softly and carry a big stick

A variation on "speak softly and carry a big stick," a phrase popularized by US President Theodore Roosevelt that encourages one to attempt peaceful negotiations while also being armed and ready for battle. Because that group is violent and unpredictable, I think you need to walk softly and carry a big stick when you deal with them.
See also: and, big, carry, softly, stick, walk
References in classic literature ?
And while she gayly sung, the little weavers spun their silken threads, the flies on glittering wings flew lovingly above her head, and over all the golden light shone softly down.
Far as eye could reach were tall green trees whose drooping boughs made graceful arches, through which the golden light shone softly, making bright shadows on the deep green moss below, where the fairest flowers waved in the cool wind, and sang, in their low, sweet voices, how beautiful is Love.
Doves with gentle eyes cooed among the green leaves, snow-white clouds floated in the sunny shy, and the golden light, brighter than before, shone softly down.
Brighter shone the golden shadows; On the cool wind softly came The low, sweet tones of happy flowers, Singing little Violet's name.
Repairing to Durdles's unfinished house, or hole in the city wall, and seeing a light within it, he softly picks his course among the gravestones, monuments, and stony lumber of the yard, already touched here and there, sidewise, by the rising moon.
Jasper (always moving softly with no visible reason) contemplates the scene, and especially that stillest part of it which the Cathedral overshadows.
The Prince," he said softly, "is faithful to his ancient enmities.
I am not jealous," he said softly, "of the Prince of Saxe Leinitzer
He approached as softly as he could, and advancing so near the wall as to brush the whitened ivy with his dress, listened.
He laid his hand softly upon the latch, and put his knee against the door.
After a softly, softly return last year, organisers are pushing the boat out for 2015.
Both Softly and Everett will report to Adrian Walker, managing director, Products in Global Transaction Banking, while Corscadden will report to John Salter, director of Cash Management and Payments, part of managing director Donald Kerr's client coverage team.
1955 RubyMurray - Softly Softly THIS popular song was written in 1955 by Mark Paul and Pierre Dudan, with English lyrics by Paddy Roberts.
Which female vocalist had a number 1 hit with Softly Softly in 1955?
TRADING Standards officers in Aberdeen are adopting a softly, softly approach to the new tobacco ban.