sparing(redirected from sparingly)
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Related to sparingly: use sparingly
spare (someone's) blushes
To keep from making someone feel embarrassed or awkward. However, due to your family's great service to the crown, we will spare your blushes and not create a public scandal around this debacle. I tried sparing her blushes when she asked me to prom by saying I had no intention of going with anyone.
spare at the spigot and spill at the bung
To be frugal with trivial matters and reckless with more significant ones. The phrase describes the incongruity of turning off water at the spigot but leaving the bung, or stopper, off the reservoir. A: "Dad never lets us turn the heat up in the winter because it's too expensive, yet he ignores any problem around the house until it becomes a major repair." B: "I know, he always spares at the spigot and spills at the bung." I know you like to spare at the spigot and spill at the bung, but you would save so much money in the long run if you got a new car, instead of repairing all these nagging issues.
spare (one's) feelings
To restrain from doing something that might cause someone embarrassment, discomfort, or anxiety. The teacher decided to spare my feelings and didn't tell the class who scored the lowest mark on the test. Instead of saying I didn't like her personality, I tried to spare her feelings and said that I wasn't really ready to start dating again yet.