doublespeak(redirected from Double-speak)
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Deliberately evasive, confusing, contradictory, and/or ambiguous language used to mislead or deceive the listener. Likely adapted from George Orwell's term "doublethink," from his 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, meaning the ability to simultaneously hold two opposing thoughts or beliefs as being correct in one's mind. Like any successful politician, she was quite adept at doublespeak whenever confronted with bad publicity.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
1. Meaningless speech, gibberish mixing real and invented words. For example, Some popular songs are actually based on double talk. [1930s]
2. Also, doublespeak. Deliberately ambiguous and evasive language. For example, I got tired of her double talk and demanded to know the true story, or His press secretary was very adept at doublespeak. This usage dates from the late 1940s, and the variant from about 1950.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.