break it (to someone) gently, to(redirected from break it gently)
break it (to someone) gently, to
To reveal bad news in a calm, soothing fashion. “With a design to break the matter gently to his partners,” wrote John Arbuthnot in 1712. In time the verb to break in the sense of “to tell” incorporated the idea of “gently,” making the cliché a tautology.
See also: break
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer