little white lie

(little) white lie

A lie thought to be insignificant and justified, especially one told to avoid hurting someone's feelings or giving offense. I try to be honest most of the time, but I do tell white lies when I'm worried about upsetting people. A: "Do you actually like her new haircut?" B: "Of course not, but I couldn't tell her that, so I told a little white lie instead."
See also: lie, white

little white lie

Fig. a small, usually harmless lie; a fib. Every little white lie you tell is still a lie and it is still meant to mislead people.
See also: lie, little, white
References in periodicals archive ?
He then rang his wife but admitted he told her a little white lie.
If Nawal is happy being single without any plans to mingle, why would she tell this little white lie?
Vermond isn't suggesting that cheating, forgery, fabrication or plagiarism aren't morally wrong, but asks her readers to consider when it might be okay to stretch the truth or tell a little white lie. She offers us portraits of some of the great liars in history; talks about the kinds of lies adults tell; looks at the way that different cultures view lies and lying--did you know that Canadian kids have a very different way of looking at lying than Chinese children do?--and whether or not it's possible to spot a lie.
Even a 'little white lie' might have consequences." People lie -- we know this.
I may have told a little white lie in the build-up when I said this didn't mean too much from 2008.
But while most male shopping companions are comfortable with a little white lie, 70 per cent of women are convinced their partner is giving them an honest opinion.
Using Nathaniel Hawthorne's famous novel The Scarlet Letter as its inspiration, this teen comedy introduces clean-cut high school student Olive Penderghast (Emma Stone) who gets more than she bargains for when she deliberately spreads a little white lie about losing her virginity in order to gain popularity among the student body.
Bunbury Cup winner Little White Lie stayed on for fourth with the brave Yaddree claiming fifth, which some bookmakers will pay out on.
'Haiku Invoked Against Self-Importance': A nun who was once/my teacher cornered me at/Sterling Optical,//She wanted to know/what I had made of my gifts./I told her, Sorry,//Sister, Love to bring/you up to speed, but I must/go to Olympus//and round up my wife/as per my arrangement with/her heartsick mother.//Then, of course, it's back/to Hades, and terrible/judgment of the dead.//A little white lie:/I'm really resuming my throne/Among the blind men.
I was so smitten by this new model that I had to feed that little white lie to the bank manager.
This little white lie elicits a welcoming, cap-toothed smile from the wife--a complete change of attitude.
So desperately that she makes up a little white lie about her brother that snowballs out of control.
Jeffrey asked if it was all right to tell a little white lie, and his mom assured him that it was, if it was fun and made people happy.
A little white lie about a birthday party tips Marina over the edge and Laura reluctantly clicks the Unfriend button on Facebook.
And who among us has never told a little white lie?