soft soap

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soft soap

1. noun Flattering, cajoling talk meant to persuade someone, obtain something, or achieve a particular outcome. Don't let his soft soap get the better of you—he's only interested in himself. You think you can get whatever you want with a bit of soft soap, but some things in life have to be earned.
2. To persuade someone about something or persuade someone to do something, especially through the use of charm, flattery, or cajolery. Sometimes hyphenated. That weasel Mike is always trying to soft-soap the boss to get things done the way he wants. You'll never soft soap grandma, Jake—she's too shrewd for that.
See also: soap, soft

soft soap

 
1. flattering talk; sweet talk. I don't mind a little soft soap. It won't affect what I decide, though. Don't waste my time with soft soap. I know you don't mean it.
2. (Usually soft-soap.) to attempt to convince someone (of something) by gentle persuasion. We couldn't soft-soap her into it. Don't try to soft-soap her. she's an old battle-ax.
See also: soap, soft

soft soap

Flattery, cajolery, as in She's only six but she's learned how to get her way with soft soap. This colloquial expression alludes to liquid soap, likening its slippery quality to insincere flattery. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1830.
See also: soap, soft

soft soap

persuasive flattery.
The underlying idea is of soft soap (literally a type of semi-fluid soap) being lubricative and unctuous.
See also: soap, soft

soft soap

1. n. flattering talk; sweet talk. I don’t mind a little soft soap. It won’t affect what I do, though.
2. tv. to attempt to convince someone (of something) by gentle persuasion. Don’t try to soft soap her. She’s an old battle-ax.
See also: soap, soft

soft soap

Flattery. The analogy here is to a slithery, unctuous substance (which describes soft soap), and it has been drawn since the first half of the nineteenth century. “To see them flattering and soft soaping me all over,” wrote John Neal (John Beedle’s Sleigh Ride, ca. 1840). A contemporary synonym, now obsolete, was soft sawder, a substance used for soldering. It was still used in the 1940s but is seldom heard today.
See also: soap, soft
References in periodicals archive ?
Now the testing ground will be the promised PSNI implementation plan and the extent to which it can be used to soft-soap the malcontents.
So the resurrection of the Cult of Thatcher is a political act, as the Tories soft-soap history to win the future.
Instead, they moved away from the harder issues which made its name and gave it a soft-soap edge.
When Mr Cowen took over as Taoiseach I thought he would tackle the problems we faced head-on, marking a significant break from Bertie Ahern's soft-soap approach.
I wish to repeat that I had hoped that Brian Cowen as Taoiseach would distance himself from the soft-soap politics of Bertie Ahern, and Brian Lenihan would be intellectually robust enough to take on one of the greatest problems we face - reform of the public service.
Almost six years on, they are no closer to that goal and this film didn't soft-soap the reasons why with tough questions being asked of Special Branch, the RUC, and its then chief constable in particular, and governments on both sides of the Irish Sea.
But they got the soft-soap treatment from Linzi Corr and Daniella Diffin as celebrity hairdresser Paul Meekin prepared the cut-throat razor to give them a full-scale makeover.
While it can all get a bit worthy and touchy-feely, thank heavens for Bella And The Boys, a gritty and determinedly downbeat drama that didn't soft-soap its message.
She smirked, giggled and gurned her way through a soft-soap grilling from Davina McCall (a talent agency stablemate of Goody's, as are BB spin-off hosts Russell Brand and Dermot O'Leary).
Don't expect Mellor to soft-soap the issues, either her telly reputation has been built on her frankness in tackling taboo subjects.
The North Bank gave him a standing ovation, while Highbury's resident soft-soap PA announcer condemned those who had dared to point out the emperor's new clothes are less than flattering.
But last night PowerGen spokes-man Alan Price denied they were trying to "soft-soap" Forsyth into giving the green light for Gartcosh.
"Year after year politicians who were coming to gain the trust of people, soft-soaped and just aggravated the problem instead", said the Prime Minister.
Pic perhaps soft-soaps the disintegration into violence and paranoia in the early '70s (with the Weather Underground one of several super-militant splinter groups), but pic maker Helen Garvey's status as an insider has given her unprecedented access to the others who were there.
Tom soft-soaps Jack and Andy into selling their fields.