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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

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
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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The discussions in Phnom Penh today could come up with a prescription for ''shock and awe'' or for soft-soaping the junta in Burma.
But the Premier League claim some refs have been soft-soaping assessors so they don't lose marks after a below-par performance.
The attitude of namby-pamby soft-soaping coddling of disobedient pupils must disappear.
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But class is the rust stain on society, that troublesome little blot that no amount of whitewashing and soft-soaping can eradicate and although having staff may be the social norm, it doesn't necessarily mean you've arrived.