weasel word


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weasel words

Language employed to avoid directly stating a position or answering a question, or to enhance the appearance of something. Wikipedia discourages the use of weasel words in its encyclopedia entries to decrease the possibility of bias. If you read the transcript of his press conference, you'll see that there's barely any substances—it's nearly all weasel words.
See also: weasel, word

weasel word

A word used to deprive a statement of its force or evade a direct commitment, as in Calling it "organized spontaneity" is using a weasel word; "organized" has sucked the meaning out of "spontaneity." This idiom may allude to the weasel's habit of sucking the contents out of a bird's egg, so that only the shell remains. [Late 1800s]
See also: weasel, word
References in periodicals archive ?
On examination, the notion seems worse than useless: society's is a cognate of the weasel word social, and community in this context is itself another weasel word, sucking out any real meaning from the word expectations.
As soon as I entered my serial number, their computer spit back a set of weasel words telling me that my time had run out.
National Treasures have taken over from Guilty Pleasures as the weasel words which masquerade as a bit of fun while actually demeaning us.
I would like these bosses to put the answer to the questions I have asked here for everybody who uses aeroplanes at the other airports to see the answer and, please, no weasel words or putting the blame on everyone else, as I, and I think a lot of other people, think that there is an ulterior motive behind this from Peel bosses.
While Mitchell has apologised for the foul-mouthed broadside at the police officers employed to safeguard the MP and his peers, Mr Mitchell continues to employ weasel words to avoid denying that he called the officers "plebs" and "morons".
They wring their hands and say weasel words, but they have done nothing to stop this unwanted and unnecessary radical change.
But Welsh Labour Leader Carwyn Jones said: "People in Wales won't be fooled by his weasel words.
Inconsistently, they include sufficient weasel words to carry on claiming NHS fees.
That is to say, weasel words are used to buttress claims that are meant to be beyond dispute, but upon more minute inspection are discovered to be hollow and of no true substance.
Instead, reporters are encouraged to throw away the weasel words and call it like they see it when they think public officials have revealed themselves as phonies or flip-floppers.
Don Watson's book, Warson's) Dictionary of Weasel Words, Contemporary Cliches, Cant & Management Jargon, and the Weasel Words web site well document this abuse of language.
However, what is not overwhelming is the lack of a single comment from any member of our illustrious City Council relating to the plethora of weasel words used to promote the extension of term limits.
They are using weasel words deliberately designed to mislead the public and the media and cover up the fact that they have made things far worse.
There are going to be a lot of weasel words on all sides.
Legitimate objective and reasonable exercise are weasel words that the courts at all levels, with only rare exceptions, have stretched beyond recognition in support of the insatiable meddlesome and confiscatory demands of Leviathan.