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Chinese whispers

1. A game played between a group of people in which a story or message is told by one person in secret to another, who then retells it to the next, and so on, with the resulting end message usually differing widely (and often amusingly) from the original. It can be considered a pejorative term, so discretion is advised. Primarily heard in UK. Chinese whispers is a great game—it's always hilarious to see what the last person has interpreted by the end!
2. Any information or gossip that has been spread and retold by multiple parties, thus obfuscating, distorting, or exaggerating the original information. A somewhat pejorative term, it takes its name from the party game described above. Primarily heard in UK. The firm's CEO denounced the rumors of impending layoffs as being nothing more than Chinese whispers. It's a common occurrence that sensationalist news headlines devolve into Chinese whispers, thus leading a large number of people to accept misinformation as fact.
See also: Chinese, whisper

whisper sweet nothings

To murmur words of affection to someone in a flirtatious manner. These words may be genuine or less serious. My ex-boyfriend used to whisper sweet nothings to me and then sneak out with his mistress later! At the prom, I watched all the couples around me whispering sweet nothings to each other as they danced.
See also: nothing, sweet, whisper

whisper sweet nothings in (one's) ear

To murmur words of affection to someone in a flirtatious manner. These words may be genuine or less serious. My ex-boyfriend used to whisper sweet nothings in my ear and then sneak out with his mistress later!
See also: ear, nothing, sweet, whisper

whispering campaign

The spread of rumors, with the intent of damaging a person's reputation The whispering campaign that the opposition has launched against me is just awful! I haven't done any of the things they've claimed! I'm always skeptical of the terrible allegations that come out in these whispering campaigns.
See also: campaign, whisper

in a pig's whisper

Very quickly; in a very short amount of time. Sorry for the wait. Your lunch will be out in a pig's whisper.
See also: whisper

stage whisper

1. Literally, in theater performance, speech that is loud enough to be heard by the audience but that has the hushed affectation of a whisper. I think you should say the line in a stage whisper, since you're supposed to be attending a funeral in the scene.
2. By extension, an exaggerated whisper that is loud enough to be overheard by other people. He leaned over to me during the meeting and said in this really smug stage whisper, "And that's why Steve's the boss!"
See also: stage, whisper

in a stage whisper

Fig. in a loud whisper that everyone can hear. John said in a stage whisper, "This play is boring." "When do we eat?" asked Billy in a stage whisper.
See also: stage, whisper

whisper about someone or something

to speak about someone or something in a quiet, breathy voice, as if telling secrets. I hope they aren't whispering about me. Everyone is whispering about the incident in the lunchroom.
See also: whisper

whisper something around

to spread secrets or gossip around. Now, don't whisper this around, but Sam is going to run away from home. If you whisper this around, you will spoil the surprise.
See also: around, whisper

stage whisper

A whisper loud enough to be overheard, as in Our three-year-old behaved beautifully at the ceremony, but then he asked in a stage whisper, "Why does that lady have blue hair?" This expression alludes to an actor's whisper on stage, which is meant to be heard by the audience. [Mid-1800s]
See also: stage, whisper

whispering campaign

A deliberate spreading of derogatory rumors about a candidate, as in That whispering campaign destroyed his chances for election. [c. 1920]
See also: campaign, whisper
References in periodicals archive ?
King George odds of 7-4 are not looking too skinny now for Nicky Henderson's star chaser, while Whisper is also a contender and fair each-way value at 25-1.
As a result of different vocal tract shape and articulation organ's specific behavior, whisper has acoustical characteristics that are quite different from those of normal speech.
Using the Whisper score, producers can detect BRD early, determine the severity of the disease and select an appropriate treatment regimen, which may help them improve lung-health related outcomes.
The Whisper Chip is an all-digital solution that runs at only 16MHz, consumes less than 12mW of power and replaces the CODEC no ADC or DAC is needed.
More than 200 blankets were handed over during the visit to the Whisper Children's Home, which was attended by Alaran, other senior airline officials and five members of Etihad Airways' iVolunteer initiative, who flew to Uganda from the airline's head office in Abu Dhabi, to provide their time and support to this initiative.
PR 24x7 Network Limited, India brings with it a thorough understanding of public relations in their home base", says Sebastian Hesse, founder and owner of Big Bang & Whisper.
Jeremiah McGrath riding Whisper (left) leads out the Nicky Henderson horses on |a media day prior to the Hennessey Gold Cup Festival at Newbury racecourse
Organiser Mike McGrother said: "We know it's 10 times bigger than the last ocial world record for a Chinese Whisper, but we haven't gone down that route because for it to be an ocial record, it has to be in one place and we want to spread the message across Stock-Stockton.
Taking on themes of identity, belonging, class and gender, Whisper is a thoughtful and highly engaging young adult novel that will keep readers thinking and discussing long after reading.
Compatible with 30 field selectable gases and gas mixes, Whisper flow meters and controllers can operate as standalone devices or integrate easily into process control instrumentation.
A number of studies have shown that the movement of a stock's price when earnings are announced is more dependent on beating or missing the whisper number than announced earnings.
The new customer-driven Thermo King Whisper option is now available for the recently introduced SLXe trailer refrigeration unit to help ensure the lowest possible noise levels while optimising driver comfort.
But those who want to share comments and remain anonymous also have options with reddit and Whisper.
That's one reason so many investing insiders look to the relationship to whisper numbers instead.
TELECOMWORLDWIRE-January 27, 2012-Molex Incorporated to provide TE Connectivity's STRADA Whisper high-speed backplane connector family under second-source agreement(C)1994-2012 M2 COMMUNICATIONS http://www.