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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 which 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 ?
Mr Hudson, who is based at the Redwings Horse Sanctuary in Norfolk, added: "I'm a horse whisperer and it's basically helping horses that have behavioural problems.
Locations not included on the national tour can still learn from the Chicken Whisperer through webinars available every Tuesday and Thursday evening.
I eventually choose The Horse Whisperer, on the basis that as I would prefer Wings of a Dove, the husband would probably prefer this.
Now, after The Horse Whisperer, the word is Kristin can expect to be back among the Academy Award front- runners.
The Horse Whisperer is a film he's spent four years bringing to the screen.
The 30-year-old actress - who is dating her Ghost Whisperer co-star Jamie Kennedy - also revealed she loves geeky men and hates people who are obsessed with their appearance or making a good impression.
When she auditioned for ``The Horse Whisperer,'' Bosworth said, she had no idea acting was in her future.
The Horse Whisperer is based on the novel by British writer Nicholas Evans, which was bought by Redford and Touchstone Pictures for pounds 2 million.
today announced it has entered into a content agreement with CBS Television Distribution for the broadcast syndication rights to the hit television series, "Ghost Whisperer.
THE other day, a friend of the Whisperer was stopped just off Exhibition Avenue late in the evening by a youngster who asked for 500fils claiming that he was on his way to tuitions but he was hungry as he had not eaten anything after lunch.
HORSE Whisperer author Nicolas Evans may face a kidney transplant after eating toxic mushrooms while on holiday in Scotland.
So his trainers at Merseyside police have enlisted the help of a professional horse whisperer to help him find the courage to face the barber.
We discover Little Joe's horse Paint was ``gentled'' by a pert horse whisperer rather than ``broken'' by a manly cowboy and we get a brief homage to the original series' title sequence.
Vsurance offers pet lovers the chance to meet Cesar Milan, star of the Emmy Nominated hit TV Show Dog Whisperer on the National Geographic Channel
The Whisperer was enjoying a relaxing Americano at a coffee house opposite a school in Saar, trying to stretch his mind by solving the 'Just so' puzzles on the Eruditely Esquires page of GulfWeekly, when two young boys sped off in the direction of Waitrose.