whisper

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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

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

in a stage whisper

In an exaggerated whisper that is loud enough to be overheard by other people. In theater performance, a "stage whisper" is speech that is loud enough to be heard by the audience but that has the hushed affectation of a whisper. 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

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

whisper (something) around

To spread gossip, rumors, or secrets around (some place or group of people) in a secretive, circumspect manner. Stop whispering stuff like that around—you know it's probably not true! Tommy whispered it around the rest of the class that the Sally had been expelled for stealing from the principal.
See also: around, whisper

whisper about (someone or something)

1. Literally, to talk about someone or something in a whisper. Catherine and her friend huddled in the corner of the room, whispering about something or other. I could hear tell they were whispering about me, even though I couldn't hear what they were saying.
2. By extension, to discuss or gossip about something in a secretive, circumspect manner. A lot of people in the company have been whispering about supposed layoffs coming down the line. Kids at school are whispering about the principal, saying that he is wanted for murder in Louisiana.
See also: 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 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

stage whisper

A whisper intended to be heard by one and all. In the theater this term literally meant an aside—a thought spoken aloud—communicated to the audience and allegedly unheard by the other actors on stage. It dates from the mid-nineteenth century and by 1900 or so was employed figuratively. J. V. McIlwraith used it in Kinsmen at War (1927): “Mrs. Secord spoke in a stage whisper.”
See also: stage, whisper
References in periodicals archive ?
When Millan joined Nat Geo's schedule two years ago, weeknights at 6:30 in a one-hour block with a series called "Dogs With Jobs," Ford says, "Dog Whisperer" got off to a slow start.
SOFTLY SOFTLY: Sandie Chambers with (from left) Liz Boynton, US horse trainer Frank Bell and vet Nick Blayney and (right) Sandie working her magic with three-year-old Spirit and (inset) Robert Redford in The Horse Whisperer
The stray, pictured with the dog whisperer's daughter, had become a bit of a celebrity in the borough, with people recounting their sightings of her on Twitter.
Ghost Whisperer - Season 5, 15, pounds 30.99 Ghost Whisperer centres on small-town antiques dealer Melinda Gordon (Jennifer Love Hewitt), who realises she can communicate with spooks.
London, May 30 (ANI): Jennifer Love Hewitt's spooky series Ghost Whisperer will not be retuning for another season.
The only way she should be on TV is if the Dog Whisperer came to sort her out.
E4 5.05 E4 Music Zone 10.00 Style Her Famous 11.00 How to Look Good Naked USA 11.30 Beauty & the Geek 12.25 Kevin Hill 1.15 Ugly Betty 2.10 Joan of Arcadia 3.05 Joan of Arcadia 4.00 Ghost Whisperer 4.55 Friends 6.00 90210 6.55 One Tree Hill 7.55 Friends 9.00 Desperate Housewives 10.00 Desperate Housewives 11.00 Dirty Sexy Money 12.00 Sex and the City 12.35 Sex and the City 1.10 Ghost Whisperer 2.00 The Simple Life 2.25 Hollyoaks
"Dogs are pack animals," explained the Whisperer. "They need to know their place.
That said, Clare Balding's early reference to horse whispering tended to perpetuate the myth - popularised by the 1998 film The Horse Whisperer - that 'whispering' is in any way part of the type of work that Kelly Marks was doing.
At CBS, where crimeshows lock down the other 11 drama slots on its sked, the Eye is tossing away the playbook and trying something different from 8 to 10 with psychic drama "Ghost Whisperer" and alien hour "Threshold."
An international horse whisperer has been passing on his equine experience to budding riders in the North-East.
Children at a Tyneside riding school will get expert advice from a Canadian horse whisperer.
At the troupe's head, world famous horse whisperer Frederic Pignon and his wife, rider-trainer Magali Delgado, act out their bonds with the horses in similarly simple ways: In one forest-themed scene, Pignon cavorts in the sand with three white stallions; at the end they lick his face.