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

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

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 ?
The funding will provide Whispering Gibbon with much-needed working capital to launch its services and kick start the commercialisation of its 3D printing software, which it has been developing over the last two years".
James Foster, investment manager at Northstar Ventures, left, with Joe Stevens from Whispering Gibbon
One of Whispering Hope Stables' key differentiators is around horse care.
Outside of the science, Whispering Hope Stables focus on conducting daily horse inspections, leg checks, hoof picks and monthly inspections from an outside nutritionist.
The Victorian nobility were only able to hear a faint whispering sound from inside the stable but once Rarey returned, the horse would be placid and calm.
Horse whispering is now thought to be one of the best techniques for problem horses.
For now, consumers can taste the future at Chips Restaurant in Ankeny, Iowa, which installed Whispering Windows on a window separating an indoor bar from an outdoor terrace.
Whispering Window consists of two small cases (to provide left and right sound), available directly from Etrema by calling 800-327-7291.
This same weekend will see Whispering Pines annual Bull-A-Rama with a $5,000 winner-take-all prize.
Over the years, Whispering Pines has earned a reputation as a well-run, family-oriented facility," said Joseph J.
Whispering Hope Sporthorses, which is based in Raleigh, NC was developed to create a thorough and systematic process for providing exactly what demanding horse enthusiasts and professionals need - a partnership between the Peters family of Whispering Hope Stables, experts in the field of formulating business solutions that bring reliable success, and Laurie Hutchinson - an FEI dressage trainer and USDF gold medalist.
Historically, horse whispering actually involved the use of incantations learned from Native American and was famously used by exponents such as Dan Sullivan (from County Cork) in the United States.
The techniques Frazier uses to train Sage and other horses is commonly called horse whispering.
com)-- Whispering Hope Stables is excited to announce the start of their "Never Too Late" Training Program for women having the desire to get-up in the saddle.
Brooke Behling, 10, a newcomer, experienced first-time jitters when she got up to sing, whispering the tune into the microphone and never taking her hands out of her sweat shirt pockets.