white lie


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(little) white lie

A lie thought to be insignificant and justified, especially one told to avoid hurting someone's feelings or giving offense. I try to be honest most of the time, but I do tell white lies when I'm worried about upsetting people. A: "Do you actually like her new haircut?" B: "Of course not, but I couldn't tell her that, so I told a little white lie instead."
See also: lie, white

white lie

An untruth told to spare feelings or from politeness, as in She asked if I liked her dress, and of course I told a white lie. This term uses white in the sense of "harmless." [First half of 1700s]
See also: lie, white

white lie, a

A fib told out of politeness, to spare feelings, or for a similar reason. The term is intended to distinguish between such a fib and a black lie, considered heinous dishonesty. A 1741 issue of Gentleman’s Magazine stated, “A certain Lady of the highest Quality . . . made a judicious distinction between a white Lie and a black Lie. A white Lie is That which is not intended to injure any Body in his Fortune, Interest, or Reputation, but only to gratify a garrulous Disposition, and the Itch of amusing People by telling them wonderful Stories.” However, warned William Paley in Moral Philosophy (1785), “White lies always introduce others of a darker complexion.”
See also: white
References in periodicals archive ?
It's no secret that White Lie has sparked more than its share of controversy.
"People practice white lies as a way to manage relationships," News.com.au quoted Professor Teo as saying.
Getting a part in a Kevin Spacey pantomime was relatively easy for one of Wales' leading actresses - she just told a few white lies. Don't think it's the first time that Joanna Page has told a tall tale to get a job, and it's not going to stop her.
Psychologists believe that myths and harmless white lies stimulate young brains, helping children to develop language skills and making them more creative, perhaps even more sensitive.
The landscape may have drastically changed over the past decade, contemporaries have come and gone, consumerism constantly evolving but White Lies fans have remained as fervent and committed as ever both in the UK and Internationally.
Summary: White lies, broken promises, fabrication, deceit and plagiarism...
| White Lies play The Olympia, on West Derby Road, Liverpool, on Thursday, February 7.
There is much to love in Little White Lies. Sawyer is endearing and sarcastic at the same time, and the supporting characters are complex and entertaining.
[USA], Aug 14 (ANI): Academy award-winning actor Benicio Del Toro is all set to reteam with writer Oliver Stone for his next turn in the director's chair, 'White Lies'.
you see in the dark (43% - although, to be fair, there is some truth to this, actually!) 2 SANTA has a naughty list, you have to be on your best behaviour (38%) 7 THE ice cream van playing a tune means they've run out of ice cream (11%) 8 IF YOU watch TV all day, your eyes will swell up/ go square (25%) 3 YES, we are nearly there (38%) 4 SANTA is watching you at all times (28%) 5 IF YOU don't go to sleep soon, the tooth fairy won't come (28%) 11WE CAN'T play this game as the computer iPad is broken 8%) 10CUTTING your hair makes it grow quicker (9%) YOU won't like it (21%) 6 IF YOU don't finish your dinner, Santa won't visit this year (7%) 12IF YOU eat any fruit seeds, the fruit will start growing in your body Is it OK to tell white lies?
Seventeen-year-old honors student Coretta White's Tumblr: Little White Lies (her witty thoughts on pretty much everything) has gone viral.
DESPITE OUR EFFORTS, THE ERASURE OF MINORITY CULTURES--A PRODUCT OF COLONIALISM--CONTINUES, AND THIS HAPPENS NOT JUST ON A SOCIETAL LEVEL BUT ALSO WITHIN INDIVIDUALS WHO BATTLE AGAINST THE CUSTOMS AND CONVENTIONS THAT 'MARK' THEM, THIS FIGHT AGAINST SELF AND SOCIETY IS AT THE CORE OF WHITE LIES, WHICH DEPICTS ONGOING OPPRESSION AS WELL AS THE POSSIBILITY FOR REDEMPTION, WRITES SARAH WARD.
| Rating: 9/10 WHITE LIES - BIG TV IN JANUARY 2013, White Lies revealed their third album would be their "most melodic yet".