• soft soap

    sweet talk


soft soap = die Schmeichelei


In the press

Mr Brown tried SOFT SOAP, praising the unions' role in Labour history, and he tried a jobs package, promising to get 500,000 unemployed people into work.

(BBC News)

They will SOFT-SOAP everyone as long as they can because rhetoric is the cheapest form of action.

(The Market Oracle)

Did you know?

soft soap
noun phrase

- persuasive flattery

(Compact Oxford English Dictionary)

to soft-soap

- to try to persuade someone to do what you want by saying pleasant things to them

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)


This colloquial expression alludes to liquid soap, likening its slippery quality to insincere flattery. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1830.

The literal meaning of soft soap refers to that which is liquid or easily soluble, usually made by saponification with potassium instead of the more typical sodium hydroxide.

Humanity has used soap-like things for at least 4000 years. The earliest recorded evidence of the making of soap-like materials dates back to around 2800 BC in Ancient Babylon.[1] A recipe for soap having water, alkali and cassia oil was written on a Babylonian clay tablet around 2200 BC.


boot licking, flattery, ingratiation, sweet talk

Practice OWAD today

Say something like:

"It really irritates me when sales people try SOFT-SOAP techniques."

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