sweet nothings

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English[edit]

Noun[edit]

sweet nothings (plural only)

Examples

I love the way your eyes glimmer in the candlelight

  1. (idiomatic) Insubstantial or romantic words that are only meant to flatter, woo, or seduce.
    • 1904, George Gissing, Veranilda, ch. 28:
      Hearing such words as these, in the sweetest, tenderest voice that ever caressed a lover's senses, Basil knew not how to word all that was in his heart. . . . Side by side, forgetful of all but their recovered peace, they talked sweet nothings.
    • 1922, James Joyce, Ulysses, Episode 16:
      [T]he facts, to make matters worse, were made public with the usual affectionate letters that passed between them, full of sweet nothings.
    • 2004, Joe Klein, "Does Bush Really Get Us?," Time, 25 April:
      It is difficult to know how accurate this portrait is, and how much of it consists of sweet nothings whispered into the author's ear by loyal retainers.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used in an expression of the form: to whisper sweet nothings into someone's ear.