soft shoe

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

soft shoe (uncountable)

  1. (performing arts) A kind of tap dancing performed in soft-soled shoes, popular in vaudeville.
    • 1966, "Sunday (TV listings)," Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 15 Jan, p. 19, (retrieved 5 Oct. 2008):
      Between Mr. O'Connor and Mr. Newley there's a delightful exhibition of the dances and their origin dating gack a few hundred years, from the clog to the buck, the wing, and the buck and wing, and on to the old soft shoe and more.
  2. (idiomatic) A speech, explanation, sales pitch, or other set of remarks delivered in a restrained or conciliatory manner in order to persuade, distract, or otherwise influence someone.
    • 2001, Adam Piore, "Red, White And What A Deal!," Newsweek, 26 Nov.:
      Is the salesman's soft-shoe appropriate in a time of national mourning?

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often used in the expression "the old soft shoe."

Adjective[edit]

soft shoe (not comparable)

  1. (usually hyphenated) Of or pertaining to this kind of dancing.
  2. (idiomatic) Casual, low-key, easy-going.
    • 1958, "Mellow Man in Charge," Time, 6 Oct.,
      Occasionally criticized for his soft-shoe approach (e.g., he urged the President to avoid a public squabble with Joe McCarthy), Persons nonetheless won many a legislator over to the Administration side.

Verb[edit]

soft shoe

  1. To perform a dance of this kind.