warm fuzzy

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The term comes from the children's story The Warm Fuzzy Tale by Claude Steiner, where it is used to explain the concept of transactional analysis.


warm fuzzy ‎(plural warm fuzzies)

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly in the plural) a good impression; a feeling of comfort or trust
    I suppose they are a reputable business, but I didn't get a warm fuzzy from their salesman.
    • 2009 April 19, Paul Bloom, “Natural Happiness”, New York Times:
      There is no payoff to getting the warm fuzzies in the presence of rats, snakes, mosquitoes, cockroaches, herpes simplex and the rabies virus.
  2. (idiomatic, chiefly in the plural) A sense of accomplishment after performing a trivial, meaningless or pointless act; often used derogatorily.
    John picks up litter in our neighborhood because it gives him warm fuzzies.