soft soap

noun
1.
Informal. persuasive talk; flattery: to use soft soap to get one's way.
2.
the semifluid soap produced when potassium hydroxide is used in the saponification of a fat or an oil.

Origin:
1625–35

Dictionary.com Unabridged

soft-soap

[sawft-sohp, soft-]
verb (used with object)
1.
Informal. to cajole; flatter.
2.
to apply soft soap to.
verb (used without object)
3.
to use soft soap in washing.

Origin:
1820–30

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
soft soap
 
n
1.  med another name for green soap
2.  informal flattering, persuasive, or cajoling talk
 
vb
3.  informal to use such talk on (a person)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

soft soap definition


Flattery: “Mary asked the boss to stop giving her a lot of soft soap about her performance and to start leveling with her like any other employee.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

soft soap

Flattery, cajolery, as in She's only six but she's learned how to get her way with soft soap. This colloquial expression alludes to liquid soap, likening its slippery quality to insincere flattery. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1830.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Some of us can remember when soft soap was made on farms as it was in pioneer
  and colonial times.
Ingredients included soft soap, boiled meal and dog, pig or fowl dung.
Masks should be washed daily in warm water with soft soap and left to air dry.
They found that the bridge planking had been removed and the remaining two
  sleepers greased with soft soap and tallow.
Synonyms
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