One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Try to settle a disagreement or dispute with words intended to placate or pacify those involved.
- ‘Property management companies are less easy to fix, but some research involving a trade catalogue for cast iron drain parts has proved to be enlightening, and some sensible financial management ideas pour oil on troubled waters.’
- ‘Now a local MP is trying to pour oil on troubled waters by enlisting the help of the Bishop to act as peacekeeper.’
- ‘And the newspapers Down Under have hardly been pouring oil on troubled waters.’
- ‘Needless to say, this sort of rumor-mongering has no place in American politics, and we're proud to be pouring oil on troubled waters, instead of fanning the flames.’
- ‘Pity that their back-benchers brought up the issue on a quiet news day before the last World Cup and have not ceased pouring oil on troubled waters since.’
- ‘In a week of such in-house turbulence, the return to first-team duty is a welcome snippet of positive news to pour oil on troubled waters.’
- ‘In the end we decided the best thing for him to do is to soldier on, to pour oil on troubled waters in liberal quantities and to live with the problem.’
- ‘One African minister advised against ‘pouring oil on troubled waters’.’
- ‘And in a move guaranteed to pour oil on troubled waters, the store has asked the band to play a promotional concert on its premises.’
- ‘The great diplomat has arrived to pour oil on troubled waters.’
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