Definition of Chinese whispers in US English:

Chinese whispers

plural noun

British
  • another term for the game of telephone (sense 2 of the noun)
    • ‘Among the Chinese whispers and misinformation from airlines, it becomes difficult to know what's the truth.’
    • ‘Sure, there is always a bit of a risk of Chinese whispers interfering with the clarity of such reports, but on reading the evidence it seems clear the extent of variation is beyond that which could occur by accident.’
    • ‘Community worker Jackie Robinson said: ‘There are lots of Chinese whispers going around, which are quite frightening for children and parents.’’
    • ‘Anyone who had played Chinese whispers or had listened to rumours knew that things got changed over time and the prophecy had been around for centuries.’
    • ‘The conversation is taking place across the checkouts, and Chinese whispers ripple down towards the end, so nobody misses out on what was being said.’
    • ‘These fears passed around the centre via Chinese whispers and spread like the plague.’
    • ‘‘It's a bit like Chinese whispers,’ she grinned, ‘the stories seem to grow and grow.’’
    • ‘The main course follows rapidly enough, although I'm getting fed up of the Chinese whispers ordering system every time I want a bottle of beer.’
    • ‘So, if you don't like those elected to represent, just start some Chinese whispers and before you know it, they'll never be able to show their face at a family Christmas get-together ever again.’
    • ‘The internet is rather like a huge Chinese whispers group.’
    • ‘And partial disclosure - with its potential for Chinese whispers - has the potential to generate the same tense atmosphere that has in the past provoked riots.’
    • ‘Oko must be suffering from the Japanese equivalent of Chinese whispers, because somewhere along the chain, the message has got a bit distorted.’
    • ‘This website aims to short-circuit this game of political Chinese whispers.’
    • ‘But, in a sort of worldwide game of Chinese whispers, it reaches us in a totally corrupted form.’
    • ‘Newspaper offices are echo chambers for proprietorial Chinese whispers.’
    • ‘I suspect this is either Chinese whispers editing, confusion between the number withdrawn and the remaining force, or perhaps a reflection of two different planning options.’
    • ‘In the electronic equivalent of Chinese whispers he has been accused of bullying, sectarianism and racism, to name but three of the alleged crimes.’
    • ‘Hot gossip and juicy rumours might spice up your week - but Chinese whispers can also cause enormous mayhem, so verify your sources and double-check the information you relay this week.’
    • ‘The people who started them did it with the best will in the world, but it's like Chinese whispers and never quite accurate.’
    • ‘A handful of texts and 40,000 Chinese whispers sent the message around the ground like wildfire.’

Pronunciation

Chinese whispers

/ˌCHīˈnēz ˈ(h)wispərz//ˌtʃaɪˈniz ˈ(h)wɪspərz/