or dou·ble·talk

[duhb-uh l-tawk]
See more synonyms for double-talk on
  1. speech using nonsense syllables along with words in a rapid patter.
  2. deliberately evasive or ambiguous language: When you try to get a straight answer, he gives you double-talk.
verb (used without object)
  1. to engage in double-talk.
verb (used with object)
  1. to accomplish or persuade by double-talk.

Origin of double-talk

An Americanism dating back to 1935–40
Related formsdou·ble-talk·er, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for double talk

babble, drivel, gibberish, hogwash, malarkey, nonsense, sophistry, doublespeak

British Dictionary definitions for double talk

double talk

  1. rapid speech with a mixture of nonsense syllables and real words; gibberish
  2. empty, deceptive, or ambiguous talk, esp by politicians
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for double talk

1938, from double (adj.) + talk (n.). Old English had a similar formation in twispræc "double speech, deceit, detraction."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with double talk

double talk


Meaningless speech, gibberish mixing real and invented words. For example, Some popular songs are actually based on double talk. [1930s]


Also, doublespeak. Deliberately ambiguous and evasive language. For example, I got tired of her double talk and demanded to know the true story, or His press secretary was very adept at doublespeak. This usage dates from the late 1940s, and the variant from about 1950.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.