Covering phrase? We're dealing with this issue, The situation is under control

Hello everyone,

Sometimes politicians and/or representatives of authorities when talking to the public or journalists can say, answering to a “uncomfortable” question, something like “We’re dealing with this issue”, “The situation is under control”, etc. Sometimes we (the Russian) call that sort of phrases “cliche”. But also we use the term “phrase the cover” (it’s literal translation), meaning that those phrases are used to cover/conceal the true nature of the situation.

Can I use “covering phrase” with this meaning in English? Will it be understandable for native English speakers?

Hi Klpno,

I can’t think of a similar expression at the moment but there is one expression that says the same thing and that is ‘using weasel words’ - typical of a politician. Is that any good?


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Alan, it’s very useful, thank you very much!

Hello Klpno,

No - it would have a different meaning, something like ‘non-specific’. We do have phrases with exactly the meaning you require, e.g. ‘ducking the question’.

Thank you very much, Anglo Sax.