English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

How can I tell someone that I was just making the conversation long for fun? I am looking for some American idiom to express it.

share|improve this question
Most people don't do it for fun. – Daniel Jul 22 '11 at 13:12
@drm65 - You have never had a conversation that you found so stimulating you looked for additional things to talk about? Or just talked with a member of the opposite sex simply because you enjoyed doing so? – Chad Jul 22 '11 at 18:21
Okay, okay, I give up! :) – Daniel Jul 22 '11 at 18:22

If you are pretending not to understand or misunderstand for a little fun at the expense of the other person that would be Teasing.

If you are just talking to someone with mindless chatter that is often refered to as Babbling.

If you are just talking about things that interest one or both of you then it is often referred to as Chitchat.

If it is a mutual session of playful verbal jabs at each other it can be referred to as Banter

And talking with a member of the preferred sex, for fun is often called Flirting.

share|improve this answer
Nice. Looks like the answer – svirk Jul 22 '11 at 15:44
Indeed, nice list. One more: if someone is making a funny story deliberately longer they are "telling a shaggy dog story". en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaggy_dog_story – Eric Lippert Jul 22 '11 at 18:10

I would say that one is "drawing out" a conversation. That certainly has a meaning of "prolonging," and since it is voluntary, the implication it is at the pleasure of the actor.

Another word I would use to describe this phenomenon is "lingering."

share|improve this answer
Thanks. I guess "drawing out"/"lingering" the conversation for fun looks better. – svirk Jul 22 '11 at 13:44
@user395881: will you upvote this answer? – Tom Au Jul 22 '11 at 13:50
@Tom: I will! :) – Daniel Jul 22 '11 at 14:28
"linger" is an intransitive verb, not taking an object - you "linger" (i.e. stay) you do not "linger the conversation". – DJClayworth Jul 22 '11 at 18:41
@djclayworth: Fair enough. But the CONVERSATION can linger. I described this as a "phenomenon." – Tom Au Jul 22 '11 at 18:48

You could say I/we were just shooting the breeze or I/we were just chewing the fat.

These are idioms that imply an idle conversation which has no purpose other than entertainment or occupying time.

share|improve this answer
Nice answer, Colin. – svirk Jul 26 '11 at 14:55

I could have been more succinct, but I wanted a prolix conversation for fun.


1 : unduly prolonged or drawn out : too long

2 : marked by or using an excess of words

share|improve this answer
Well, if you need a list of all the words meaning wordy... – Daniel Jul 22 '11 at 13:15
The adjective prolix has an unfavorable connotation, so it would not be used when a conversation is prolonged for enjoyment. – oosterwal Jul 22 '11 at 18:41

Huh, good question. If you're looking for a response to a question like "Why is this conversation so long," witty options may include "It's the journey, not the destination," "If not this conversation, then which?" or "Good things come to those who wait." something playful/humorous should render the guy into a more docile state.

share|improve this answer
None of these are idioms, though. I don't know if there are any. – Daniel Jul 22 '11 at 13:14

I would call it, "spinning out" the conversation; or in the past tense, "The conversation was drawn out" works better

share|improve this answer

If you're referring to a narrative joke, it's known as a Shaggy Dog Story. You can find concrete media examples of a Shaggy Dog Story here.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.