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What is a word that means to condescend in a positive way, such as the way an adult would speak simply to a young child so they could understand? I mean with kindness and without an air of superiority. Thanks for any suggestions. :)

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  • like 'patronize' but not so negative?
    – Mitch
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 22:31
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    Condescension without smugness would simply be explanation, wouldn't it?
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 23:38
  • Similar question to english.stackexchange.com/questions/146148/… but not sure if it's a duplicate Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 0:10
  • @Mitch Thanks for responding. :) I think "condescend" used to have a more positive connotation long, long ago? I wish it still did. :) I need a word for a poem I'm writing. Thanks so much.
    – Kelly
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 12:57
  • @Dan Bron Thanks for responding. :) I think "condescend" used to have a more positive connotation long, long ago? I wish it still did. :) I need a word for a poem I'm writing. Thanks so much.
    – Kelly
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 12:58

3 Answers 3

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You could call that "speaking on someone's level".

She spoke to the kindergartners on their level.

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  • Yes - spoke on same level with sympathy to the children's understanding. Condescending is definitely not a word to use - it expresses the speakers low regard for the listener.
    – WS2
    Commented Nov 12, 2015 at 23:47
  • Tim Romano and @WS2 Thanks for responding. :) I think "condescend" used to have a more positive connotation long, long ago? I wish it still did. :) I'd like to have one word rather than a phrase, but I'll work with it somehow. :) (Writing a poem). Thanks so much.
    – Kelly
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 13:00
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How about the word vouchsafe?

You can use it in place of condescend as instantiated by: He vouchsafed an explanation to the conundrum

vouchsafe

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The adjective debonair may fit.

Definition: urban, gracious and charming in a cheerful, carefree, light-hearted way ; having a good disposition.

Example: My grandfather is the most debonair person you’ll ever meet. He is a very warm-hearted, genial gentleman who showed nothing but kindness to us.

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  • Thanks so much for the suggestion, but I don't think "debonair" quite fits my purpose. I really do appreciate your taking the time to try, though. :)
    – Kelly
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 13:05

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