Context: Suppose you are thinking of doing a task long due for quite some time, and you decide to do it today. But then, someone else also tells you to do it, and you want to say that you were also thinking of doing it today (and so you'll do it).

Now, it's not uncommon to say that even if that wasn't the case, just to be nice. But you want to convey the other person that, you're not saying this just as a formality / just for its sake, but you were actually thinking of doing it.

Is there a word or a phrase that conveys the italicized part? Yes, just the italicized part, I am not looking for an expression that conveys the entire thing.

Note that I've looked at this question, but the OP didn't provide much context, so the answers are not precisely what I am looking for. (This answer does sound close to what I want, but I looked it up, and it's not very precise)

  • 2
    This isn't an empty promise, I'm not just spitting platitudes, and neither am I being fatuous and my statement wasn't phatic. In other words, I'm being sincere, genuine, I am speaking in earnest. And so on.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 19, 2016 at 19:48
  • @DanBron Empty promise sounds like... well a promise. I couldn't find any reference for spitting platitudes. A dictionary meaning of fatuous is silly and meaningless, which is not exactly what I want. Phatic expression might be close to what I want (it's the same thing as mentioned in the answer). I'd be glad to hear this in form of an answer.
    – taninamdar
    Jun 19, 2016 at 20:13
  • 1
    I was suggesting more the words empty and platitude than the phrases empty promise or spitting platitudes. You can say empty speech, for example, and there are more ways to deliver platitudes than to spit them. And yes, fatuous is silly and meaningless: because you don't mean it! But having said all that, I'm lazy, and on a phone, so it's hard for me to add an answer proper. But you are more than welcome to self-answer based on any or all of those suggestions. Make sure to include dictionary definitions, with attribution and a link back if you answer, however.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 19, 2016 at 20:18
  • See also vacuous and vapid.
    – Dan Bron
    Jun 19, 2016 at 21:00

1 Answer 1


Are you thinking of something like not "just being polite" as referenced here? "Insincere" might be another possibility in that case.

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