Is there a word to describe how person 1 is behaving when they try to assure person 2 that person 1 will be okay if person 2 does something when person 1 really won't be okay? Like for instance, Jill tells Jack it's okay if he takes Sue to the fair instead of her; however, Jill would really prefer it if Jack took her instead of Sue.

  • In this circumstance, Jack is wanting to find out if Jill will be upset if he takes his cousin to the fair instead of her.

  • Because Jill doesn't want to seem too controlling, she tells Jack that it's okay that he takes Sue instead of her, even though she had been looking forward to going to the fair with him for weeks.

  • Secretly, Jill is disappointed or saddened because of Jacks decision.

  • Can you add a sentence showing how you would use the phrase? You've asked for an adjective, but I wonder whether a noun or verb would work for your purposes, as well.
    – 1006a
    Sep 9, 2017 at 16:21

2 Answers 2


Not strictly definitive but Jill's "coquettish" behaviour whilst assuring Jack it's okay to take Sue to the fair would certainly satisfy your three bullet points.


This is more general, but my $.02...

I've always heard the somewhat outdated phrase "hunkey doorey" as a nice way of saying "well , everything is just fine, but things really are not very good." My grandma used this phrase a mot , and I remember hearing it used in this context on the tv show boardwalk empire.

  • I've always said as "Hunky Dorey" so I wonder if it was your grandma's accent that made it sound like "doorey"...? Where I live, it is generally used to mean that something is really OK, not just that the speaker is pretending - although it is generally understood to be an old-fashioned term that would only be used humorously nowadays.
    – Lefty
    Sep 9, 2017 at 8:29

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