There are questions you ask someone and most of the time they will just answer in lies either to not hurt other people, to prevent confrontation, or to not be seen as a shallow people. Is there any English word for it?

Here's some examples of such questions and answers:

Manager asking their employee

  • Manager: Do you think I'm a good manager?
  • Employee: Yes you are(although he feels like the manager is bad, but he lies to prevent confrontation with the manager)

An asian guy asking girl whether she likes asian guys.

  • Asian Guy: Would you date an Asian guy?
  • Some girl: Yes, if he's the right person(although she doesn't like asian guy, but she lies in public otherwise she will be seems as a shallow person also she want to prevent confrontation towards asian guy)

So it's questions that people will answer truthfully only if they can answer them anonymously, otherwise the truth will hurt other people or the respondent will be considered rude.

  • These are called "Little white lies."
    – Karlomanio
    Apr 15, 2019 at 15:10

2 Answers 2


In this example I like best White Lie, from Merriam Webster

white lie noun Definition of white lie : a lie about a small or unimportant matter that someone tells to avoid hurting another person

It touches on your point about not seeking to be confrontational and rude, but still being a lie. I like this better than euphemism which is more about changing language (think restroom instead of toilet) to be softer, but there are overlaps.


You may consider such questions in rhetoric to be loaded, trap or leading questions , designed to cause a desired response rather than honest and spontaneous answer.

[Cambridge Dictionary]
leading question
- a question that tricks someone into answering in a particular way

[Cambridge Dictionary]
loaded question
- a question that has particular words chosen to suggest the answer that is wanted

The answers to such question can considered to be either provoked or maybe politically correct.

[Cambridge Dictionary]
adj - provoke
to cause a particular reaction or feeling

[Cambridge Dictionary]
politically correct - A politically correct word or expression is used instead of another one to avoid being offensive

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