to make small talk

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - make small talk

"to make small talk"

to talk about casual or trivial things usually at social occasions or between people who do not know each other very well


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - make small talk

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Not another office party with prospective clients. How I hate them.

Colleague 2:  What don't you like?

Colleague 1:  I find it really difficult making small talk.

Colleague 2:  It is much easier if you have a list of topics prepared. You can talk about the weather or sports or current events. Just avoid talking business or politics or religion.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - make small talk

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Are you going to go and talk to that girl you really like?

Friend 2:  I don't know what to say.

Friend 1:  Just make small talk. It is customary to just chat with someone you don't know about light and trivial matters.

Friend 2:  OK. Here I go to talk to the woman of my dreams about the weather.

to make small talk - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   527   click for frequency by country

to make small talk - Gerund Form:

Making small talk when your mind is on more important topics can be difficult.

to make small talk - Examples:

1)  In New York recently I had to make small talk with a stranger.

2)  ... because you go into your room rather than make small talk with your flatmates, your behaviour is considered weird.

3)  Why not just make small talk about the nail polish they're going with or whether ...

4)  But one thing that always seems awkward is having to make small talk with the tattoo artist as a painful needle scratches a design into your skin.

5)  ... just so that they can avoid having to make small talk because it is genuinely the most terrifyingly stressful activity ...

6)  Knowing when to make small talk and when to leave someone alone is also important when working in a bar.

7)  ... the awkward five-minute car ride where the president-elect and outgoing president had to make small talk or sit in silence.

8)  ... been stuck at functions or dinner parties where you are literally forced to make small talk.

9)  ... and admits he dreads going to drinks parties and having to make small talk.

10)  There is no need to make small talk about the weather or talk about your dog's latest tricks.

11)  ... said spending years making small talk with clients while working as a hairdresser helped her hone people skills.

12)  ... something as simple as reaching out to someone you don't know and making small talk ...

13)  I still have the hardest time making small talk with children.

14)  ... there is no danger of spending the next seven days making small talk with complete strangers.

15)  As people mingle about the private view holding glasses of white wine, making small talk or gazing at the work on the walls, ...

16)  He spoke quietly as we made small talk but his heart didn't seem to be in it. 

17)  There was a time when people made small talk at bus stops, met their neighbours, made a friend.

18)  We made small talk, and the secretary was clearly uncomfortable with making us stand in the lobby.

19)  I made small talk with her for months at the counter before I had the guts to finally ask ...

20)  The two strangers made small talk about the GPS before the topic of the day came up rather unexpectedly.