Posted by Smokey Stover on October 25, 2007
In Reply to: Sweet nothings posted by Bob on October 24, 2007
: : Where does the phrase "sweet nothings" come from?
: Why, they come from your lover's lips. They're the whispered little endearments that mean, well, nothing, and at the same time, mean so much. From the Italian "dolce far niente."
Are you sure of the "dolce far niente"? What it means literally is "sweet to do nothing," and is used, elliptically, to characterize the pleasure of loafing. I think it may be somewhat out of date nowadays, but perhaps I'm wrong. (We've just got to get some real Italian phrase-heads interested.)