Kill Them With Kindness – Meaning and Origin

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Kill them with kindness means to disarm or subdue someone through gentleness and compassion rather than meeting negativity with negativity. Think of it as an advanced form of attracting more flies with honey. So instead of saying, “Be nice to them, and you’ll get what you want,” you could say, “Kill them with kindness.” It sounds so much cooler!

Idioms are phrases or expressions whose meaning cannot be understood from the ordinary meanings of their individual words. They are vocabulary tools to make you instantly sound wiser, more nuanced, and incredibly articulate. 

If you want to understand the alchemy behind transforming kindness into a weapon of mass construction, read on as I cover the full meaning, interesting origin, and correct usage in a sentence.

Kill Them With Kindness Meaning Explained

Kill Them With Kindness – Meaning and Origin

The phrase “kill them with kindness” urges people to respond to aggression or animosity with kindness as a way to diffuse tension and show that love conquers all. You’re not literally killing anyone (phew!). You’re just conquering their negativity by being overwhelmingly nice.

I like to apply this idea to parenting. No matter how mean my kids are to me, regardless of the temper tantrum they’re throwing, I always lay on the kindness like a thick slab of butter, which gets them every time.

Different Tenses to Use

  • Kill (Base Form): “It’s better to kill them with kindness than to react angrily.”
  • Kills (Third-Person Singular): “She kills them with kindness every time they argue.”
  • Killed (Past Tense): “He killed them with kindness and left them speechless.”
  • Killing (Progressive Form): “I am killing them with kindness, even though it’s hard.”

Is “Kill ‘Em With Kindness” Meaning the Same?

Yes, “kill ’em with kindness” is simply a colloquial, shortened form of kill them with kindness. The essence remains the same: being nice as the ultimate clapback.

Kill Them With Kindness Origin and Etymology

Kill Them With Kindness Ngram
Kill them with kindness usage trend.

The phrase comes from literature itself, with appearances in works like Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew.” But some say the idea comes from apes in how they sometimes hold and hug their young so tightly that it kills them. Yikes.

Regardless, it’s been part of the linguistic fabric for centuries, woven in as a reminder that kindness is indeed a powerful tool, whether good or bad.

Synonyms for Kill With Kindness

  • Win over with love
  • Disarm with charm
  • Defeat with decency
  • Soften with sweetness
  • Conquer with courtesy

Killing Them With Kindness in Sentence Examples

Kill Them With Kindness – Meaning and Origin 1

  • You know you can kill them with kindness instead of shouting back, right?
  • My mom always kills people with kindness, even when they’re super rude to her.
  • I killed them all with kindness and walked away with my dignity intact.
  • Don’t worry about Adam. He’s killing them with kindness, no matter how harsh they are.
  • Mary always kills her critics with kindness.
  • Despite the tension between the firm and the clients, she managed to kill them with kindness.
  • How you killed them with kindness at the meeting was truly commendable.
  • Killing them with kindness is his mantra, and he’s proven it works.
  • The manager kills any complaints with kindness, making it hard to stay mad.
  • She’s killed them with kindness so often that they’ve just stopped being mean to her altogether.

Kill ‘Em With Kindness!

That’s my rundown on the phrase “kill them with kindness.” Now, you can use it confidently and add some flare to your words! And hey, while you’re at it, why not check out our other articles on idioms? Because, trust me, you can never have too many idiomatic tricks up your sleeve!