Is there an idiom for fake affection?

Sometimes, people pretend to care about someone else just to go along with the flow.

I can think of two-faced, but two-faced is being the opposite and doesn't imply someone is faking it without saying bad things behind someone's back. Is there a more neutral expression for this?

Wearing a mask is kinda similar, but not exactly what I am looking for, because it doesn't imply affection.

  • ‘A wolf in sheep's clothing’.
    – Void
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 4:42
  • You might consider editing your question. As it is written now, it is rather confusing. How is two-faced the opposite of what? Please explain more concretely what you want the idiom to mean and provide a sentence where you would use it.
    – fev
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 6:45
  • Could you define your situation a bit more? I've never heard of someone pretending to love someone else to go along with the flow. I think you'd have to expend significant effort to convince someone else that you love them, and expending effort is not going with the flow! Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 14:39
  • It's not specific to affection, but you could say that someone is going along to get along, which means roughly "do the same thing everybody else is doing so that you preserve harmony".
    – stangdon
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 15:48

1 Answer 1


The appropriate word depends on who is doing it, and why.

If they are doing it in order to get something, you can call it cupboard love. Normally this is used about animals and children who are being super nice because they want food, but it can be used for other things.

Somebody in the acting profession who displays false emotions can be called a luvvie.

The term affected can be used to describe any behaviour: it means

If you describe someone's behaviour as affected, you disapprove of the fact that they behave in an unnatural way that is intended to impress other people.

  • 3
    We should note that "cupboard love" and "luvvie" are very specifically British; I've never heard either of those over here in the US.
    – stangdon
    Commented Jul 23, 2021 at 11:40

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