I know "tender and soft" is wrong here, because one day, when one of my friends who came from China went to a bar with some American guys, they asked my friend this: "What kind of the girl do you like?" My friend answered: "Kind, tender, and soft." They all laughed and pointed at a very fat girl to him...
Could you please give me some proper word to describe a good girl?

  • 3
    Can you give more information about what you mean by "soft and tender?" That would help.
    – J.R.
    Mar 28, 2015 at 0:28
  • 4
    What your friend said was perfectly normal. Presumably the 'American guys' were expecting a shallow answer based only on appearance e.g. long blonde hair, tall, skinny. They might have intended to make a joke of it no matter what answer he gave.
    – Pharap
    Mar 28, 2015 at 6:35
  • 2
    What your friend said was perfectly fine. The American guys were just giving your friend a hard time.
    – Ben Kovitz
    Mar 28, 2015 at 14:49
  • 1
    I think A 'girl next door' type might be a good way of phrasing it.
    – user18505
    Mar 28, 2015 at 23:41
  • 4
    I would use "tender and soft" as a way to describe a good steak, not a girl. That sounds a bit cannibalistic.
    – picciano
    Mar 29, 2015 at 1:58

3 Answers 3


Soft and tender are not bad words to use here. I understand what you mean, and so did they. They were just making fun of you because "soft and tender" can mean "physically soft and tender" and it can mean what you meant, kind and gentle.

If you want to avoid people thinking this, you could use synonyms (kind, nice, quiet, gentle) or you could not use the two words together. "Kind and soft" or "kind and tender". Another alternative is you could use the word tender-hearted. However, it's not as big of an issue as you might think. They were just looking for ways to make you feel bad over silly things.

Although, be careful, don't say "nice and soft" or "nice and tender" both of these sound far worse than your original phrase.

  • 2
    I think "gentle" is the right word here. Mar 28, 2015 at 8:09

The people in question were making a joke based on the fact that 'soft' and 'tender' have double meanings. Your friend intended to describe a person's personality, but these words can also describe a person's physique.

The best way to avoid this is to use a word that can only describe a person's personality (i.e. do not have a double-meaning). Here are a few that are similar to what your friend was intending:

  • Caring
  • Kind
  • Considerate
  • Good-natured
  • Understanding
  • 2
    In the case of soft even quadruple meanings: describing someone as soft can also mean they're sentimental pushovers, or indeed that they are unintelligent or slow-witted. Mar 28, 2015 at 21:59

As a non-native speaker, I can put myself in his shoes! What he might mean by 'soft and tender' is 'delicate'. Reverso defines delicate as something that is delicate is small and beautifully shaped.

In non-English speaking countries like India, delicate girl often means, soft (to touch), tender (silky smooth, emotional). It may sound strange to the native speakers, but I'm just trying to help address this question.

I'm pretty sure, your friend did mean these types of girls (Google's image results for delicate girls).

  • 'Delicate' does sound a bit strange to native speakers, but it's technically correct.
    – Pharap
    Mar 28, 2015 at 6:38
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    Odd. I would have guessed that "tender and soft" referred not to physical looks, but to demeanor (i.e., tender-hearted and soft-spoken). Of course, that's why I asked for more clarification, too.
    – J.R.
    Mar 28, 2015 at 9:28
  • JR, tender and soft do refer to demeanor, the OP's friends were just giving him a hard time. If someone said it to me, I would not think think of physical looks. Although, "nice and soft" or "nice and tender" do sound like they are talking about physical looks, and also sound kind of creepy.
    – DJMcMayhem
    Mar 28, 2015 at 16:21

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