to my knowledge, (to) shoot the breeze has a second meaning that might be even more common than the one already entered ( Dictionary: shoot the breeze
) in leo:
(to) shoot the breeze can be a synyonm to (to) chit-chat. (Note that leo only lists chitchat as a noun while merriam-webster lists it as an intransitiv verb as well.*)
Small talk would be a good synonym but is not a verb.
To gossip has several meanings which match the two of shooting the breeze quite well.
The German translation in leo "einfach so daherreden" is something (derogatory) that you say to or about a person when you feel that she has not thought (thoroughly enough) about the
- truth of what she utters,
- consequences (maybe hurt feelings of others), etc.
before she started to speak.
However, einfach so daherreden is something that people would not say not about themselves if they meant that they were just talking about something/something unimportant:
[Note: the following dictionary entries can all be found on this page: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/shoot%...
1) Merriam-Webster http://www.webster.com/dictionary/shoot+the+breeze
, bottom, 2nd last item in bold characters:
to converse idly : GOSSIP
[Patrick: Note that for gossip, m-w lists: 2b) a chatty talk.]
2) Dictionary.com Unabriged
11. shoot or bat the breeze, Slang.
a. to converse aimlessly; chat.
b. to talk nonsense or exaggerate the truth: He likes to shoot the breeze, so don't take everything he says seriously.
3) American Heritage Dictionary, 2000
Idiom(s), next-to-last item
shoot the breeze (or bull) Slang
To spend time talking; talk idly.
(less extensive entry that the one on the dictionary.reference.com overview url quoted above, which is what I present below)
Also, shoot or throw the bull.
Talk idly, chat, as in They've been sitting on the porch for hours, just shooting the breeze, or The guys sit around the locker room, throwing the bull. The first of these slangy terms
4) Oxford Dictionary of Idioms, 2004 (as quoted by http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1O35-shoot.html
shoot shoot the breeze ( or the bull) have a casual conversation. North American informal
-) An example from the "Speaking Out" Washington Post, July 13, 1997 (as quoted by http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P2-742612.html
"I'd rather just sit and shoot the breeze with the guys. [...]" -- Albert Belle, who was chosen to the All-Star team, but did not play.
In sum: all dictionaries suggest that there is non-derogatory meaning of (to) shoot the breeze which states that people engage in a non-meaningful discussion.
Dictionary.com was the only one to include a second meaning which corresponds to one that can already be found in leo.
Hence, I suggest adding this meaning to leo.
Plaudern, sich einfach so unterhalten; quatschen, ratschen.
Quatschen oder ratschen is something that men rarely say/want to hear about themselves, so the first two entries might be a bit better/more general.