Say Less – Meaning & Example Sentences

What does it mean if someone says “say less” when you’re talking to them? You might feel quite offended if you’ve never heard this phrase before.

So, let’s unpack the meaning of this phrase so you know how to respond next time!

Say Less – Meaning

“Say less” is a slang phrase which means you understand what someone is saying, so they don’t need to elaborate. It can also be used to confirm that you are willing to help someone or do a task. Sometimes, it’s used to express agreement as well.

Say Less - Meaning

“Say less” is an example of UK slang that developed on online social media platforms in recent times. The best way to illustrate how this phrase can be used is with a few examples:

  • Person 1: Evelyn said she’s still going away with Ned tomorrow!
  • Person 2: Say less, I already tried to talk her out of it.

The Urban Dictionary defines the term “say less” as meaning “when you understand someone fully and clearly and you don’t need any of their further explanation.” In the above example, Person 2 doesn’t need any further explanation, as they already understand the situation in full.

  • Person 1: I had some trouble finding a bus to the airport, and I was wondering
  • Person 2: Say less! You know I’m always happy to drive you anywhere.

  • Person 1: We were thinking of egging Ned’s house this evening while they’re away.
  • Person 2: Say less, I’m in.

As you can see, “say less” can also be used to express that you are willing to help someone with something or participate in an activity.

  • Person 1: You know, Sister Rosetta Tharpe is the real queen of rock n’ roll.
  • Person 2: Say less, friend!

“Say less” can also be used, in some cases, to express agreement, as seen above.

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Is It Rude to Say “Say Less”?

In some contexts, “say less” might be incorrectly used in place of “shut up”, which is certainly quite rude. This is not the original intent of the phrase, however.  

As we discussed above, “say less” should be used to say that you completely understand something or are happy to help. Using it to mean “shut up” is incorrect usage, as illustrated by the example below:

  • Person 1: I just wanted to apologize for my behavior.
  • Person 2: Say less, Ned. No one’s interested.

Say Less – Synonyms

There are a couple of phrases that may have the same use as “say less”.

In the context of using it to mean “I understand”:

  • I hear you
  • Say no more
  • Got it

In the context of using it to express a willingness to do something:

  • Sure thing
  • For sure
  • Happily
  • No problem

And finally, when you are using it to mean that you agree with something someone is saying:

  • Preach
  • Amen
  • So true
  • Quite right

Phrases That Mean the Opposite of “Say Less”

Since “say less” means that the other person doesn’t have to explain any further, an opposite phrase would express the opposite sentiment:

  • Keep talking
  • Please explain
  • I don’t get it
  • Go on

In What Situations Can You Use “Say Less”?

You can use “say less” when you completely understand what someone is saying, when you’re willing to help them, or when you agree with them.

The phrase was developed online and in chat rooms. It is used frequently in text on social media platforms like TikTok.

However, it can be used in regular, in-person conversations as well. Just be wary of your audience, as the older generation may misunderstand the phrase and assume you are being quite rude!

Conclusion

Say less is a UK slang phrase which means that you completely understand something someone is saying, agree with them, or are happy to help with a request. Although the phrase may sound like another way to say “shut up”, it is not intended to be used in this manner.