Slang is an extremely important aspect of language and the change it undergoes. To start off, language change happens as a result of young people and part of that change is due to slang. When new slangs are created, language is being changed and sometimes that change becomes permanent.
One thing is for sure, slang will continually evolve, sometimes transforming old expressions into new ones with new meanings. Take, for instance, the expression “Say less”. At face value, it seems like just that, telling someone to Say less.
What does “Say less” mean?
“Say less” can be slang for quite a number of things. It could mean “I understand what you are saying” or “I get the gist”. It can also be used when you want to agree with what someone’s saying, letting them know that you both have an understanding.
Nevertheless, this phrase can also be used literally, when you want someone to stop speaking or speak less. In this case, you are most likely tired of listening to whatever it is they have to say, and you are basically telling them to be quiet. This instance usually comes with an angry or rude tone accompanying it.
Where exactly does “Say less” originate from?
This expression is actually a variation of the very first expression which was “say no more”. It is easy to see that this is a shortened version as it means the same thing. Typically, when someone says “say no more” it means that they have been convinced of whatever the other party is saying. It means that they have bought into whatever topic or ideal was being mentioned, and there is no need to go any further. This also goes for the expression “Say less”.
3 examples of how to use “Say less” in a sentence
Say less can mean shut up
While we can highlight the many meanings of Say less, it would be foolhardy not to highlight this particular meaning or tone of the expression. This definition in particular is a lot more literal than any other definition. When people say “Say less” in this instance, they are actually fed up with whatever the other party is talking about. At this point, they simply stop and the phrase “Say less” pops out.
An example would be two people having an argument
“Why did you think it was necessary to bring it back up. You should just simply move on and forget about it”
“Say less. You haven’t even apologised but still want to play the victim. It’s whatever”.
The most important thing to note is that this shouldn’t also be said in a formal or professional setting. Think about it this way, if you cannot tell someone to shut up in a professional setting, then saying “Say less” would be just as inappropriate or even more so.
Say less can mean I understand or I agree
The expression “Say less” is quite popular among young people, it is typically used among friends or informal settings. An example could be:
John said “hey guys, we really need to practice our routine if we want to win this talent show.
Brad then responds with “Say less. We will schedule a few a day for the next three weeks.”
Considering that “Say less” is a slang, it is perfectly suited for informal settings. This means it isn’t something you can use when communicating in the workplace. Doing so could cause the entire conversation to become extremely inappropriate.
Here is a scenario where you are talking to your supervisor;
Supervisor: Hey guys, the deadline for this project is in a couple of weeks, I’m going to need all of you to kick into the next gear. It might even be necessary for us to work overtime. Nevertheless, once we turn this project in, then we can sort of take our feet off the gas and calm down for a bit.
You: Say less, we’ve got this.
While this might not seem like an inappropriate exchange to you and of course your motives are sincere, there is something about expressing yourself like this that could cause ire or even cause you to lose your job.
The most effective way to use this slang is in an informal setting or at least between friends or individuals that understand the dynamic. Here are a couple more examples:
“Hey, would you like to go get something to eat later? It would be my treat.”
“Oh, Say less, let’s do it.”
In this example, the moment the first speaker offered to pay for the meal, the second speaker assented.
“I heard the new James Bond movie is out. A couple of us are thinking about going to see it. Do you want to come along?”
“Say less, I’m down”.
Say less can mean you’re excited
People use Say less in this context when someone they are talking to says something they are excited about.
Jim: Hey, I just got that new Madden. Are you coming?
Brad: Say less!