fbpx Skip to Content

“Say less”: Meaning, Usage & Examples

“Say less”: Meaning, Usage & Examples

Sharing is caring!

Slang can be completely incomprehensible, even if the expression is written in plain English.

That’s sort of the beauty of it actually. You need someone to clue you in.

Today we will clue you in on the slang expression “Say less.”

Let’s dive right in. 

What does “say less” mean?

‘Say less’ is slang to express understanding or agreement with someone, meaning no further explanation is needed. However, it can also be a polite way to ask someone to speak less, particularly when their words are overwhelming or frustrating.


Exploring the different meanings of “say less”


”Say less” to mean I understand


Where does the expression come from?

The expression is a modification of the original expression “say no more,” which meant the exact same thing.

When you say “see no more,” you are sort of saying that you have bought whatever the other person is selling, so they can stop trying to sell you on it. Well, the same goes for “say less.”


How to use “say less”

“Say less” is an expression that’s fairly popular in places like Toronto among the youth. You might find the following exchange taking place between two friends.

Michael: Hey man, our team needs to practice hard if we are to have any shot at winning this thing.

Jay: Say less. We’ll schedule two practices a day for the coming two weeks.

Now, since this expression is slang, it is obviously informal. Ergo, you really can’t be using it in the workplace with your boss. For example, the following exchange is quite inappropriate.

Boss: Alright, with the deadline approaching, we are going to need to step it up a bit. We might even have to work overtime. However, once we hand the client the final deliverable, we can take things easy again.

Employee: Say less boss. We got you.

Don’t get me wrong. In the above example, the employee’s heart is in the right place. However, the way they are expressing themselves might get them fired.

Here are a few more examples of how you can use this expression:

Martha: How about we go out and grab a bite to eat? My treat.

Steven: Say less. I’m in.

Basically, the minute Martha offered to pay for the dinner, Steve was on board.

Tony: The new Nolan movie just came out, and we’re heading to see it. Wanna come with us?

Sarah: Say less. I’m in.


”Say less” to mean “S#!t up”

This definition is a bit more literal. The idea is that you are tired of what the other person is saying, so you just want them to cut it out and “say less.”

Jennifer: Look, the only reason I said those things was because you started it.

Molly: Say less. You are vindictive. You always have been and always will be. This isn’t on me.

Obviously, this expression is also informal, so don’t use it in a professional setting.

Moreover, I’m not entirely certain that telling someone to “S#!t up” is even allowed in a professional setting. You might ask someone to “please stop interrupting,” but even that might be a bit uncouth.

It all depends on the situation really.

Anyway, this definition is actually the one used in different pop songs, which brings us to culture.

In Ashanti’s song titled “Say Less,” the chorus goes as follows.

Like get out of my face

Say less If it ain’t about the money

Say less If he ain’t from the clique

Say less B****, say less

Now, according to Ashanti, if you were to watch her interpretation of her own song, the one she does with Genius, “say less” is her way of telling people that they are trying too hard or doing too much.

In other words, if they don’t have what it takes, then they shouldn’t come up to her and waste her time. Hence, they should “say less.”

Another song that also uses the expression is by Roy Woods and is called “Say Less,” which is also the title of his album. Again, this is the chorus.

Heard you got

a lot to say

Maybe you should say less

You ain’t gotta tell no lie

Maybe you can confess

100 Fahrenheit

in my room

Maybe you should undress

No talk

Say less

When asked what “Say Less” meant, Woods said, “’Say less’ means kind of… ‘I understand.’

You understand what the person is telling you already: ‘Say less fam; Imma do it.’

Do more instead of just talking about doing things. That’s why I always say less: I hate it when people say things and their actions don’t own up to it. I want to see the work. Don’t tell me; show me. Say less fam!”

So, I guess Roy Woods’s definition straddles the line and benefits from the best of both usages.