What Does “A Man Of Few Words” Mean?

What Is The Meaning Of A Man Of Few Words? 

The common saying a man of few words is primarily used to describe a quiet individual. This can mean that they simply don’t talk, are shy, or are direct and get to the point when they speak. 

In most common uses, it describes someone quiet; however, if directly used in a specific manner, it easily denotes that someone is bold with their words. 

Examples Of A Man Of Few Words 

  • Mike is a man of few words. Last time I talked to him, I swear he only said two full sentences! 
  • Dan is a really shy guy. He normally likes to listen instead of talking. I guess you could say that he is a man of few words. 
  • As a man of few words, I don’t like to get into small talk with new people. 

Origin Of The Common Phrase 

As this phrase is fairly literal in its meaning, it should be no wonder why it caught on in conversational English. As mentioned earlier, this phrase originated to describe someone who is shy or may express their thoughts quickly with few words. For example, someone can be considered a man of few words if they mainly stick to using 1-2 word responses. 

The phrase has most likely been around for around 400 years. It has become so common in the English language that it can be found used by many writers throughout history, such as William Shakespeare and Stephen King. 

Related: Check out our “common expressions” section for more articles like this!


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