read my lips


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read (one's) lips

1. Literally, to interpret and understand what one says by observing the shapes of the words they form with their lips. Even though I was speaking very softly, Jill could read my lips and knew exactly what I was saying. I can read your lips, but it will help me if you use sign language as well.
2. To pay close attention and listen very carefully to what one says. Usually said as an imperative. A: "Come on, Mom—can I please go out with my friends?" B: "Read my lips—N O means no!" Read my lips—finish your dinner now, or you won't be getting any dessert!
See also: lip, read

read my lips

slang Listen closely to what I'm going to say, because I am going to be very clear. A: "Come on, Mom—can I please go out with my friends?" B: "Read my lips—no!"
See also: lip, read

read my lips

If you say read my lips, you mean that what you are saying is definitely the truth and people should believe and trust you. I said,`No way, read my lips, there is no way I'm going to sign this.'
See also: lip, read

read my lips

listen carefully (used to emphasize the importance of the speaker's words or the earnestness of their intent). North American informal
This expression was most famously used by the US Republican president George Bush in an election campaign pledge in 1988 : ‘Read my lips: no new taxes’.
See also: lip, read

ˌread my ˈlips

(spoken) used to tell somebody to listen carefully to what you are saying: Read my lips: no new taxes (= I promise there will be no new taxes).
See also: lip, read

Read my lips!

verb
See also: read

read my lips

Listen to what I’m saying because I really mean it. This expression actually has no relation to the lip-reading done by deaf persons who try to make out what is being said from the movement of a person’s mouth. It dates from the mid-1900s. In 1978 it was used as the title of an album of songs by British actor and singer Tim Curry, who in turn picked up the phrase from an Italian-American recording engineer. But it was popularized by George H. W. Bush in his acceptance speech for the 1988 Republican presidential nomination: “Congress will push me to raise taxes. . . . And I’ll say to them, ‘Read my lips. No new taxes.’” It continued to be widely used in politics, sports, and indeed any venue where someone wanted to make an emphatic statement. It is well on its way to clichédom.
See also: lip, read
References in periodicals archive ?
BIZ-Y BEE Rissa Mananquil Trillo, beauty maven and now author, with her book Read My Lips: What It Takes to Build a World-Class Homegrown Brand
"I say read my lips because I want the message understood and for there to be no confusion for you, Real Madrid or anyone else - Thierry is not for sale.
Of course this didn't include the SILENCE = DEATH T-shirts, since that wasn't a Gran Fury design, but it included Read My Lips, which sold a lot.
Bush been held to the same standard as corporations, for example, Americans who believed his 1988 "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge could have sued when he hiked taxes two years later.
The first shot in Read My Lips is an image of her tucking a hearing aid behind one ear, then concealing it with her hair.
When George "Read My Lips" Bush became president, it marked the first time that a former member of the Central Intelligence Agency had (knowingly) risen to elective office.
Voters have always hated it when politicians have trifled with them, and this sentiment has grown more intense ever since President Bush broke his "Read My Lips" promise.
And, I sometimes positioned myself so that those who were lip reading couldn't read my lips. When this happened, however, an interpreter kindly reminded me to step back.
And Chancellor Helmut Kohl's promise that there wouldn't be a tax increase on western Germans to help pay for unification was coming to resemble George Bush's 1988 campaign promise, "Read my lips."
"Reinvest in America" cannot become to the Clinton administration what "Read my lips" became for President Bush--an empty campaign promise and a symbol of unwillingness to shoulder ultimate responsibility for the state of the nation.
Darman said that, in light of the President's "read my lips" pledge against new taxes, the Administration was unwilling to accept any major changes in the tax code.
At the SNP conference on Saturday Nicola Sturgeon had her own "read my lips" moment when she asked people to judge the SNP Government on their record in office.
LUIS SUAREZ is staying at Liverpool this season, Reds owner John Henry has emphatically declared in "read my lips" style.
READ MY LIPS: Ventriloquist Steve Hewlett and (right) compere Malcolm Stent
Then followed her debut album, Read My Lips, and various top 20 hit singles.