so to speak


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so to speak

A phrase used to indicate that what one has just said is an uncommon, metaphorical, or original way of saying something. Similar to the phrases "if you will" and "in a manner of speaking." He was a fixer, so to speak—a man who could get things done. This arrangement will allow us to eliminate our debt and get back to solid ground, so to speak.
See also: speak
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

so to speak

as one might say; said a certain way, even though the words are not exactly accurate. John helps me with my taxes. He's my accountant, so to speak. I just love my little poodle. she's my baby, so to speak.
See also: speak
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

so to speak

Phrased like this, in a manner of speaking, as in He was, so to speak, the head of the family, although he was only related by marriage to most of the family members . This term originally meant "in the vernacular" or "lower-class language" and was used as an aristocrat's apology for stooping to such use. [Early 1800s] Also see as it were.
See also: speak
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

so to speak

used to highlight the fact that you are describing something in an unusual or metaphorical way.
See also: speak
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌso to ˈspeak

(also ˌas it ˈwere) used to emphasize that you are expressing something in an unusual or amusing way: They were all very similar. All cut from the same cloth, so to speak.Night fell and the city became, as it were, a different place entirely.
See also: speak
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

so to speak

Used to call attention to a choice of words, and especially to the metaphoric or expressive nature of a word or phrase: can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.
See also: speak
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

so to speak

Put in this way; in a manner of speaking. This phrase once meant “in the vernacular” or “in dialect,” and was used by aristocrats in the early 1800s as an apology for stooping to use lower-class language. However, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used it to apologize for high-flown language: “I occupied the same chamber that you did in former times, for it seemed to be the very highest point of the dwelling, the apogee, so to speak” (letter of March 2, 1824).
See also: speak
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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