speak down to

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Related to speak down to: speaks volumes

speak down to (one)

To speak in an insultingly condescending manner to one; to speak to one as if they are less mature, intelligent, or capable than they really are. I try not to speak down to my kids when they ask me a serious question. I hate the way my boss speaks down to me whenever I ask him to explain something.
See also: down, speak
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

speak down to someone

to address someone in simpler terms than necessary; to speak condescendingly to someone. There is no need to speak down to me. I can understand anything you are likely to say. sorry. sometimes I tend to speak down to people over the telephone.
See also: down, speak
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

speak down to

To speak condescendingly to: She never spoke down to her audience.
See also: down, 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.
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References in periodicals archive ?
It took its readers seriously, did not speak down to them and assumed (correctly) that they would take an intelligent interest in subjects beyond their own immediate experience.
He said he had always been shy and quiet until he took on his new role and added: "It has been wonderful for me - people in the NHS speak to you on the level, they don't speak down to you.
Among the mistakes the liberal left made then was to speak down to the working class and its struggles and institutions.
'Then they slipped a note under the toilet door which said something like 'I will respect my senior pros and not speak down to them' and told Craig to sign it.
His poems, however, include us rather than speak down to us.
Noah Ryan Gosling Allie Rachel McAdams Duke James Garner Allie Calhoun Gena Rowlands Lon Hammond James Marsden Fin Kevin Connolly Frank Calhoun Sam Shepard Anne Hamilton Joan Allen John Hamilton David Thornton Every bit the unashamed tearjerker fans of the popular novel expect, "The Notebook" is a determined and often affecting romance that doesn't speak down to audiences.
* Does it speak directly to me or does it speak down to me?