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

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

speak down to

To speak condescendingly to: She never spoke down to her audience.
See also: down, speak
References in periodicals archive ?
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.
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?
He avoids stilted language and does not speak down to the reader.