speak down to (one)

(redirected from speak down to them)

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 ?
One of the clearest and most consistent messages athletes have taught us is not to speak down to them but to get to know them, smile and make the experience fun!
"The most important thing for a teacher is to be present mentally and emotionally, and really speak with the students--not to speak down to them." He has no use for teachers "standing in the middle, sticking out their hand saying, 'nah, nah, nah, do this.' For us, everything is 'Yes': OK, that's one way of doing it.
I communicate well with kids and I never speak down to them."
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.
"I don't patronise them or speak down to them. I hate it when people do that.
Be humorous and don't speak down to them," says Moran, who emphasizes that you shouldn't use slang because it comes and goes very quickly and you might be using it in the wrong context.