speak for (oneself)

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speak for (oneself)

1. To express one's opinion as one's own, and not represent it as being indicative of anyone else's. Used as an imperative when there is disagreement. A: "We just love traveling." B: "Speak for yourself—I think it's exhausting."
2. To express one's own opinion or point of view, especially in contrast to those of others. She needs to speak for herself—I'm not a mind-reader! Speaking for myself, I haven't noticed any of the problems that David is bringing up.
See also: speak

speak for someone or something

 
1. to testify or argue for someone or something. I would be happy to speak for you in court. Just tell me when. My attorney will speak for our position.
2. to lay claim to someone or something. Fred is spoken for. I want to speak for the red one.
See also: speak

speak for

oneself to speak on one's own behalf. I can speak for myself. I don't need you to speak for me. speak for yourself. What you say does not represent my thinking.
See also: speak

speaking for oneself

an expression indicating that one is expressing only one's own opinion. Speaking for myself, I am ready to cancel the contract. Sally is speaking for herself. She is not expressing our opinions.
See also: speaking

speak for

1. Intercede for, recommend, as in He spoke for the young applicant, commending her honesty. [c. 1300]
2. Express the views of, as in I can't speak for my husband but I'd love to accept, or I don't care what Harry thinks-Speak for yourself, Joe. [c. 1300]
3. speak for itself. Be significant or self-evident, as in They haven't called us in months, and that speaks for itself. [Second half of 1700s]
4. spoken for. Ordered, engaged, or reserved, as in This lot of rugs is already spoken for, or Is this dance spoken for? This usage comes from the older verb, bespeak, meaning "to order." [Late 1600s]
See also: speak

speak for yourself

INFORMAL
If you say Speak for yourself when someone has said something, you mean that you do not agree with them, or that what they have said only applies to them. `We're not blaming you,' Kate said. `Speak for yourself,' Boris muttered. `We love you, too,' Cooper said. `Hey, speak for yourself,' Sasha told her.
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speak for yourself

give your own opinions.
The exclamation speak for yourself! indicates to someone that an opinion they have expressed is not shared by yourself and is resented.
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speak for myˈself, himˈself, etc.

express what you think or want yourself, rather than somebody else doing it for you: I’m quite capable of speaking for myself, thank you!
See also: speak

speak for yourˈself

(spoken, informal) used to tell somebody that a general statement they have just made is not true of you: ‘We didn’t play very well.’ ‘Speak for yourself!’ (= I think that I played well).
See also: speak

speak for

v.
1. To act as spokesperson for someone or something: I speak for the entire staff when I say thank you. I think these photographs will speak for themselves. Hey, speak for yourself—I'm not too old to dance! I can't speak for my competitors, but we take every precaution to ensure the customer's safety.
2. To make a reservation or request for someone or something. Chiefly used in the passive: Is this dance spoken for? That painting is already spoken for.
See also: speak

speak for yourself

Take your own part, not someone else’s; also, that’s your opinion, not necessarily mine. In the first meaning, this term dates from the nineteenth century and was popularized by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in “The Courtship of Miles Standish” (1858), recounting the wooing of Priscilla Carpenter by John Alden for Captain Standish. Priscilla “said, in a tremulous voice,‘Why don’t you speak for yourself, John?’”With or without John, the term has been so used ever since. Also, since at least the early eighteenth century, the expression has signified implicit disagreement. Jonathan Swift used it in Polite Conversation (1738): “Pray, sir, speak for yourself.”
See also: speak
References in classic literature ?
The only difference is, that the incidents should speak for themselves without verbal exposition; while the effects aimed at in speech should be produced by the speaker, and as a result of the speech.
And Miss Clack, on her side, is most anxious that her letters should be produced to speak for themselves."
It was also my opportunity; and it would be vain to discourse about what I made of it in a handful of pages, since the pages themselves are here, between the covers of this volume, to speak for themselves.
Suppose Sir Walter, in- stead of putting the conversations into the mouths of his characters, had allowed the characters to speak for themselves? We should have had talk from Rebecca and Ivanhoe and the soft lady Rowena which would embarrass a tramp in our day.
The facts, unfortunately, speak for themselves. People who in former years habitually called upon me and invited me--or who, in the event of my absence, habitually wrote to me at this season--have abstained with a remarkable unanimity from calling, inviting, or writing now.
The Baron's furnaces and retorts, and other things, were all there to speak for themselves, together with some packages of chemicals, having the name and address of the person who had supplied them plainly visible on their labels.
The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs, speak for themselves. The difficulty of placing it rightly, in a government resting entirely on the basis of periodical elections, will as readily be perceived, when it is considered that the most conspicuous characters in it will, from that circumstance, be too often the leaders or the tools of the most cunning or the most numerous faction, and on this account, can hardly be expected to possess the requisite neutrality towards those whose conduct may be the subject of scrutiny.
Such amiable qualities must speak for themselves. What a contrast between him and his friend!
If you still doubt whether I was really in love, let the facts speak for themselves. I hung my head, and let her go.
They will be left on the table, to speak for themselves after my departure.
Let them speak for themselves. This one tells us that the proposed Constitution ought to be rejected, because it is not a confederation of the States, but a government over individuals.
She has endeavored to express herself in the most conciliatory language she could select; she had tried to avoid giving unnecessary pain, by addressing Miss Vanstone (as a matter of courtesy) by the family name; and she trusts these concessions, which speak for themselves, will not be thrown away.
No doubt she simply echoed what was said for her; but she was nearing her twenty-second birthday, and he wondered at what age "nice" women began to speak for themselves.
In place of that eager and garrulous narration with which a white youth would have endeavored to communicate, and perhaps exaggerate, that which had passed out in the darkness of the plain, the young warrior was seemingly content to let his deeds speak for themselves. It was, in fact, neither the moment nor the occasion for an Indian to boast of his exploits; and it is probably that, had Heyward neglected to inquire, not another syllable would, just then, have been uttered on the subject.
I am not to be held accountable for that; though, at the same time, as the circumstances speak for themselves, I shall take the liberty, my love, of saying that I do understand them, and perfectly well too; whatever you and Nicholas may choose to think to the contrary.