speak down to (one)

(redirected from speaking 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

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 ?
The people of this area of Yorkshire are a proud bunch who say and do what they think, so stop speaking down to them.
"America can't expect to be fully respected as long as it wags its finger at other countries, speaking down to them like a parent scolding a naughty child," Letman told FNA.
"You were essentially lording it over them as being the important boss, speaking down to them."