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speak a mile a minute
To speak in a very quick or hurried manner; to talk very fast. When the boss gets excited, she starts speaking a mile a minute, and I can never follow everything she's trying to say!
speak by the card
To speak with accuracy and exactness. The "card" in this now-obsolete phrase might have referred to a sea chart, which was considered very precise. I always trust a man who speaks by the card—it inspires great confidence.
To speak harshly or maliciously, so as to hurt the listener. I can't stand to be around my mother these days—she's always speaking daggers because she's so miserable. I will speak daggers to my enemy when I see him at the debate.
speak in circles
To talk about something in an indirect or confusing way that is hard for the listener to follow. As journalists, we need to ask the important questions and keep these politicians from speaking in circles. A: "What's new with Mary?" B: "I have no idea because she spoke in circles the whole time."
speak well for
1. To show support or vouch for someone. I can speak well for Ted, I've known him for years.
2. To act as proof of something. I think she would make a great model—her grace and poise speak well for her.
speak out of turn
To say something erroneous, foolish, or impudent at an inappropriate time, or to speak when one does not have the authority to do so. I hope I'm not speaking out of turn, but I think we'd see a higher profit margin if we took better care of our employees' benefits. If you speak out of turn in my class, you can expect detention!
put a spoke in (one's) wheel
To disrupt, foil, or cause problems to someone's plan, activity, or project. I had everything in line for the party, but having the caterer cancel on me at the last minute really put a spoke in my wheel. It will really put a spoke in our wheel if the board decides not to increase our funding for this project. You would think the rise of cheap electric cars would put a spoke in Big Oil's wheel, but they actually seem to be embracing the change.
speak for itself/themselves
To have a clear meaning or explanation. I think my work these past few months speaks for itself and makes me more than qualified for this position.
speak too soon
To say something that is soon negated. This phrase is usually used in the past tense, as the negating factor has already happened. A: "Who's screaming at each other upstairs?" B: "Well, I thought we'd get through a normal family dinner, but I guess I spoke too soon!"
I spoke out of turn.
Fig. I said the wrong thing.; I should not have said what I did. (An apology.) Bill: You said I was the one who did it. Mary: I'm sorry. I spoke out of turn. I was mistaken. Bill: I seem to have said the wrong thing. Bob: You certainly did. Bill: I spoke out of turn, and I'm sorry.
I spoke too soon.
1. Fig. I am wrong.; I spoke before I knew the facts. Bill: I know I said I would, but I spoke too soon. Sue: I thought so. John: You said that everything would be all right. Jane: I spoke too soon. That was before I learned that you had been arrested.
2. Fig. What I had said was just now contradicted. Bob: It's beginning to brighten up. I guess it won't rain after all. John: I'm glad to hear that. Bob: Whoops! I spoke too soon. I just felt a raindrop on my cheek. Bill: Thank heavens! Here's John now. Bob: No, that's Fred. Bill: I spoke too soon. He sure looked like John.
speak out of turn
Fig. to say something unwise or imprudent; to say something at the wrong time. Excuse me if I'm speaking out of turn, but what you are proposing is quite wrong. Bob was quite honest, even if he was speaking out of turn.
speak too soon
Assume something prematurely, as in I guess I spoke too soon about moving to Boston; I didn't get the job after all.
put a spoke in someone's wheelmainly BRITISH
If you put a spoke in someone's wheel, you deliberately do something which spoils their plans. She was just jealous of your relationship with Pippa and couldn't resist putting a spoke in your wheel. Note: Cartwheels used to be made of solid wood, with holes in them through which a wooden bar or `spoke' could be pushed in order to make the cart slow down or stop.
put a spoke in someone's wheelprevent someone from carrying out a plan. British
It is not clear why a spoke , a normal component of many wheels, should have such a negative effect. It has been suggested that spoke here is a mistranslation of the Dutch word spaak , meaning ‘a bar’ or ‘a stave’, which is found in the identical Dutch idiom.
speak (or talk) out of turnspeak in a tactless or foolish way.
speak for itˈself/themˈselvesbe so clear or obvious that no explanation or comment is needed: The expressions on their faces spoke for themselves — they hated the song.
speak too ˈsoonsay something, and find afterwards that what you said is not true: ‘I’m glad Simon didn’t come.’ ‘You spoke too soon. Here he comes now.’
put a ˈspoke in somebody’s wheel(British English) make it difficult for somebody to do something or to carry out their plans: If the management try to cut our pay, we can put a spoke in their wheel by going on strike. Spoke may be an incorrect translation from Dutch of spaak meaning ‘bar’ or ‘stick’.
n. lists of jokes, sent from friends via email; joke spam. I don’t know what’s worse, spokes or spam.
See also: spoke