speak down to (one)

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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, to
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, to
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, to
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 ?
"I left the industry initially when I was 21 because head chefs spoke down to me, giving me verbal abuse.
At both occasions, he was rude, obnoxious and spoke down to me in front of everyone.
I was treated like a child, they spoke down to me like I was a pupil."
The adults spoke down to children, and to each other like adults, and drank endless cups of tea.
BEING spoke down to by a boss or colleague is the main cause of "office rage" in Irish workplaces, a report warned yesterday.
For example, while emphasizing that Brownson "never spoke down to his audience," Carey also discusses the ideas that Brownson shared with them, among them the social inferiority of African Americans and of women (132, 276-77, 352).
He never spoke down to his audience, but instead used his genuine sincerity and simple, soft-spoken manner to connect with kids.
``It was disappointing the way they spoke down to us after the game,'' admitted Jones.
They felt he spoke down to them, which infuriated them.
George Harrison always felt that McCartney spoke down to him and the trait is still evident on the Anthology DVD.
I always liked Jim when I was on his games - he never spoke down to you and was never a growler.
This was the ground-breaking series which never spoke down to its audience with the use of high speed car chases, machine gun shoot-outs and torrid sex sessions.