strong silent type, the

strong silent type

A man of action who is reserved and masks his feelings. For example, Paula always preferred the strong silent type to more extroverted men. Almost never used for a woman, this expression may be obsolescent. [c. 1900]
See also: silent, strong, type

strong silent type, the

A man of few words but effective action; one who masks his feelings. This phrase, today nearly always used ironically, was extremely popular with women novelists of the early 1900s who used it to depict a very romantic figure. Even today, when it may be obsolescent, it is never used for a woman. Leslie Charteris had it in The Saint and Templar (1978): “I’ve always fancied myself as the strong silent type.” Also see macho.
See also: silent, strong