talk tough

talk tough

To speak or communicate in a way intended to intimidate or elicit fear or respect in the listener. We need to talk tough when it comes to national security or our enemies will perceive us as weak. John tries to talk tough, but he's really just a puppy dog.
See also: talk, tough

talk ˈtough (on something)

(informal, especially American English) tell people very strongly what you want: Before the elections, the party talked tough on crime, but little has been done since they’ve been in power.
See also: talk, tough
References in periodicals archive ?
WHEN this migrant crisis started and the EU talked of quotas, I predicted on this page that David Cameron would first talk tough but then cave in.
Two-faced ministers talk tough in public but are also busy looking after their banking buddies.
It is no good for the government to talk tough about our borders when those of our neighbours leak like sieves.
The protesters said India will have to talk tough with Pakistan.
The Government threatened to curb prices, but David Cameron has done nothing except talk tough.
While Kosa is regarded as the most outspoken of Fidesz's leaders, the government's tendency to talk tough about Brussels and the IMF at home has bolstered expectations that talks over an international aid deal will eventually fall apart.
Governments talk tough on law and order but when it comes to making offenders serve their time they revert to the soft option.
Eugene Fire & EMS Talk Tough - Eugene Fire & EMS Department "Talks Tough About Your Safety," a program that parents are encouraged to attend with their teens, from 6 p.
John O'Connell, research director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: "Councillors are often quick to talk tough and clamp down on residents who haven't paid but that is a bit rich when there are so many that haven't paid themselves.
The government's two- pronged strategy is evident with Chidambaram expected to talk tough on terror while foreign secretary Nirupama Rao arrives a day earlier to prepare the ground for the foreign minister- level talks in July.
Billie's old friends from Balham may talk tough - though some think their street slang is more amusing than hostile - but so far, their bad behaviour has been restricted to spray painting Arthur's bench and laughing a bit too loudly in the Vic.
Casey said Washington wanted India to talk tough with Iran during Mr.
When it comes to action at the local level Newcastle Lib-Dem bosses may talk tough, but their record says different.
Labour may talk tough on crime, but they are not giving the police the resources they need to do the job.
He can talk tough but where is the real strength of character, bringing in Turner and Anichebe, for example.