talk tough

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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 ?
THE SNP have talked tough on the failings of the benefits regime.
Once the ECB talked tough, Greek prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, struck a conciliatory tone.
Though Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel has talked tough about the behavior of Russian President Vladimir Putin, she nevertheless distanced herself from Schauble's remarks, describing Crimea as a "standalone case.
Margaret and Barry Mizen said David Cameron has talked tough on jailing blade-wielding thugs, but with minimal effect.
Prime Minister should have talked tough from the ramparts of Red Fort.
DISSATISFIED by airlines' moves to lower airfares that had skyrocketed by over 300 per cent recently, the government talked tough on Monday asking them to rationalise and bring down the airfares further.
Both Labour and the Conservatives have talked tough about banning these cut-price booze deals and tackling the binge culture at the heart of Broken Britain.
a Katie Price, allegedly saw the singer's number flashing and gave it to beau Alex Reid, who talked tough with Andre, accusing him of disrespect.
TORY leader David Cameron has talked tough over the parliamentary expenses scandal.
TOUGH tackling Liverpool midfielder Momo Sissoko talked tough to schoolchildren about stamping out racism.
Mr Blair also talked tough on Europe, warning in a newspaper article that there could be no ``inner or outer core'' within the EU.
The man who hopes to be the next vice-president of the United States talked tough on war and terrorism today, vowing to 'destroy' Al-Qaeda.
Philip Bushill-Matthews MEP, Conservative spokesman on employment in the European Parliament, said: 'This is the first time the UK Government has not only talked tough on the side of business but has actually acted tough.
Hayes talked tough a year ago, when first elected to the board as a reformer who seemed to understand that schools should stop failing children.
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