talk like a book | Meaning of talk like a book in English - infoAnew" /> talk like a book" /> talk like a book" /> talk like a book definition" />

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talk like a book definition


This page has two definitions of talk like a book in English. Talk like a book is a verb. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .



From the fact that the written language used in books is generally more formal than spoken language.



talk like a book (third-person singular simple present talks like a book, present participle talking like a book, simple past and past participle talked like a book) (intransitive, informal, simile)

  1. To talk pedantically, or using excessively difficult or literary words.
    Synonym: speak like a book
    • 1744, [Nicolas-Charles-Joseph] Trublet, “Of the Different Talents for Speaking and Writing”, in [anonymous], transl., Essays upon Several Subjects of Literature and Morality. [], London: [] J. Osborn, [], OCLC 1326141074, section V, page 53:
      People ſhould not vvrite as they talk, except in letters (vvhich are but a converſation in vvriting): it is too careleſs. And they neither can nor ought to ſpeak as they vvrite, for this vvould be unnatural. I ſuppose it vvas first intended as a compliment to a perſon to ſay, He talks like a book; but this, vvhich vvas once looked upon as a compliment, and vvas, indeed, a pretty high-ſtrain'd one, has ſerved ſince for one of the diſtinguiſhing marks of a coxcomb.
    • 1874 March, Richard Grant White, “Linguistic and Literary Notes and Queries. IV. John Stuart Mill’s Autobiography.”, in The Galaxy. A Magazine of Entertaining Reading, volume XVII, number 3, New York, N.Y.: Sheldon & Company, [], OCLC 909430306, page 340:
      I have often thought as I sat at table with people who were found of "talking like a book," that what they said was in great measure as unintelligible to English-speaking persons who were not classically educated, as simply-bred Romans must have found that of Cicero and his set when they interlarded their talk with Greek.
    • 1889 January, F. M. Capes, “Art. V.—A Dominican Story-teller. []”, in The Dublin Review, volume XXI, number I (Third Series), London: Burns & Oates, [], OCLC 913040288, pages 71–72:
      [The conversations in the books] are often wanting in force (which, as they frequently take place between men alone, and rarely between women alone, is perhaps not to be wondered at); when serious they are a little apt to be sententious—the characters being too much addicted to "talking like a book"; and when lively or humorous are somewhat inclined to be rather trivial than bright.
    • 1906 January, Baroness Orczy [i.e., Emma Orczy], “Lord and Peasant”, in A Son of the People: A Romance of the Hungarian Plains, London: Greening & Co., OCLC 5248075, part I, page 116:
      "You talk like a book, my friend," said my lord, smiling, and puffing away at his pipe, "but you talked of saving time, and I do not yet know the purpose of your errand."
    • 1926 October, Ford Madox Ford, chapter X, in A Man Could Stand Up — [] (Parade’s End; 3), 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Albert & Charles Boni, published December 1926, OCLC 1023520, part III, page 310:
      Being with her mother made her talk like a book. Her mother talked like a book: then she did. They must; if they did not they would scream. … But they were English ladies. Of scholarly habits of mind. It was horrible.
    • 2008, Andrew Sean Greer, “Part I”, in The Story of a Marriage (A Frances Coady Book), New York, N.Y.: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, →ISBN, page 4:
      He loved that I "talked like a book" and not like any of the other girls, []
  2. To talk precisely and with authority.
    • 1793 February, [Jean-François] Marmontel; [anonymous], transl., “The Waterman of Besons”, in The Sentimental and Masonic Magazine, volume II, Dublin: [] John Jones, [], OCLC 1264959098, page 131:
      You cannot conceive, ladies, hovv good a ſchool that tavern vvas to me. It vvas frequented by a great number of learned men, vvho talked like a book concerning the character of a vvorthy man; of the pleaſure and advantage that, in every condition of life, attended the being juſt, good, and honourable; []
    • 1860, George Augustus Sala, “From the Tower of London to Rotterdam on the Rhine”, in Make Your Game, or, The Adventures of the Stout Gentleman, the Slim Gentleman, and the Man with the Iron Chest: A Narrative of the Rhine and thereabouts, London: Ward and Lock, [], OCLC 7402682, page 9:
      "Thence," said the slim gentleman, glibly talking like a book—a railway guide-book, at least—"thence by rail to Utrecht and Emerick on the Prussian frontier, you know. Then to Cologne—remember the Three Kings and the Eleven Thousand Virgins."
    • 1878, Robert Louis Stevenson, “Origny Sainte-Benoîte: A By-day”, in An Inland Voyage, London: C[harles] Kegan Paul & Co., [], OCLC 830757, pages 122–123:
      But then no disgrace is attached in France to saying a thing neatly; whereas in England, to talk like a book is to give in one’s resignation to society.
    • 1936 March, John Cheever, “In Passing”, in The Atlantic Monthly. A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics[1], Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, [], OCLC 612185692, archived from the original on 5 September 2022, section III, page 336, column 1:
      His voice, even when he spoke in hate, was precise and impersonal. He talked like a book; his talk had the clarity and dryness of a book.
    • 2012 April 27, Simon Reynolds, “Myths and Depths: Greil Marcus talks to Simon Reynolds (Part 1)”, in Los Angeles Review of Books[2], Glendale, Calif.: Los Angeles Review of Books, OCLC 904358349, archived from the original on 20 July 2017:
      Apart from some minimal tidying up (nearly always to my questions and comments; [Greil] Marcustalks like a book,” as folk in England used to say about eloquent persons) and one small liberty taken with sequencing to preserve chronological flow, this is exactly how the conversation went down.

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