You Don’t Say: the Definition of the Interesting Idiom “You Don’t Say”

Last Updated on March 21, 2020

“You don’t say” is a phrase that you will hear or see frequently, as its use is quite common. If you have encountered this phrase being used and wondered about it, you have come to the right place. Here you will find the meaning of this phrase and the information regarding its origin. You will also find some examples of sentences and conversations to help you understand how this phrase is used by others and how you can properly use the phrase for yourself. Finally, some suggestions will be offered that you can use in place of this phrase that will convey the same meaning.

You Don’t Say

You Don’t Say Meaning

The idiom “you don’t say” is an expression that is often used to show ironic surprise or astonishment in response to something that someone has just said. It is used in a manner to mean that someone has stated something blatantly obvious already.

Origin of this idiomatic expression

There is no specific information regarding the origin of the phrase “you don’t say.” However, the phrase may have become popular due to its usage by the well-known British comedian Benny Hill who had a show that ran from 1955 to 1989. The phrase was used in a well-known skit from his show.

“You Don’t Say” Examples

Example Sentences

  • I always feel like saying you don’t say when someone tells me it is hot on a summer day in August.
  • It is wet outside because it is raining is an observation that requires someone to respond with you don’t say.
  • You don’t say! Where was Sir Jiminy?

Example Conversations

A conversation between two friends.

  • Friend 1: I think it might have rained earlier today.
  • Friend 2: You don’t say! I thought the ground was wet from the sunshine.

A conversation between two co-workers in the office.

  • Co-worker 1: I think Ginger was late again for work today.
  • Co-worker 2: You don’t say! I just thought that she had a different schedule that let her come in whenever she pleases.

Alternatives to “You Don’t Say”

There are several phrases or words that you can use as a substitute for the phrase “you don’t say.” Some of these include:

  • No way!
  • Wow!
  • You’re kidding!

Meaning of “You Don’t Say” | Image

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