Word of the Day

straight talking

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talking in an honest and direct way

Origin and usage

The phrase straight talking is comprised of the words ‘straight’ meaning ‘holding to a direct course or method’ and ‘talking’ which means ‘communicating with spoken words’. The precise origin of the phrase straight talking is not known, but it is believed to have first appeared in English sometime during the late 1800s.


Straight talking refers to the practice of speaking in a very honest, truthful manner. A person who is straight talking is not afraid to share their opinions or point of view on a subject, even if those views make others upset or uncomfortable. However, it is important to note that just because a person might sometimes talk about things that are difficult for others to hear, it does not mean that straight talking is always a negative characteristic.

In many cases, people who are straight talking are valued and appreciated for their honesty and directness. Straight talking is a trait that is often seen as vital for doctors, lawyers, journalists, public officials, corporate executives and anyone whose job involves directing, supervising, evaluating or managing others.

Of course, sometimes straight talking can go too far. There are times when a person uses straight talking or extreme honesty as an excuse to say things that are untrue or unnecessarily cruel. Straight talk, especially when it’s used to share information that could be hurtful or when delivering criticism, should always be conveyed with compassion, as helpful advice or useful feedback.


“As we mature, there are people with whom we run out of steam, but there are also those with whom a little straight talking would prove rewarding.”
(Mariella Frostrup)


honest, sincere, candid
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

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