The phrase man of few words is used to describe someone who tends to be on the quieter side. It can refer to someone who gets their point across using a small amount of words when they speak.
‘Man Of Few Words’ Origin
People convey their thoughts using words and for some people, perhaps because they are more on the shy side, they might express those thoughts using a few amount of words, hence the phrase. For example, if you asked someone what their favorite food was, a man of few words might simply say: “Pizza is my favorite.” Whereas a more talkative person might say its pizza, but then they also go on to talk about what toppings they like, where they like to order from, and so on. Both of them like pizza, but the “man of few words” was less chatty about expressing his thought.
Anyways, this expression, with the wording it has today, has been around for at least 400 years. For example, a popular playwright known as William Shakespeare used the phrase in the play King Henry V, from 1599:
“He hath heard that men of few words are the best men.”
- I’ve been friends with Brian for a few years now. Even though he is a man of few words much of the time, he’s still a funny guy.