The term “talk the talk, walk the walk” is a phrase in English that means a person should support what they say, not just with words, but also through action.
Example: Arthur frequently says that he will quit drinking alcohol, but he doesn’t seem to really mean it since I saw him drinking up a storm at the bar last night. He talks the talk by saying he’ll quit, but he needs to actually stop if he wants to walk the walk.
Synonyms/Related Phrases: put one’s money where their mouth is, all bark and no bite
Origin Of ‘Talk The Talk, Walk The Walk’
The English phrase “talk the talk” and “walk the walk” can be used separately, depending on the context. This expression implies that a person should back up their talking with action. For example, someone might gloat about how fit they are, saying they capable of running a few miles without a breaking a sweat. Another person who doubts their claim might tell them to “walk the walk” instead of just talking. Basically, it’s like saying “prove it.”
Anyways, how old is this phrase? It looks like it is nearing 100 years, because according to The Phrase Finder, the earliest usage of this expression comes from the Mansfield News, an Ohio newspaper printed in June 1921. A line from the newspaper reads:
“Although he has no gilded medals upon his bosom, Howard Herring of the North American Watch company, walks the walk, and talks the talk, of a hero today.”
- You keep bragging that you can do the splits, but I’ve never seen you do them before. How about you walk the walk instead of talking the talk?
- I don’t think you are as strong as you say you are. You can prove me wrong though by putting your money where your mouth is.
Note: Did you enjoy reading about this expression? If you did, we actually have hundreds of phrases in English for you to learn about. To find this list of sayings, use the menu at the top. Really, I mean it! I’m not all bark and no bite, I can prove it. Just scroll up!