So you say [so = ?]

Discussion in 'English Only' started by keeley_h, Mar 7, 2013.

  1. keeley_h Senior Member

    The following dialugue is in Wall Street, a US film in 1987.

    Fox: How do you do Mr. Gekko. I'm Bud Fox.
    Gekko: So you say. Nice to meet you. Hope you're intelligent.

    I don't understand the meaning of So you say, especially so.
    Which does the so mean, 1 to 3?

    1. in the condition of manner expressed or indicated. thus.
    2. because of the reason given. consequently.
    3. the others.

    I think it means 1.
  2. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, (1) is correct.
  3. waltern Senior Member

    English - USA
    The important point is that Gordon's response "So you say" ("If you say so") to Bud expresses his attitude - condescending, uninterested, rude.
  4. perpend

    perpend Banned

    American English
    I think it's more like 2.

    He said his name is so, so it must be his name.

    It's kind of tricky, overall, to determine the exact intent in the way he says it.
  5. keeley_h Senior Member


    Did Gekko say so you say because how do you do isn't so common in the US?
  6. waltern Senior Member

    English - USA
    The point is that nobody would respond to someone telling them their name with "So you say" as Gordon Gekko did - it is deliberately dismissive and impolite.
  7. Nipnip Senior Member

    "How do you do?" = "How are you doing?".
    "So you say" = "That's what you say", "If you say so" = I don't believe or care what you say, whatever.

    They are two sentences with different meanings.
  8. Cagey post mod (English Only / Latin)

    English - US
    I agree with Nipnip: "So you say" casts doubt the claim that Bud Fox really is his name. It implies that Bud Fox is so unreliable that he might even lie about his name. It suggests that Gordon Gekko won't believe that Bud Fox until someone else, someone who doesn't lie, tells him it's true.
  9. keeley_h Senior Member

    Oh, how nice!

    I thought Gekko said "So you say" because Fox said "How do you do" and the greeting is uncommon in the US.
    But my thought was wrong.
    I got it.

  10. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, it's a response to Fox's saying his name. I don't think 'How do you do?' is uncommon in the US; not the most common, but not uncommon. The rudeness that others have talked about is also reinforced by 'Hope you're intelligent', which also casts doubts on Fox's intelligence.

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