Walk your talk

candy-man

Senior Member
Polish/Poland
Hello guys,

Would you agree with me if I claimed that the idiom WALK YOUR TALK is intrinsically the same and equivalent to the one: PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH ? I do realise that the second one is decidedly more formal.


Thank you! Please,correct me.
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Hello guys,

    Would you agree with me if I claimed that the idiom WALK YOUR TALK is intrinsically the same and equivalent to the one: PRACTISE WHAT YOU PREACH ? I do realise that the second one is decidedly more formal.

    Yes. It can also have the implication of proving you can fulfill whatever statements you are making.

    There are numerous similar phrases in English, e.g. "Put your money where your mouth is."
     

    Bluey

    Member
    Romania/n
    "Walk your talk" refers to someone who should do what he says.
    For example if I look at some math exercises and I say "Wow, that's so easy!" and someone says "Walk your talk" they mean "prove that they seem easy to you and do those exercises!"
    The same thing with "practise what you preach". It comes from the fact that priests and preachers tell you what the right thing to do is but they don't do it themselves, so first they should do what they tell others to do.

    Example: Stealing is bad, you shouldn't do that! (but they previously asked a tax for confession or something so they stole themselves from other people and now they're just being hypocrites).-just a contextualised example, I don't mean to say priests or preachers generally steal.
    So "walk your talk" is better used among friends and "practise what you preach" can be used in situations where you're not so familiar with the interlocutor.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    If it helps at all, I originally heard this short phrase as a much longer sentence:

    "If you're going to talk the talk, you'd better walk the walk" or
    "He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk?"

    I don't know if the shorter version is a result of the longer version being condensed, but in my personal experience in business the longer sayings were used first and then I began to hear, "Walk the talk."
     

    Bluey

    Member
    Romania/n
    Yeah, JamesM, you're right. It's the whole "you say big words, but can you live up to them?" and people prefer the shorter version sometimes.
     
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