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To talk is to engage in the act of speech, generally with another person in the course of a conversation.


  • It would talk;
    Lord, how it talked!
  • Whereas some ascetics and Brahmins remain addicted to such unedifying conversation as about kings, robbers, ministers, armies, dangers, wars, food, drink, clothes, beds, garlands, perfumes, relatives, carriages, villages, towns and cities, countries, women, heroes, street- and well-gossip, talk of the departed, desultory chat, speculations about land and sea, talk about being and non-being, the ascetic Gotama refrains from such conversation.
    • Gotama Buddha, Digha Nikaya, M. Walshe, trans. (1987), Sutta 1, verse 1.17, p. 70
  • But still his tongue ran on, the less
    Of weight it bore, with greater ease.
  • With vollies of eternal babble.
  • Words learn'd by rote a parrot may rehearse,
    But talking is not always to converse,
    Not more distinct from harmony divine
    The constant creaking of a country sign.
  • But far more numerous was the herd of such,
    Who think too little, and who talk too much.
    • John Dryden, Absalom and Achitophel (1681), Part I, line 533.
  • Chi parla troppo non può parlar sempre bene.
    • He who talks much cannot always talk well.
    • Carlo Goldoni, Pamela (c. 1750), I. 6.
  • "Minister," said Mr. Slick, "come, cheer up, it makes me kinder dismal to hear you talk so. When Captain McKenzie hanged up them three free and enlightened citizens of ours on board of the—Somers—he gave 'em three cheers. We are worth half a dozen dead men yet, so cheer up. Talk to these friends of ourn, they might think you considerable starch if you don't talk, and talk is cheap, it don't cost nothin' but breath, a scrape of your hind leg, and a jupe of the head, that's a fact.
  • Talk often, but not long. The talent of haranguing in private company is insupportable.
  • What doesn't slumber under the shells of us all? One just needs courage to uncover it and be oneself. Or at least to discuss it. There isn't enough discussion in the world.
  • Where there is much talk there will be no end to sin, but he who keeps his mouth shut does wisely.
    • Proverbs 10:19, Bible in Basic English
  • In all labor there is profit, ​But idle chatter leads only to poverty.
    • Proverbs 14:23; New King James Version
  • What cracker is this same that deafs our ears
    With this abundance of superfluous breath?
  • My lord shall never rest:
    I'll watch him, tame and talk him out of patience:
    His bed shall seem a school, his board a shrift.
  • Talkers are no good doers; be assur'd
    We come to use our hands and not our tongues.
  • A gentleman, nurse, that loves to hear himself talk, and will speak more in a minute than he will stand to in a month.
  • At this Helen laughed outright. "Nonsense," she said. "You're not a Christian. You've never thought what you are.—And there are lots of other questions," she continued, "though perhaps we can't ask them yet." Although they had talked so freely they were all uncomfortably conscious that they really knew nothing about each other.
    "The important questions," Hewet pondered, "the really interesting ones. I doubt that one ever does ask them."
    Rachel, who was slow to accept the fact that only a very few things can be said even by people who know each other well, insisted on knowing what he meant.
    "Whether we've ever been in love?" she enquired. "Is that the kind of question you mean?"

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 777-78.
  • "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
    Of cabbages—and kings—
    And why the sea is boiling hot—
    And whether pigs have wings.
  • Persuasion tips his tongue whene'er he talks.
  • Whose talk is of bullocks.
    • Ecclesiasticus, XXXVIII. 25.
  • My tongue within my lips I rein;
    For who talks much must talk in vain.
    • John Gay, introduction to the Fables, Part I, line 57.
  • Stop not, unthinking, every friend you meet
    To spin your wordy fabric in the street;
    While you are emptying your colloquial pack,
    The fiend Lumbago jumps upon his back.
  • No season now for calm, familiar talk.
    • Homer, The Iliad, Book XXII, line 169. Pope's translation.
  • Talk to him of Jacob's ladder, and he would ask the number of the steps.
  • And the talk slid north, and the talk slid south
    With the sliding puffs from the hookah-mouth;
    Four things greater than all things are—
    Women and Horses and Power and War.
  • Then he will talk—good gods, how he will talk!
  • In general those who nothing have to say
    Contrive to spend the longest time in doing it.
  • Oft has it been my lot to mark
    A proud, conceited, talking spark.
  • His talk was like a stream which runs
    With rapid change from rock to roses;
    It slipped from politics to puns;
    It passed from Mahomet to Moses;
    Beginning with the laws that keep
    The planets in their radiant courses,
    And ending with some precept deep
    For dressing eels or shoeing horses.
  • They never taste who always drink;
    They always talk who never think.
  • She sits tormenting every guest,
    Nor gives her tongue one moment's rest,
    In phrases batter'd, stale, and trite,
    Which modern ladies call polite.
  • Good talkers are only found in Paris.
  • Le secret d'ennuyer est celui de tout dire.
    • The secret of being tiresome is in telling everything.
    • Voltaire, Discours Preliminaire.
  • Little said is soonest mended.

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