75 Synonyms for “Talk”

By Mark Nichol

Talk, talk, talk — it’s all the same. Or is it? There are many ways to talk, and each has its own word (or words) for it. Here’s a noncomprehensive roster of many synonyms for the noun and verb forms of talk (I had to stop somewhere):

1. Babble: enthusiastic or excessive talk, or meaningless sounds or nonsense words; to talk in this manner
2. Back talk: a disrespectful response; to respond disrespectfully
3. Backchat: see back talk, badinage, and gossip
4. Badinage: light, witty talk
5. Banter: see badinage, with a connotation of good-natured teasing or arguing; to engage in such talk
6. Barb: a hurtful and/or critical comment
7. Blandish: see cajole
8. Blandishments: see cajolery/cajolement
9. Blarney: nonsensical talk
10. Bluster: boastful or threatening talk; to speak boastfully or threateningly
11. Cackle: see chatter (verb only)
12. Cajole: to persuade with soothing or flattering remarks
13-14. Cajolery/cajolement: talk with the intent to persuade
15. Causerie: see chat (noun only)
16. Chaff: see badinage; also, to tease good-naturedly
17. Chat: an idle or inconsequential conversation; to engage in such talk
18. Chatter: quick, extensive, and/or aimless talk; to talk in such a manner
19. Chin music: see chat (noun only)
20. Chinwag: informal talking; to talk informally
21. Chitchat: see badinage
22. Circumlocution: evasive or verbose talk
23. Comment: an opinion or observation; to say something of this type
24. Confab: see chat (also, a formal meeting)
25. Confabulation: see chat and confab (also, something made up)
26. Confer: to exchange opinions or seek advice
27. Conference: a meeting, or an event consisting of presentations and/or meetings
28. Confess: to admit to a thought or action considered improper or shameful
29. Conversation: a talk between or among two or more people
30. Converse: to speak back and forth with one or more people
31. Crack: an uncomplimentary comment; also, to quickly say something, as when spontaneously telling a joke pertinent to a situation
32. Dig: see crack
33. Discuss: to engage in serious talk
34. Discussion: a serious talk
35. Dish: see gossip
36. Double-talk: intentionally confusing or ambiguous language, or talk that is at least partially meaningless; to engage in such talk
37. Fast-talk: to persuade or influence by deceptively authoritative and/or flattering speech
38. Flibbertigibbet: see gossip
39. Gab: see chatter
40. Gabfest: talking consisting of gab
41. Give-and-take: an exchange of ideas or comments
42. Gossip: see chat, with an additional connotation of talk or talking about the personal lives of one or more other people (also, someone who engages in such talk)
43. Jangle: see chat
44. Jaw: see chat
45. Jest: a humorous or mocking statement; to make such a statement
46. Natter: see chat
47. Negotiate: to talk in order to reach an agreement
48. Negotiation: a talk in which the speakers seek to reach an agreement
49. Palaver: a discussion or conference, especially one between unequal participants, or deceptive speech, or see chat; to talk idly, try to persuade or deceive, or come to terms
50. Parley: see confer, with the possible connotation of talk between antagonists to agree to terms to cease hostilities; to engage in such talk
51. Patter: quick or monotonous speech, as in delivering a humorous speech or in rote delivery of prayers; to speak in this manner
52. Pillow talk: romantic talk, such as would be engaged in while the speakers are in bed
53. Pleasantry: polite, inconsequential talk, or see banter and jest (nouns only)
54. Quip: a spontaneous observation or response; to say something of this type
55. Raillery: see banter and jest
56. Rap: see chat and patter
57-58. Recital/recitation: public delivery of read or memorized material, or of details or answers
59. Recite: to deliver read or memorized material, or details or answers
60. Remark: a statement of judgment or opinion, or a reference to something notable; to comment in this manner
61. Repartee: an exchange of clever, witty statements, a single such response, or skill in talking in this manner
62. Schmooze: see chat, with the connotation of one conducted so as to gain personal or professional advantage; to talk in this manner
63. Small talk: see badinage
64. Spit: to talk about things or opinions a listener disagrees with or disapproves of
65. Straight talk: frank, straightforward talk
66. Sweet nothings: flattering talk intended to charm a potential or existing romantic partner
67. Sweet talk: talk intended to persuade, or to endear oneself to the speaker; to engage in this kind of talk (the verb form is hyphenated)
68. Table talk: informal talking such as that heard during a dinner party
69. Tete-a-tete: an intimate or private talk
70. Waggery: see banter and jest
71. Wisecrack: a clever or sarcastic comment; to make such a comment
72. Wordplay: witty, playful talk
73. Yack: to talk at length
74. Yammer: to talk relentlessly, or to complain
75. Yap: excessive talk (also, slang for mouth)

I’ll follow up with a list of more elaborate idioms about talk and talking like “shoot the breeze,” but let me (and other site visitors) known which synonyms I missed.

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9 Responses to “75 Synonyms for “Talk””

  • Dan Swango

    how about:
    speech (as in a formal oral presentation usually to a group of people)
    also
    gum-pounding
    rattling on
    jawboning
    jibberish
    tatling
    rumoring

  • Dan Swango

    how about some of these……
    verbal spat
    verbal sparring
    argue
    debate
    quibble
    jibber-jabber
    drawling
    exchange
    dialogue
    hearsay
    whispers
    sassing

  • Susan Russo Anderson

    Thanks so much for this list. Do you have one for “look?”

  • bazzy

    You missed the word INTERCOURSE. In Pennsylvania the is an Amish town call INTERCOURSE. This was a meeting area for Amish farmers.
    The OED says ; 1.1 Communication to and fro between countries, etc.; mutual dealings between the inhabitants of different localities. In early use exclusively with reference to trade, and hence sometimes = commerce, traffic; now in more general sense.

  • Mark Nichol

    Susan:

    Not yet, but we will!

  • Steve Daylong

    How about “ragchew”? Ham radio operators shooting the breeze are ragchewing.

    “shooting the breeze”, too?

  • Dan Swango

    social discourse
    ad-lib
    [speaking] impromptu
    yell, yelling
    screaming
    guy-talk
    girl-talk
    trade-talk
    insider-talk
    [talking in…] jargon
    legalese
    pleading
    beg, begging

  • Mark MacKay

    skype
    snipe
    bullshit
    brag/braggadocio
    malarky

  • Raheel Farooq

    Great list, Mark. Another compliment is due to the commentators who contributed much valuable additions.
    Thank you!

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