Definition of so to speak (or say) in US English:

so to speak (or say)

phrase

  • Used to highlight the fact that one is describing something in an unusual or metaphorical way.

    ‘delving into the body's secrets, I looked death in the face, so to speak’
    • ‘He wasn't at the forefront of the mayhem but everybody knew he had a hand in it, so to speak.’
    • ‘But the natives, so to say, are getting restless.’
    • ‘And now they're fighting over their man, so to say.’
    • ‘But in the end we all ended up in the same boat so to speak, achieving but still trying.’
    • ‘You write for a lot of different publications - do you have to put on a different head, so to speak, for each one?’
    • ‘In the old times, women did have equal status, so to say.’
    • ‘The rest remain out of the loop, so to speak, and in all likelihood will continue to do so.’
    • ‘The rabbit is out of the hat, so to speak, and no government, never mind a mere bookmaking company, can put it back in.’
    • ‘But it is only now that they are able to enjoy the fruits of their labour, so to speak.’
    • ‘It is the ultimate capitalist consumer product - a direct line, so to speak, to a captive market.’
    so to speak, in a manner of speaking, in a way, in some way or other, to some extent, so to say
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