Mon, Jun 03, 2019 - Page 9 News List


Speak to me home. Mince not the general tongue. (Speak plainly. Don’t tone down what people are saying)

Name Cleopatra as she is called in Rome. (Call Cleopatra what the Romans call her)

Rail thou in Fulvia’s phrase, and taunt my faults (Use Fulvia’s abusive language, and feel free to taunt me)

With such full license as both truth and malice

Have power to utter (as an enemy with truth on his side would).

When Shakespeare writes “mince not the general tongue,” he uses it in the negative: “do not mince your words.” This is also the format used by the British statesman and writer Benjamin Disraeli (1804 – 1881) who, in his 1826 story Vivian Grey, wrote “Your Lordship’s heart is very warm in the cause of a party, which, for I will not mince my words, has betrayed you.”

To “not mince your words,” then, means to speak in a straightforward, plain-spoken or blunt way, abandoning any attempt to cushion the force of what is said. In use, it is the opposite of 咬文嚼字.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

Did you hear him laying into that official? He doesn’t mince words, does he?


You can be honest with me. Tell me the truth. There’s no need to mince your words.


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