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Actions Speak Louder Than Words: Origin and Meaning

People’s intentions can be judged better by what they do than what they say.

The elephant in the roomSources say that this idiomatic expression dates back as far as 1628. It was first used in its current form in the USA by Abraham Lincoln in 1856. It was used in various different forms before that. In 1736, in a work entitled “Melancholy State of Province” the following is found: Actions speak louder than words, and are more regarded.

In 1692 it was seen as: Actions are more significant than words.

– “You keep saying you will cook dinner but you never do. Remember that actions speak louder than words.”

– “The government is always making all sorts of promises but we know that actions speak louder than words.”
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