When I saw the following sentence,
I started to wonder about the nuance of a preposition after say verb.

I'm saying off to misogyny.

What does it mean about say off?
and Could you let me know another case of 'say + preposition'?

  • Wow. I don't think I've ever read or heard “say off”. – Anton Sherwood Oct 20 '19 at 7:23
  • Do you? How unfamiliar it is to me! But your comment also help me to feel the nuance from the sentence. Thanks :) – libliboom Oct 20 '19 at 10:45

"Off" is the only such preposition, as far as I know. The meaning of "saying off" something makes sense once you know it - it means to say no to or refuse. "Swearing off" is a similar-looking idiom identical in meaning. (I would argue that "swearing off" is more emphatic, though.)

Example of "saying off" in action:

After the jackhammer in his head had subsided somewhat, Jack decided that he was saying off alcohol for a long, long time.

Edit: I just remembered another preposition that can be used with "say"! It's fairly archaic I think, or at least it's not common. Anyway, the phrase is say on. What does it mean? It is a command, an invitation, or a request made by the speaker to the listener to continue talking.

David held his breath and watched Michael's face for any sign of anger at the news, but there was none. Only bland attention. "Say on", his friend urged.

As you can see, it sounds a bit stilted, a little contrived. However, save for a few contexts (medieval fantasy literature come to mind, like LOTR), it's going to sound that way no matter what.

  • Say after me, “It’s English, There’s always another one.” – Jim Oct 20 '19 at 5:36
  • 1
    Such a good expertise answer! I appreciate your reply. – libliboom Oct 20 '19 at 10:43
  • @libliboom You're very welcome! I enjoy questions like these. – Marcus Hendriksen Oct 20 '19 at 10:47
  • It would be nice if you could supply a citation from a reputable source to support this answer. I cannot find any. – Cascabel Oct 20 '19 at 15:51
  • @Cascabel You're kidding, right? "Saying off" is well-known slang, and "say on" was something I got out of a random book years ago and that I've only remembered because, well, I remember stuff like that. – Marcus Hendriksen Oct 20 '19 at 20:05

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