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So to speak?

Posted by Selida on September 11, 2000

My daughter came to me with an English assignment including meanings of specific phrases in the English language. The only one I couldn't quite put my finger on was the phrase, "so to speak." Even my best resources counldn't quite come up with a meaning. Some said it means, "in other words." Others say it really means nothing. A friend of mine read me from a dictionary of English language that it is, "an outdated, hackneyed expression" that should not be used. But, still no meaning was given. Anyone have a clear definition?