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The meaning and origin of the expression: Actions speak louder than words

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Actions speak louder than words

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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Actions speak louder than words'?

This proverb express the idea that a person's actions are a better indication of their character than what he or she says.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Actions speak louder than words'?

Actions speak louder than wordsThis proverb was first voiced, at the time of the English Civil War, by John Pym, the English parliamentarian.

It was recorded in 1628 in Hansard, the record of the proceedings of the UK parliament:

'A word spoken in season is like an Apple of Gold set in Pictures of Silver,' and actions are more precious than words.

The 'speak louder' wording that we now use was first used a little later. The first record that I can find of it in print is from Thomas Manton's Book of Sermons, 1693:

So they would give him Glory, praise him with their Lips, and honour him with their Lives. They would make that their Work and Scope, that this may be the real Language of their Hearts and Actions, which speak much louder than Words.

See also: the List of Proverbs.