What does it mean when you say so so?

Hi. Just a little tidbit for discussion. One Bulgarian friend of mine speaks excellent English (right along with his brother). Dani, the younger brother, likes to say, "If you sa

What does it mean when you say so so?

Hi. Just a little tidbit for discussion.

One Bulgarian friend of mine speaks excellent English (right along with his brother). Dani, the younger brother, likes to say, "If you say so." And we were in a rollicking mood, last night, and I warned him that in English, this can be regarded as rude, as if you are suggesting perhaps the intended is a liar or being less-than truthful. Was I right in this? It can sound pretty rude to American ears, I think. (He informed me that its Bulgarian equivalent is not rude.)  I think that maybe it also sounds a little rude to Americans because it implies that the listener is not interested in what the other person has to say.  Rather than give his/her own input, he or she ignores the matter at hand and brushes it off with a remark like this.

jaytea said:   I think that maybe it also sounds a little rude to Americans because it implies that the listener is not interested in what the other person has to say. Rather than give his/her own input, he or she ignores the matter at hand and brushes it off with a remark like this. Click to expand... I agree.  However, it could also be used to mean "I don't know, but I'll take your word for it".  Tone of voice would make the meaning clear.

This could be rude and dismissive here as well.
It could mean, "I really don't agree with you, but your opinion really doesn't matter to me or anyone else, so I couldn't be bothered to try to explain."  To me, a Britisher, "If you say so" can have a number of meaning, depending on context and tone.

Generally it expresses a degree of doubt in what they are saying.

If you stress the YOU it is like calling them a smart arse (sorry, ass).

But it can also be jovial.  When I was married, my husband used to sometimes say, "Whatever you say, dear" which is a similar type of dismissive comment. It never failed to anger me when he said it!  Some of the posts above suggest that the meaning of "If you say so" depends on context, but mostly it's used to express doubt. I was wondering if that is what it means in the following example. If not, would you interpret it as "Whatever"?

Example: Joy: I'm sorry that I ever criticised your appearance because you were a beautiful girl.

Reggie: You forgot to pick her up at the airport once.

Joy: That was your father's fault.

Reggie: If you say so.

Source: Dead Like Me Season 1 Episode 14

Background: George, a high school dropout, was killed in an accident on her way to a new job, making things even worse for her already dysfunctional family. Today, her mother Joy and sister Reggie went to visit her gravesite for the first time. They stood before her headstone, mourning the death of their loved one. When Joy was saying something nice about George, Reggie interrupted and reminded her of the mistakes she had made with George when she was alive Click to expand...

It expresses doubt - or rather disagreement - in your context too, redgiant.

Panj's post 4 expresses the flavour of it well.  I'd say that tone of voice plus context are everything with this expression. Its meaning can range from a very respectful "Okay, I accept your word as an expert" to an unbelieving and totally dismissive "I don't trust anything you say".  Thank you~ When used to conveyed deference to others' opinions, do you usually use "okay" before "if you say so"? Without okay, would it come out sounding a little bit brusque, as if you are doing it under protest?  It sounds rude or at least dismissive to me in almost all contexts.  I struggle to accept Parla's idea that you can use it suggest "I respectfully bow to your expert opinion".  

I would advise you not to use it in a situation when you are aiming to show deference.  Really, you are very likely to cause offence!

suzi br said:   It sounds rude or at least dismissive to me in almost all contexts.  I struggle to accept Parla's idea that you can use it suggest "I respectfully bow to your expert opinion".  

I would advise you not to use it in a situation when you are aiming to show deference.  Really, you are very likely to cause offence! Click to expand...
Okay, causing offence is the last thing I'd want to do. I'll stick with some more common expressions like " I'll go along with whatever you want to do" , "As you wish" or "I defer to you in this matter", depending on context.
redgiant said:   Okay, causing offence is the last thing I'd want to do. I'll stick with some more common expressions like " I'll go along with whatever you want to do" , "As you wish" or "I defer to you in this matter", depending on context. Click to expand...
I am going to respectfully disagree with Suzi - and the reason is, it isn't the words, it's how you say the words. It's possible to say "As you wish" in a way that expresses disbelief, too. If you, in a perfectly respectful voice, said, "If you say so, Kate, of course I accept it. You are an expert in this area," then Kate would have to be kind of nutty to think that you meant any disrespect or were indicating any disbelief.

Of course context can make a huge difference, as we are always saying in here. This is not a case of right or wrong, but "If you say so". has a long history of being used as a put-down and I would avoid it myself.

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