What Does Better Left Unsaid Mean?

Some Things Are Better Left Unsaid Meaning

Definition: Some thoughts should not be vocalized.

The phrase better left unsaid describes things that, if said, could anger other people or land the speaker in trouble. Things that are better left unsaid should remain as thoughts in a person’s head because they will cause unpleasantness if said aloud.

Typically, something that is better left unsaid may be something that many people are thinking but that they should not talk about.

Origin of Better Left Unsaid

 some things are better left unsaid quotesWhile nobody is certain of the origin of the phrase better left unsaid, it is one of the most common idioms used in English today. The phrase carries similar meaning to think before speaking and if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.

The prefix un- at the beginning of unsaid carries the meaning not, so unsaid means that something should be not said.

Examples of Better Left Unsaid

somethings are better left unsaidOftentimes, this phrase will be used when describing something that everyone in a group is thinking but to discuss the topic or bring it up openly would be rude and hurtful.

For example, if a group of friends all individually think that one of their friends does not dance well, but they know that this person loves to dance, statements about his bad dancing would be better left unsaid.

While things that are better left unsaid can be insulting, they can also be facts that would cause sadness or frustration.

For example, if someone bought a lot of stocks on the stock market for a bad price and had high hopes to make money with them, lecturing the person about his poor purchase may be better left unsaid.

More Examples

  • “However valid her comments may have been, though, and however in keeping with her known political bent, they were still much, much better left unsaid by a member of the Supreme Court.” –Washington Post
  • “I thought this was private stuff, best if it had never been done, but certainly better left unsaid. “ –New York Post


Thoughts that are better left unsaid should not be discussed.