put up or shut up




put up or shut up

  1. (idiomatic) To desist from saying something unless one is able to prove it; to act in a manner that makes further talk unnecessary.
    • 2005 June 21, Cornelia Dean, "Opting Out in the Debate on Evolution ," New York Times (retrieved 22 June 2011):
      "If the evidence for modern Darwinian theory is so overwhelming, they should have called the bluff on the other side and come and made their arguments. . . . They should have put up or shut up."
  1. (politics) To put yourself forward for election or cease disloyalty to the incumbent.
    • 1982 April 26, "Stumbling to a Showdown," Time:
      Finally a showdown in the lengthy struggle over the new 1983 federal budget is at hand. . . . "We keep dancing around the fire," observed South Carolina's Democratic Senator Fritz Rollings last week. "Now we must put up or shut up."
    • 1995July 22, John Major, "[1],"
      "That is why I am no longer prepared to tolerate the present situation. In short, it is time to put up or shut up."

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