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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."
  2. (politics) To put oneself 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."
    • 1995 July 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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