What He Said: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 25, 2023

"What he said” means that the speaker agrees with or supports what the other person said. The speaker does not need to repeat or explain what they mean but simply refers to it with this phrase.

In short:

  • "What he said" is usually used to agree with or emphasize someone else's point.
  • It can also be used humorously or sarcastically.

What Does "What He Said" Mean?

The phrase “what he said” is often used to agree with what another person has just said. If you say "what he said," it means that you fully agree with the statement or opinion expressed by the person before you, and you have nothing more to add because they've already said it all.

Let's explore its core meanings and usage:

  • "What he said" generally shows agreement with a previous speaker's statement.
  • You say it when you want to emphasize that you share the same viewpoint or feelings as the person who spoke before you.
  • The phrase can be used as a standalone sentence or as a part of a longer sentence.
  • Sometimes, "what he said" is used in a humorous or sarcastic way.
  • For example, if someone makes a joke or a silly comment, you might say "what he said" to join in the fun, even if you don't really agree with the statement.

Friend 1: "Did you catch the game last night? The way our team lost, it was like watching a toddler try to play chess!"

Friend 2: "What he said! Except, I think the toddler might have had better chances."

Where Does "What He Said" Come From?

The phrase "what he said" is commonly used in colloquial English to express agreement with or endorsement of what someone else has just said. It's a way of saying, "I concur with him" or "I feel the same way as he does." The exact origins of this phrase are not clearly documented. The TV show "The Office" has been instrumental in popularizing the phrase. Even when the context wasn't explicitly humorous or sarcastic, characters on the show used this phrase to underline or even ridicule a statement made by another character. This practice caught on with the audience, and since that particular episode aired, many people have adopted this expression into their everyday language.

10 Examples of "What He Said" in Sentences

To give you a clearer understanding of when to use this phrase, let's look at some examples from various scenarios:

  • When asked whose advice we should follow, I just chuckled, "Defer to what he said."
  • When he described the fabric as being soft as silk, I was like, "What he said!"
  • When asked for his opinion, he just smiled and said, "What he said," pointing towards his friend.
  • "Your hairstyle is so crazy!" I teased, then quickly added, "But hey, that's just what he said."
  • What he said during the interview resonated with many listeners, leading to an increase in his popularity.
  • They laughed when he sarcastically remarked, "What he said," after their boss made an unrealistic demand.
  • She nodded and added, "What he said," emphasizing her agreement with the speaker's statement.
  • Bawl my eyes out at the movie? That's what he said, but trust me, I've seen onions that provoke more tears.
  • His comment, "what he said," was seen as an endorsement of the previous speaker's controversial views.
  • "This skateboard trick is gnarly!" he boasted. I shot back, "Ha! That’s what he said right before he tripped over his own feet!"

Examples of "What He Said" in Pop Culture

The phrase often appears in pop culture, usually indicating agreement with someone else's statement or viewpoint.

Let's explore some instances:

  • In the TV show "The Office," the character Michael Scott frequently uses the phrase "what he said" in a humorous way to agree with his colleagues.
  • The phrase "What He Said" is also the title of a 2015 comedy movie directed by Matt Handy. The film revolves around the life of a radio host who often uses this phrase on his show.
  • "He Said" is a song by the band Group 1 Crew from their "Fearless" album released in 2012. The lyrics express agreement with God's word, illustrating a spiritual interpretation of the phrase.
  • Pedro Pascal responded to Anti-LGBTQ+ "The Last Of Us" questions and his remarks were highlighted in an article titled "Pedro Pascal Perfectly Shut Down Anti-LGBTQ+ 'The Last Of Us' Questions — Here's What He Said" on Buzzfeed.
  • A post on Musings From The Trenches discussed personal reflections on pop culture, mentioning a moment of contemplation about the phrase.
  • An article on Pop Goes the Culture by Richard John Neuhaus discussed Bill Gates's statements and questioned whether he believed what he said.
  • An article on city-data.com discussed the superficiality of pop culture, with a user commenting, "What he said."

Other/Different Ways to Say "What He Said"

There are various other expressions that convey a similar meaning to "what he said."

Here are some of them:

  • I agree with him
  • He's right
  • That's my point too
  • Exactly my thoughts
  • I couldn't have said it better
  • That's what I was going to say
  • I'm with him on that
  • I second that
  • He took the words right out of my mouth
  • I stand by his statement

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "What He Said":

  • What does "what he said" mean?

"What he said" is a phrase used to express agreement with a previous statement or opinion made by someone else. It can also be used to emphasize a point that has already been made.

  • How can I use "what he said" in a sentence?

You can use it as a standalone phrase or within a sentence. For instance, after someone makes a statement you agree with, you could simply say, "what he said." Alternatively, you could use it in a sentence such as, "I completely agree with what he said about last night; we all had a blast."

  • Where does the phrase "what he said" come from?

The phrase "what he said" is a relatively modern idiom from English-speaking cultures. It was likely first used in spoken language as a quick and easy way to agree with someone without having to repeat their statement.

  • Is "what he said" formal or informal?

"What he said" is generally considered informal and is often used in casual conversation. However, it can also be used in more formal settings, depending on the context.

  • Is the phrase used globally?

Yes, while it originated in English-speaking cultures, the phrase "what he said" is understood globally, particularly in countries where English is widely spoken.

  • Can we use it in written communication?

Yes, "what he said" can also be used in written communication such as emails, social media posts, or text messages to express agreement with a previous statement.

  • Does it always express agreement?

Primarily, "what he said" is used to express agreement. However, it can sometimes be used humorously or sarcastically, depending on the context.

  • Is "what he said" used more by men or women?

The phrase "what he said" is gender-neutral and can be used by both men and women.

  • Can we use it in professional settings?

While "what he said" is often used in casual conversation, it can be used in professional settings to express agreement with a point made by a colleague or superior. However, it's important to consider the formality of the situation before using the phrase.

  • Are there alternative phrases to "what he said"?

Yes, there are several alternative phrases to "what he said" that convey a similar meaning. These include: "I agree with him," "he's right," "that's my point too," "exactly my thoughts," "I couldn't have said it better," and "I second that."

Final Thoughts About "What He Said"

The phrase "what he said" is a convenient and succinct way to express agreement with a previous statement. Its usage spans various contexts - from casual conversations to business meetings. Whether you're agreeing with a friend's movie recommendation or supporting a colleague's business proposal, "what he said" is a versatile phrase that allows you to express your agreement in a concise and clear manner.

Here's a quick recap:

  • "What he said" signifies agreement with another person's statement or viewpoint.
  • The phrase can be used in both formal and informal settings, though it's more common in casual conversation.
  • While primarily used to express agreement, it can also be used humorously or sarcastically, depending on the context.
  • "What he said" is gender-neutral and can be used by anyone, regardless of their gender.

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