Have you ever heard someone say something and it immediately piqued your interest?
It’s just a quick turn of phrase for them, but it makes a huge difference in how a conversation pans out!
Well, people who use such phrases tend to be cultured, worldly, and very open-minded. When they talk, people listen.
I’ve come across many people like this in my life, and I’ve always taken note of the phrases they use!
If you want to be just like these people, here are 12 phrases I strongly recommend!
1) “Carpe diem”
In honesty, any Latin phrase will make you sound worldly and cultured!
This one is probably the most common, and I’d say it has the biggest impact on anyone. If you didn’t already know, it means, “Seize the day”.
I.e., take chances, jump at risks, challenge yourself, and live life in the way it should be lived – fearlessly!
Most notably known for its use in Shakespeare, it’s the perfect phrase to make you sound like an intellectual person with an interest in British culture and world history!
2) “On the contrary”
Instead of saying, “No you’re wrong” or “That isn’t right”, a worldly person might coin a different phrase to get across the same message.
If someone said that flights to Dubai will be more expensive in August because of the summer break, you might say, “On the contrary, they’re actually cheaper because it’s the hot season”.
Basically, you’re disagreeing with this person and sharing your view instead – but it sounds a lot nicer than telling them they’re outright wrong!
3) “Needless to say…”
You could say, “Obviously”, “Clearly”, or even “Of course”. But these phrases don’t sound quite as cultured as if you said the classic, “Needless to say”.
Most people cite this phrase to make what they’re about to say even more powerful – like saying it isn’t necessary, but it still needs clarification.
It’s also considered polite, in most cases. Why? Because you’re making sure everyone is on the same page as you, and confirming that everyone has understood.
4) “To play devil’s advocate…”
I heard this phrase for the first time when I worked an office job. Someone introduced their point by saying this – and my interest was piqued before they even spoke! From the looks of things, everyone else in the room thought the same as me.
But why were we all so mesmerized? It’s because this phrase works like a charm in getting everyone’s attention!
It introduces the idea that you’re about to challenge someone on their point. But instead of saying, “I disagree” or just outright challenging someone, you introduce your view with this.
Essentially, you share a different view of things – and cover yourself from people thinking you’re rude by saying you’re “just playing Devil’s advocate”.
5) “Each to their own”
I picked this one up myself from someone I heard say it. In honesty, I loved what they said!
They used it as a way of saying they didn’t agree with what was said, but they weren’t going to judge the person for saying it – and it was brilliant!
It’s even more intellectual to use in response to someone trying to gossip with you. It provides the perfect way to shut down the conversation and keep things respectful.
Say a colleague tells you that the new intern goes rock climbing on the weekends, all the while scoffing and pulling a judgmental face.
“Each to their own”, you say – making it clear that it isn’t to your tastes, but you aren’t going to judge someone else for what they enjoy.
6) “I’d like to…”
This one is subtle but effective in showing your class and intellect. Instead of saying, “I want…”, you say, “I’d like to…”.
I remember hearing this for the first time out of (believe it or not) the mouth of a five-year-old! My friend’s daughter said it and I was unbelievably impressed.
In my experience, few five-year-olds would say it this way when it comes to something they want. They’d say very clearly that they “want this” and “want that”.
Since then, when people say this (I’d like to…) instead of “I want”, I have a different kind of respect for their cultured and worldly way of saying things.
7) “It’s not to my tastes, but I get the interest”
How respectful is this one? Whenever I’ve heard someone say it like this, I’ve immediately respected them for it!
It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in and share your views. And it takes maturity to accept others as they are and avoid unnecessary conflict.
This phrase is the perfect combination of someone doing both – and it shows just how open, cultured, and respectable they are as a person.
8) “That’s an interesting take on it”
Another phrase used when you don’t agree with someone.
I’ve only ever heard a few people phrase a disagreement in this way. But every time I’ve heard it, I’ve thought it was brilliant.
Disagreeing with someone doesn’t always work out in your favor. It also isn’t the best way to make friends and influence people (as the saying goes).
Which is why this is the perfect way to respond to someone you don’t agree with or someone you want to encourage to elaborate further.
It comes across as very open and non-judgmental, which is the definition of a worldly and cultured person!
9) “Tell me more about that”
Sometimes, the word, “Why?” can kind of rub people up the wrong way. It sounds challenging and – the way some people say it – judgmental!
Even though few people who ask, “Why?” are being disrespectful, it can simply come across that way.
Which is why saying it this way instead, “Tell me more about that” is so much better.
It makes you sound open to other people’s views and opinions. And it opens the floor for the person to say whatever else they like about it, rather than “challenging” them on “why” they believe those things!
10) “You and yours”
I remember the first time someone said this to me. I’ll confess, I had no idea what she meant by it. I had to Google it when I got home!
I found out that it’s an address to you and your family, partner, or anyone you care about – and ever since then, I’ve been obsessed with using it!
It’s a sweet way of saying something nice to someone and extending good wishes when you don’t know their relationship or family situation.
Like if you didn’t know whether this person had kids or a partner. You’d say, “Wishing you and yours a happy holiday season”.
Instead of an awkward, “Wishing you and your kids? Girlfriend? Boyfriend?…”.
11) “[place], beautiful place!”
Another top way to sound more worldly and cultured is to talk about where you’ve been in a positive way.
I often hear people say this, and it’s quite clear to me that they’re well-traveled when they say it.
Like if they said, “Ah, Bulgaria, beautiful place!”. I’d know that 1) they’ve been and 2) they thought highly of it (which, to me, shows an openness to embrace new cultures!).
Even if you said it about a venue or a restaurant, it can still make you come across as cultured and worldly – like you’ve been around and experienced a lot.
12) “I don’t want to name names”
When used in the right context, this phrase shows respect, maturity, and a worldly view of things.
The context I’m talking about is when people say this phrase and then don’t drop a name into a sentence.
Like if you were at a party and someone was discussing their partner being unfaithful. You share your own story of a friend who experienced a similar thing. Someone says, “Who was that?” or “Who did that happen to?”
Instead of answering, you say, “I don’t want to name names”. Whenever I’ve heard this, I think the person sounds very mature and like a good friend because of it.
Another way it’s used that make you sound cultured and worldly is if you say it in response to something bad.
An old boss of mine said it once when discussing a mistake that was made. The director wanted to know who did it, but the boss insisted on making it clear that it was a team mistake and the team would be dealing with it.
Back then, I wasn’t sure about what he did. Now I’m older, I get why he said it, and it was definitely a symbol of his respect for others!
It’s funny how much impact a quick turn of phrase can have! I know I’ve heard many of these phrases in my life at different times, and they’ve always turned my head.
To me, these phrases are respectable. They make you sound open-minded and non-judgmental, which is really what being worldly and cultured is all about!
So the next time you want to impress your boss or a new acquaintance, give some of these phrases a try in the right context. I can guarantee it’ll make them listen!
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