Is it Rude to Say Shut Up?

Many of us would be lying if we said we’d never thought about telling someone to shut up from time to time.

That’s not to say that we actually do it… but, what if we do?

Is it rude to say shut up?

Read on below and explore the in-depth answer to this question.

Is Rude to Say Shut Up?

Saying shut up is almost always rude. The main exception is when you tell someone to shut up jokingly.

The truth is that there is certainly always a better way to express yourself to someone than with the phrase “shut up”.

Even if you wish with all of your being that someone would stop talking immediately and not say anything else, there is a better way to word yourself than “shut up”.

How Rude Is it?


On the rude meter’s scale of 1 to 10, telling someone to shut up rates 9

Telling someone to shut up is sort of like verbally slapping them or spitting in their face; it’s not nice, and it’s uncalled for.

If you find yourself on the verge of telling someone to shut up, consider walking away or choosing your words more carefully.

Further, telling someone to shut up, more often than not, has the opposite effect. 

In other words, saying shut up may indeed cause the person to keep on talking.

Why is it Rude?

Many times, saying shut up is a sign of frustration, displeasure, anger, disbelief, or all of the above. 

However, regardless of how you feel inside, saying shut up to someone is rude.

There are typically numerous better ways to get your point across than telling someone to shut up.

It’s better to walk away, or even ignore someone temporarily than it is to tell them to shut up.

Common Questions

What to say instead of shut up?

There are so many ways to tell someone to shut up, more politely, that’ll make your head spin. 

For example, you could say “be quiet”, “stop talking”, “hush”, “shhh”, “silence”, “stuff it”, “put a lid on it”, “hold your tongue”, “shoosh”, or “pipe down”.

What does shut up really mean?

Sometimes when you tell someone to shut up you are really telling them much more. 

Depending on the circumstances that cause you to hush someone, you are pretty much telling them that you don’t agree with what they are saying, that you don’t want to hear it, or that you are otherwise upset with something they said. 

So, the next time you think about telling someone to shut their pie hole, stop and consider what else you’d be telling them.

How bad is saying shut up to someone?

Telling people to shut up isn’t a very nice thing to do. 

Unless it is said in a lighthearted and non-offensive manner, such as in response to a joke, it’s never polite to tell someone to shut up. 

A better choice than telling someone to shut up is actually saying what it is that is bothering you, or what you don’t want to hear.