put up or shut up!

British and Australian English INFORMAL
This page is about the conversational phrase put up or shut up!


You can use this to tell someone to either do something about a situation, or stop talking about it.

For example

  • "Someone's got to stop all these terrorists! They're animals!"
    "So why don't you go and stop them, Marty? Put up or shut up, OK?"

  • "Don't make me laugh! You're not a real fighter!"
    "Come on then, pal. Put up or shut up! Have a swing, OK?"

Probably derived from "put up your fists", meaning to box or fight.


This is typically used in British and Australian English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz

If you say "Put up or shut up", you want someone to stop talking and

a. put up their hand

b. increase something

c. deal with something

Contributor: Matt Errey