Writers: 59 Alternatives to the Word ‘Said’

29 Feb

Tonight I thought I’d post something fun. We writers sometimes struggle with what to put in our dialogs. Sometimes, the word ‘said’ can get really boring. Here is a fun list of alternatives.

A. accused, advised, answered, argued

B. begged, blamed, boasted

C. chided, claimed, commanded, complained, concluded, contradicted, cried

D. declared, demanded, droned

E. elaborated, exclaimed

F. fumed

G. gasped, growled

H. hinted

I. implied, informed, insinuated, introduced

J. joked

K. kidded

L. lamented

M. mocked, murmured

N. nagged

O. objected, offered

P. pledged, proclaimed, protested

Q. quarreled, quoted

R. raved, remarked, repeated, responded, roared

S. schemed, shouted, sighed, snarled, sobbed, stated, suggested

T. taunted

U. urged

V. vowed

W. wailed, whimpered, whispered

Y. yelled

For more alternatives to ‘said’ check out



Posted by on February 29, 2012 in Author in the Trenches


Tags: , , , , , ,

25 responses to “Writers: 59 Alternatives to the Word ‘Said’

  1. Franco Lingua

    March 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

    I was just starting to write in English, so this post really help me a lot.

    • ChristinaLi

      March 1, 2012 at 2:38 pm

      I’m so glad. English is a very difficult language.

  2. Una Tiers

    March 1, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Thanks Christina, this is a very interesting collection, she said.
    Una Tiers

    • ChristinaLi

      March 1, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      Said really is the #1 tag line, but it’s nice to have some alternatives. πŸ™‚

  3. John Payne

    March 1, 2012 at 9:34 am

    Thank you for the listing. i M going to re-look at the third book of my Three and Out trilogy… Three and Out: The Chicago Terminus which I just got back from two of my editors. I do like variety in often-repeated words. Thanks, Christina. By the way, my book has some scenes in Libertyville; maybe you live near there!

    John Payne

    • ChristinaLi

      March 1, 2012 at 11:29 am

      To be honest, we’ve only been here since October-November. I’m still trying to figure out where one suburb ends and another begins. I LOVE Chicago and Chicagoland, don’t get me wrong, it’s just a little tricky to navigate. Thank the Lord for GPS on our phone! Turns out Libertyville is North of us about 20 miles. What’s your book about?

      • John Payne

        March 1, 2012 at 12:25 pm

        The third book of the trilogy is about my character taking on a new challenge…from running a mental health hospital in San Antonio where a big murder took place…to Chicago where he becomes a private detective. Take a peek on Amazon. What suburb are you in?

      • ChristinaLi

        March 1, 2012 at 2:42 pm

        I’ll be sure to check it out. πŸ™‚

  4. cjanasdreams

    March 1, 2012 at 12:20 pm

    Interesting and I like the clip work and the fact that I learned some new sights to view from your posting. Keep up the good work.

  5. catnipoflife

    March 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm

    Christina, what a fantastic idea!!!! I have also been ‘blogging’ since November. Good to meet another newbie:) Can we suggest a word if we need help? I write poetry and upon occasion do a find a word repeating itself too often. If you have not already paid a visit, I invite you to my blogs: Awakenings from Then ’til Now @ and Catnip of LIfe @ New followers are always welcomed! Sharla

    • ChristinaLi

      March 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Thank you! I’ll be sure to check out your blogs! πŸ™‚

  6. Mary Frances Fisher

    March 1, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Well done and much appreciated!

    • ChristinaLi

      March 1, 2012 at 2:41 pm

      Thank you so much for your kind words!

  7. Judy Cullins

    March 1, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Hi Christina, I’d really appreciate a blog on synonyms for “Nice.” It’s a great writing exercise to get more specifics in your writing. Nice is ho hum. But I do disagree on using those words for “said.”

    Years ago from several writing experts on dialogue, I learned that “said” is the preferred tag because it doesn’t interrupt the dialogue.and acts like a comma. And it’s best used after the dialogue instead of in front. If you’d like more information on dialogue, I’ll email the article to you. (can’t find with search tool in my blog–oh well)

    Cheers, Judy Cullins

    • ChristinaLi

      March 1, 2012 at 7:00 pm

      Thanks so much, Judy. I would love that article. My whole goal is to grow as a writer and help others along the way as well. There is always room for improvement.
      God bless!

  8. Persia Woolley

    March 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

    Love it! I’d also like to suggest ‘mused’ for the ‘said’ alternatives. This is the most useful question/discussion I’ve seen yet, and I’ll be watching regularly from now on as I’ve just finished getting my website up and want to introduce my own blog in the next couple of weeks.

    • ChristinaLi

      March 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

      Oooh. I like the word ‘mused’. Thanks so much for your kind words. God bless you on that blog. Blogging is great. You get to meet so many interesting people and make new friends from all over the world. πŸ™‚

  9. Pat Gilbers

    March 3, 2012 at 11:07 am

    this is great. I suffer from said disease

    • ChristinaLi

      March 3, 2012 at 11:48 am

      I’m glad to be able to help! πŸ™‚

  10. Evelyn

    March 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Nice! I love that it’s sorted by first letter! Thank you for sharing, Christina!

    • ChristinaLi

      March 3, 2012 at 9:48 pm

      You’re welcome. Glad to help! πŸ™‚

  11. Iain Barnwell

    March 4, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I recently finished a 7,000 word short story and I have completely avoided using ‘said’ altogether. Although, this is largely because I have written progressively in present tense but all the same I could have used ‘says’ so really my point still stands.

    • ChristinaLi

      March 4, 2012 at 12:10 pm

      Wow! Writing in present tense effectively is very difficult. Sounds great! Thank you for your comment.


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