Today is one of my friend's birthday and a lot of my friends (including me) wished her in a messaging app. She just replied us in a single word "Thanks" (just like that).

I want to tell her,

"Spend some words if someone wishes you"

In the above example, the phrase "spend some words" is idiomatic or not?

If that is idiomatic, then is it appropriate to use that phrase in the mentioned context?

And, If my example is not good enough, then is there any better way to say that?

  • 1
    I don't get what you are trying to say. "Spend some words" can work, but you need more context. Are you trying to chastise her for not saying more in response to your birthday wishes? Are you trying to be funny because she's so terse with her reply?
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 12:36
  • 3
    Maybe you should "Spend some words" yourself and write a whole sentence, like this: "Maybe you should take the time to write a proper reply when somebody sends you a birthday greeting".
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 12:42
  • 3
    Spend some words is not idiomatic, but this is a great question. A good word for what you want is effusive – although that's not exactly a common word.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 13:05
  • @Andrew I'm not trying to chastise her. I just want to let her know that If she could say some more, it would be better. But in a direct way, even it is little rude but not so much rudeness.
    – Raj 33
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 13:38
  • Well, I have my own opinions about how rude you're being, but putting that aside, something like, "You're a real miser with words aren't you?" would work. It's not particularly polite, though.
    – Andrew
    Commented Jan 29, 2018 at 13:59

1 Answer 1


I am not sure why you want to use as few words as possible to tell somebody else to use more words. If you really feel that it's important to make your reply as brief as theirs, it may be better simply to comment on what they have done, rather than telling them what they ought to have done.

You can do so directly by saying

Such economy of words!

Or you can use irony:

So effusive!

If I organized a surprise party or made a birthday cake for somebody, I might expect a bit more than "thanks!" on a messaging app, but if you just send a birthday greeting on a messaging app, then a reply like that seems fine to me. What goes around comes around.

  • 2
    And since it's a messaging app, it might be good to toss in some manner of emoticon (:-) or :-P) to soften the blow, and make it seem less of a chastisement.
    – Phylyp
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 4:08
  • Thanks for the answer. Your two examples are really good and I will use that. For your information, I know that's a bit rude but when I use that in speech in my native language, that won't be seen much as a rude reply. Besides, this kind of direct replies I received a lot from her. So I felt It's not a matter at all if I say so. This is not only my opinion but also other's.
    – Raj 33
    Commented Jan 30, 2018 at 5:37

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