From a speech by a depressed man who was told to exercise more:

And the doctors will be, just go out and do a couple of mile walk every day. And I just look out and go, can’t be bothered. Can’t be bothered. Because still in the back of my mind, I think, well if I don’t do all this, and don’t get myself fit, and don’t eat healthy, don’t do that, perhaps I will have a heart attack. And that’s how it is. That’s exactly how it is. And I don’t care what anyone says, you know. (P12, depression, no LTC, male).

I don't understand the meaning of "I just look out and go".

I think that "can't be bothered" means that the patient sees no point in walking each day, maybe due to his depression. Maybe he has the feeling that he wants to become worse, because life has no meaning anyway.

But what is the meaning of "I just look out and go"?

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    I read the question and go, learning English is really tough. :) I think it’s “I look out the window and think to myself I can’t be bothered”
    – ColleenV
    Jun 17, 2021 at 12:55
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    In addition to Robusto's very clear answer, the passage is made harder to interpret because the writer has not used quotation marks or italics to indicate speech/thought.
    – dbmag9
    Jun 18, 2021 at 9:18
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    @ColleenV Yes; I'm not criticising the writing, just noting that the stylistic choice has added to the confusion in this case.
    – dbmag9
    Jun 18, 2021 at 14:31
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    @dbmag9 It also doesn't help that we are forced to read the passage, rather than hear it being spoken aloud, where the meaning of go would be easier to identify by the downward inflection
    – crizzis
    Jun 20, 2021 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


What you have here is the colloquial use of go meaning say.


She looks at me like I'm a monster and she goes, "You're not wearing that to the mall, are you?" and I go "Why the hell not?"

So your sentence could be rephrased as:

And I just look out and say to myself, "I can't be bothered."


go v tr
Informal To say or utter. Used chiefly in verbal narration: First I go, "Thank you," then he goes, "What for?"
TFD Online

Additional note

The use of be there is also colloquial. It's usually seen coupled with like as in "be like," and it also can mean say or tell me or behave or comport oneself in a manner that suggests ... you get the idea.


She looks at me like I'm a monster and she's like, "You're not wearing that to the mall, are you?" and I'm like "Why the hell not?"

Recent example in the news, (emphasis my own):

A massive country music festival in Kentucky this past weekend started off on rocky footing: Police found meth, marijuana, and an open bottle of alcohol in the first vehicle they stopped at a traffic checkpoint. One of the people in the car had two active warrants out for their arrest.

We were like, ‘Well, this doesn’t bode well for the weekend,’” Edmonson County Sheriff Shane Doyle told the Lexington Herald-Leader.

Yeah, people really do talk like that. All the time, in fact.

Further note

Because there is speculation in chat as to where and when this usage originated, Etymonline has this to say under the entry for go:

Meaning "say" emerged 1960s in teen slang.

No mention of where, however.

Supplementary further additional note

It occurs to me that OP was also confused by "look out" as used in the text. In this context I believe it just means to view—metaphorically (the mental and emotional prospect of walking) or literally (the place where such walking might take place)—the concept of walking to cure depression as fruitless when, because of the depressed state of mind, death seems the more desirable outcome.

And finally ...

So why do people use go and [be] like and [be] all to mean say? Why did these things come into usage and gain in popularity? I believe it's to expand the idea of say beyond the merely verbal presentation. I personally see these usages often accompanied by gestures and theatrical expressions (e.g., "And I go, 'Why the hell not?'" said while throwing up one's hands and miming a look of outrage or consternation). Not always, but when they're merely said deadpan they nevertheless suggest more of a complete sight-and-sound presentation.

Just a thought. And now I have nothing more to say—er, go—on the subject.

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    +1 Good answer. Reference is made to "be" in "the doctors will be" (there's another occurrence of "be" in the quote). That combines the use of "be" to mean "say" with "will" to make a general statement about what doctors often say, rather than referring to one instance. Jun 17, 2021 at 14:20
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    @FumbleFingers "go" meaning "say" is definitely colloquial American English (as well as British, I guess) in many American places and subcultures. Jun 17, 2021 at 21:26
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    Additional additional note: "I'm all 'What do you mean?' And she's all 'Don't you get it?'", etc., is another common form of this.
    – Atario
    Jun 18, 2021 at 6:41
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    Aussies use 'go' like this as well - just ask Kylie Mole - (all worth watching for giggles, but prominent use of 'go' kicks in from about 1 minute).
    – mcalex
    Jun 18, 2021 at 9:17
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    @AdamStarrh There's important but subtle distinction between using "go"/"be"/"like" vs using "say". The more casual colloquialisms indicate that whatever dialogue follows is not intended to be a fully accurate recounting of what was actually said.
    – Cooper
    Jun 18, 2021 at 17:49

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