What does "Your saying so don't make it so" in the following mean and is it grammatically valid?

“You’re a coward and a pup. I’ll tell my big brother on you, and he can thrash you with his little finger, and I’ll make him do it, too.”

“What do I care for your big brother? I’ve got a brother that’s bigger than he is—and what’s more, he can throw him over that fence, too.” [Both brothers were imaginary.]

“That’s a lie.”

Your saying so don’t make it so.”

It's from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, chapter 1.

If it was "You're saying so, don't make it then/so.", I would say it means "You yourself are lying. So don't call me a lier.". But this structure is a little strange to me.

Could it be a proverb, the whole sentence?

Or maybe "Your saying" here means "What you say" and then he tells the other person not to do so (you yourself do not lie).

Or could it be some reductions/changes because of the dialect?

  • I think it's missing a comma to be more grammatically valid Your saying so, don’t make it so
    – Tofandel
    Aug 23, 2022 at 2:35
  • 23
    @Tofandel A comma separating the subject from the verb would make it less grammatically correct.
    – shoover
    Aug 23, 2022 at 3:40

1 Answer 1


I would analyze it this way:

  • Your saying so: Your action of saying that this thing is true
  • don't: doesn't. Using don't where standard English would use doesn't, like "It don't", is a dialect form that the speakers are using.
  • make it so: make it true.

So put differently, it's "The fact that you say this thing is true does not make it true". In this case, because the other speaker has said "That's a lie", the speaker is saying "It is not a lie just because you say it is."

  • This phrase reverberated in my head after reading this answer :) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Say_it_ain%27t_so,_Joe_(disambiguation) Aug 23, 2022 at 19:19
  • 3
    I , a native English speaker, first read Tom Sawyer when I was some single-digit age. I didn't fully understand the meaning of this phrase until I was in my 30s. Aug 23, 2022 at 21:08
  • 'Standard' English would use "does not" - the use of "doesn't" is itself an informal contraction.
    – charmer
    Aug 24, 2022 at 15:16
  • 4
    @charmer "informal" doesn't mean "not standard".
    – stangdon
    Aug 24, 2022 at 15:51
  • @standon true - but that doesn't make a contraction 'standard' -
    – charmer
    Aug 24, 2022 at 16:26

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