I heard this exchange on The Big Bang Theory (a US sitcom).

Rajesh: You know who's got to be the bravest person in the Marvel Universe? Whoever has to give She-Hulk a bikini wax.

Howard: You want to talk brave, how about Captain America's undocumented Mexican gardener?

I am pretty sure that it doesn't mean "You want to talk in a brave manner". I think it means "Do you want to talk about brave"? But what does brave mean here? Does it mean a brave man or bravery or brave people? I am not sure.

I also would like to know whether it is possible to use other adjectives with to talk in the same way:

  • I would like to talk happy ( = about happy people?)
  • I would like to talk rich ( = about rich people?)

1 Answer 1


It's a colloquialism.

Read it as "You want to talk about bravery?"

If the comparisons involved happiness or wealth, you could force the same context.
"You want to talk happy, how about [example]?
"You want to talk rich, how about [example]?

I would be careful about trying to force it into other situations, though. You can use it to lead into a discussion on bravery etc, but it requires the [example] or at least that your conversational partner would understand that an example was to follow.

I think also, considering who the two characters are in your example, it's a conscious decision on the part of the script writers to make Howard sound more Jewish, by using stereotypical constructions along the lines of "What do I know from [subject]?"

  • Just to broaden the scope of the phrase, could it also mean in a different context "Do you want to sound brave? Do you want to talk in a brave manner?" And is "Do you want to talk bravely?" possible?
    – user1425
    Nov 27, 2014 at 14:22
  • 1
    On its own, you could draw any of those 3 alternatives from it. Because it is ungrammatical [imho, though I'm no grammarian] context becomes everything. In the OP's context, only the one conclusion is possible. Nov 27, 2014 at 14:34

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