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100 Words to Use Instead of Said: Ideas for Writers

Do you feel that your writing is coming off a little stale? Do you want to spice things up with varied word choices without sounding pompous or self-important? One of the easiest ways of changing things up for the better is by replacing the word said with a word that is more concise and communicates an emotion or state-of-mind of the person doing the talking in a piece of text. Here, let’s look at an example:

“Sure, I’ll go along with you,” he said.

Now try this one…

He agreed, “Sure, I’ll go along with you.”

By replacing words like said with replacement words for said you can not only demonstrate an expanded vocabulary but you can play around a bit more with sentence arrangement and come up with writing that is more genuine and impactful. Now here is another example:

“I beg you to go. Now,” she said.

Now try this one…

“Go. Now,” she pleaded.

Not only were you able to cut out a few words to make the writing more concise, but it also comes off as more powerful.

These are the kinds of tricks professional writers (especially those that do fiction or other types of creative pieces) do to improve their writing. Using words besides said can elevate your writing and open up new pathways towards a truly interesting read.

What Are Better Words for Said?

It can be very difficult to navigate through people’s speech in your writing. The most common way is to you use the word said to indicate who says something and how they say it. Unfortunately, this can make your writing boring. There are better words than said that can be used (hundreds of words) to better express what a person was feeling or doing when they said something.

What Words Can You Say Instead of Say?

The best way to answer this is by first explaining what a dialogue tag is. A dialogue tag is a series of words that comes before (rarely) and after (often) quoted speech (e.g., he said, she said). A dialogue tag identifies the person who spoke and how they did so. The word said accomplishes this perfectly, however, it comes off as a bit stale when it is used throughout a piece of text.

Good writers will find different ways of saying said without using that word. The use of a good dictionary or thesaurus can help you find many new and creative ways of replacing the word and taking your writing to a whole new level.

100 Words for Said: A Near Comprehensive List

Here is our list of 100 words to use instead of said. There are many more words you can use creatively as a dialogue tag in different situations. We hope these words for said will help improve your writing so that you can stand apart from other people in your class.

Alternative Words for Said When You Want to Express Anger

This set of words to replace said provides a lot of excellent choices for creative ways to express different levels of anger for different situations.

  1. Chided
  2. Snapped
  3. Shouted
  4. Hissed
  5. Yelled
  6. Spat
  7. Bellowed
  8. Rebuked
  9. Scolded
  10. Jabbed
  11. Sneered
  12. Threatened
  13. Cautioned
  14. Sniggered
  15. Seethed

Other Words to Use Instead of Said When You Want to Express Sadness

Gestures and action are great ways of expressing sadness or showing emotion in dialogue. These ten words can be applied to many different situations.

  1. Cried
  2. Sobbed
  3. Lamented
  4. Sighed
  5. Whimpered
  6. Wept
  7. Wailed
  8. Whined
  9. Yelped
  10. Bawled

Words to Say Other Than Said to Express Different Levels of Fear

And here are some more words other than said focused on different responses to indicate when someone is scared.

  1. Squeaked
  2. Mumbled
  3. Whispered
  4. Gulped
  5. Quivered
  6. Shuddered
  7. Panicked
  8. Alarmed
  9. Muttered
  10. Murmured

Other Words for Said When You Want to Express Affection

When your characters need to show affection towards someone else through dialogue these words to say instead of said will take your writing to a higher level.

  1. Teased
  2. Joked
  3. Chuckled
  4. Chortled
  5. Tittered
  6. Giggled
  7. Beamed
  8. Simpered
  9. Endeared
  10. Loved

Words that Can Replace Said When You Want to Express Excitement

  1. Exclaimed
  2. Cheered
  3. Squealed
  4. Piped
  5. Exploded
  6. Boomed
  7. Bragged
  8. Cackled
  9. Rallied
  10. Enlivened

Words that Rhyme with Said

This shortlist of other words than said is a little different and fun because it deals with words that rhyme with our subject word.

  1. Dreaded
  2. Pled
  3. Read
  4. Unshed
  5. Spread

Words Instead of Said to Express Conflict

If your characters are in situations where there is some dispute or disagreement, then the following set of words can speak to these heightened moments.

  1. Stormed
  2. Demanded
  3. Roared
  4. Glowered
  5. Ranted
  6. Provoked
  7. Insinuated
  8. Challenged
  9. Coaxed
  10. Taunted

Other Words for Said by Emotion

Here are a few more words to use instead of said to show emotion in different situations.

  1. Groaned
  2. Comforted
  3. Consoled
  4. Reassured
  5. Admired

Other Words for Said List to Express Happiness

We experience contentment at different levels each day in our lives. But certain words capture our happiness perfectly and while we can cover them all here, these can certainly get your mind going.

  1. Gushed
  2. Laughed
  3. Guffawed
  4. Purred
  5. Romped

Other Words for Said in an Essay

This set works for a lot of different situations. Many could have fallen into other lists, but as you know words do have different meanings. Consider these for various situations.

  1. Begged
  2. Implored
  3. Pleaded
  4. Murmured
  5. Babbled
  6. Gasped
  7. Urged
  8. Blurted
  9. Stuttered
  10. Stammered

More Different Words for Said

And we’ll close our master list with this smaller set to fit a variety of circumstances for you and your characters.

  1. Continued
  2. Suggested
  3. Wondered
  4. Declared
  5. Retorted
  6. Explained
  7. Countered
  8. Repeated
  9. Ventured
  10. Agreed

Be Conscientious of Your Choices

Even though there is a long list of words for said that you insert into your writing, you can start seeming a little amateurish if your writing starts to look like you rely heavily on word spinning or thesaurus digging. Dialogue tags should be used for emphasis to better communicate the idea you want to express. Think of them as the salt and pepper to a well-prepared meal. Too much salt or pepper will make the meal rubbish.

For all the words that replace said available at your disposal, don’t forget that sometimes said is a perfectly acceptable word in all instances. One of the most popular comedies of the 21st century relied heavily on a simple, yet noteworthy punchline: That’s what she said.

What did you think of this list of words to use instead of said? We hope you enjoyed this informative article as much as we enjoyed putting it together. We have tons of useful tips for freelance writers and we are available to answer questions 24/7. So, if you need more words for said or other types of writing assistance, contact us by phone, email, or chat.

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