350 Other Words For Said For Your Dialogue Writing

350 different words for said

Do you need more synonyms to find other words for said?

Dialogue words, or tags, should be used as a seasoning and not as the main ingredient in your writing.

Readers have a blind spot for the word said, so you can use it without any concern when you write dialogue.

Stephen King wrote in On Writing, regarding dialogue tags. “The best form of dialogue attribution is said, as in he said, she said, Bill said, Monica said.”

Avoiding adverbs

However, there are times when you can use said synonyms.

They help you to convey an extra element of emotion or tone of voice.

When you use a descriptive dialogue reporting verb you can avoid the use of adverbs.

I am sure every writer has read this quote about adverbs by Stephen King.

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops.”

When you are writing dialogue, you need to be aware that dialogue tags are the tones of voice of the author and not the characters.

So keep your dialogue tags to a minimum.

When only two characters are speaking, it is often possible to avoid using them almost completely in a conversation between the characters.

But when dialogue tag verbs are necessary, think about your choice of vocabulary.

Of course, go very easy on your use of adverbs.


Other words for said

350 other words for said
There are times when you might want to make a line of dialogue a little more expressive.

Perhaps in a novel or short story, selecting other words for said can help you.

The infographic at the end of this article gives you a full list of 350 words you can use in place of said.

There is also a full-text listing with words for said categorized by emotion or association.

Using a one-word reporting verb is a much better alternative than adding an adverb to a dialogue tag.

They are quick and to the point. But they still give a sense of an understandable emotive description.

Here are a few simple examples.


Bad: “I want to go home,” she said sadly.

Better: “I want to go home,” she cried.

Bad: “Where did they find it?” he asked curiously.

Better: “Where did they find it?” he wondered.

Bad: “Why did you do that?” he asked angrily.

Better: “Why did you do that?” he snarled.


Find synonyms

Another quick and easy way to find a new synonym is to use an online grammar checker.

For a Grammarly user, you are only one right-click away from a long list of suggested replacements for words to use instead of said.

Find said synonyms with Grammarly


If you use ProWritingAid, you can get even more help with both simple or contextural choices for said synonyms.

Find said synonyms by emotion with Prowritingaid


Other words for said by emotion

Before we get to the full list of 350 verbs to replace said, here is a quick concise selection.

They are listed by emotions and situations that you might want to use as a quick reference for your characters’ conversations.


Answering or responding

answered, conceded, concurred, explained, replied, responded


Confusion or uncertainty

doubtfully, guessed, hesitated, vacillated


Questioning or curiosity

asked, inquired, puzzled, queried, questioned, quizzed, wondered



bleated, blurted, exclaimed, gasped, sputtered


Sadness or sorrow

bawled, bewailed, blubbered, cried, lamented, sniffled, sobbed, wailed, wept


Provocation or incitement

bragged, gibed, jeered, lied, nagged, provoked


Romance and love

breathed, promised, purred, sighed


Persuasion and inducing

advised, appealed, asserted, begged, beseeched, cajoled, entreated, implored, urged


Happiness and joy

beamed, bubbled, cheered, chirped, chuckled, giggled, grinned, joked, sang, smiled, trilled


Anger and rage

barked, cursed, exploded, fumed, growled, hissed, raged, ranted, roared, scowled, snarled, swore, yelled


Disgust or loathing

cringed, grimaced, groused, grunted, rasped, sniffed, snorted


Fear or anxiety

gulped, prayed, quavered, shrieked, squealed, stuttered, whimpered, whined



admitted, confessed, hesitated, mumbled


350 Synonyms for said infographic

Here is the full list of verbs you can use instead of said.

You can use the infographic below for your writing reference. Or you can share it on your blog with your readers.

If you prefer, you can also view and download the infographic in pdf.


350 other words for said you can use - infographic


The full-text listing of 350 other words for said by emotion and association

Feel free to copy and paste these words to replace said for your own use.

The emotion of ANGER

accused, argued, badgered, barked, bellowed, bickered, chastised, chided, clipped, clucked, commanded, complained, corrected, countered, cursed, dared, demanded, disagreed, exploded, fumed, goaded, growled, grumbled, harshed, hissed, hollered, howled, huffed, insulted, interrupted, muttered, objected, ordered, raged, ranted, retaliated, retorted, roared, scoffed, scolded, scowled, screamed, screeched, seethed, shot, shouted, shrilled, snapped, snarled, sneered, spluttered, stormed, swore, taunted, threatened, warned, yelled

The action of ANSWERING

answered, clarified, conceded, concurred, deflected, disputed, explained, interjected, protested, reassured, remarked, replied, responded, stated

The emotion of DISGUST

cringed, grimaced, groused, grunted, mocked, rasped, refused, smirked, sniffed, snorted

The emotion of EMBARRASSMENT

admitted, confessed, hesitated, mumbled

The emotion of FEAR

babbled, croaked, denied, doubted, fretted, groaned, gulped, moaned, panted, prayed, quavered, shrieked, slurred, squeaked, squealed, stammered, stuttered, whimpered, whined, whispered

The emotion of HAPPINESS

approved, beamed, bubbled, burst, cackled, chatted, chattered, cheered, chirped, chortled, chorused, chuckled, complimented, congratulated, cooed, crowed, effused, exulted, forgave, giggled, grinned, gurgled, gushed, hummed, joked, praised, resounded, sang, simpered, smiled, thanked, trilled

The emotion of LOVE or ROMANCE

breathed, expressed, proclaimed, promised, purred, sighed

Words associated with PERSUASION

advised, appealed, asserted, assured, avowed, begged, beseeched, cajoled, claimed, convinced, encouraged, entreated, implored, needled, pleaded, stressed, suggested, urged

Words associated with PROVOCATION

bragged, exasperated, gibed, jested, jeered, joked, lied, mimicked, nagged, provoked, quipped, sassed

The emotion of SADNESS

apologized, bawled, bewailed, blubbered, comforted, consoled, cried, lamented, mumbled, murmured, sighed, sniffled, sobbed, spilled, wailed, wept

The emotion of SURPRISE

bleated, blurted, exclaimed, gasped, marveled, perplexed, sputtered, yelped

Words associated with QUESTIONS or CURIOSITY

asked, challenged, coaxed, hinted, inquired, pleaded, puzzled, queried, questioned, quizzed, wondered

Words associated with UNCERTAINTY or CONFUSION

cautioned, doubtfully, guessed, hesitated, vacillated


acknowledged, acquiesced, added, addressed, affirmed, agreed, alliterated, announced, articulated, began, bet, boasted, boomed, broke in, called, chimed in, coached, commented, concluded, confided, confirmed, considered, continued, contributed, conversed, deadpanned, decided, declared, defended, demurred, described, disclosed, divulged, drawled, echoed, emphasized, ended, finished, gloated, greeted, hypothesized, imitated, implied, informed, insinuated, insisted, intoned, instructed, jabbered, lectured, lisped, maintained, mentioned, monotoned, mouthed, mused, motioned, nodded, noted, notified, observed, offered, opined, pestered, piped, pointed out, pondered, prattled, pressed, pronounced, proposed, put in, quoted, rambled, rattled on, read, reasoned, recalled, reckoned, recited, recounted, reiterated, related, remembered, reminded, repeated, reported, requested, restated, revealed, rhymed, ridiculed, sibilated, sneezed, snickered, speculated, spoke, started, surmised, sympathized, teased, tempted, tested, testified, theorized, thought aloud, told, uttered, ventured, verified, volunteered, vowed, went on, wheezed, wished, yakked, yapped, yawned


Summary of words other than said

Synonyms can always improve your writing by avoiding repetition.

Finding new words and new ways to say things is one of the pleasures of being a writer.

It doesn’t mean that you need to use long, uncommon, or complex vocabulary.

There are usually very simple alternatives for most words.

Considering other words instead of said is always a good idea. That’s even if said is a word that most people are blind to when reading.

By replacing said with a more active reporting verb, you can quickly add much more descriptive value to your novel or short story.


Related reading: How To Check Dialogue Writing Consistency In Your Manuscript

Derek Haines

A Cambridge CELTA English teacher and author with a passion for writing and all forms of publishing. My days are spent writing and blogging, as well as testing and taming new technology. More about Derek

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5 thoughts on “350 Other Words For Said For Your Dialogue Writing

  • Avatar for Hayden
    October 3, 2022 at 11:16 pm

    Thank you so much for this! I’m currently writing a book right now and finding synonyms for said is so hard! I really do appreciate this!

  • Avatar for Ken
    March 11, 2021 at 2:40 pm

    Thank you so very much for your generosity, time and shared talent in making this information possible. It will be an invaluable resource in my own writing efforts. I’m glad there are people like you around. Again. Thanks.

  • Avatar for Marie Antionette
    July 14, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    This article has helped me soooo very much! I use this article everytime I go to write more of my stories and (sort of) book. The organization into categories has been a life saver. Thank you!

  • Avatar for Shortstory Woman
    April 28, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I am so glad to have found u (here & on Twitter) All your articles and tips are like Gold to me!!!
    Thank you so much for your work and Keep it up like this!!!!!
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    • Avatar for Derek Haines
      April 28, 2019 at 10:59 am

      Thank you. I’m happy to hear that our content is useful to you.

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