do as i say

Idioms & Phrases

do as I say

Obey my instructions, as in Never mind about the other mothersyou do as I say. This admonitory order is sometimes followed by a self-deprecating phrase, Do as I say, not as I do, meaning "don't imitate my behavior but obey my instructions." This order first appeared in John Selden's Table-Talk (c. 1654): "Preachers say, 'Do as I say, not as I do.'"

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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