Experts have this morning agreed that anyone who says “I’m not bluffing” is definitely not bluffing.
As Vladimir Putin told Western audiences that he was “not bluffing” with his threats of escalation in Ukraine, language experts have been quick to point out the hidden meaning behind the phrase.
Professor of linguistics Simon Williams told us, “It’s often the case that you look for the hidden meaning behind certain statements, but this time it’s actually quite easy, because when someone says ‘I’m not bluffing’ it is a clear indication that they are not, in fact, bluffing.
“It’s a bit like saying ‘take me seriously, I really mean it’. Yes, to the layperson, it might look like saying ‘I’m not bluffing’ could be a bluff, but let me tell you that in my expert opinion this is completely wrong.
“Anyone who has ever played poker will know that if you’re facing someone and they tell you that they’re not bluffing, then they are definitely not bluffing. It’s one of the unwritten rules of the game. It is much the same in the geopolitical arena.
“So when someone says ‘I’m not bluffing’ it’s always best to just give them what they want because you know that they definitely mean it.