talk about

1 This can be considered the short version of When you talk about xxx, nothing is more xxx than this/him/her/them/you! This is an exclamation and should have an exclamatory intonation. One peculiarity about this expression is that it's (almost) always sincere, unlike, for example, What a xxx! or How xxx!, which can be used sarcastically. 

For instance, if someone tells you about something especially nasty that their boss did, you could answer sarcastically What a sweetheart! or How nice! when you actually mean the opposite. However, if you use talk about, you normally say exactly what you mean: Talk about a jerk!

____________⦿ to catch someone red-handed | to discover someone right in the act of doing something wrong or illegal.⦿ get this | Used to preface something unbelievable or really interesting with a nuance of «you're not going to believe this part...»

Two coworkers talk about their boss getting arrested.


Ron: Hey, is it true that Mr. Wagner got arrested for stealing from the company?

Dave: Yep. They caught him on camera red-handed taking fistfuls of money out of the safe.

Ron: But wait… he knows there are surveillance cameras all over the office.

Dave: Yeah, but get this… he actually thought that if he put on his sunglasses, nobody would recognize him.

Ron: <gasp!> Talk about a moron!

Alternatively and with the same force, you may hear: Man, is he a moron!, which, despite the inversion, isn't a question. The inversion here is used to emphasize the predicate. Pay special attention to the intonation in this kind of exclamation.

2 The phrase talk about can also be followed by an adjective, in which case it has an interpretation of How/So very [ADJ]! In the snippet below, and talk about smart! basically means ...and she's soooo smart!

____________⦿ have I got/do I have | Here again, inversion is used for emphasis: «you're not going to believe the girl I have for you!» in the sense of having a girl he wants to introduce him to. We often use have for to propose or suggest things to people: I have a business idea for you...⦿ set someone up with someone | This means to try to connect two people romantically... to introduce them and hope they're attracted to one another.⦿ a mint | a fortune

Hugh tries to set his son up with a coworker’s daughter.


Hugh: Pauly, have I got a girl for you!

Pauly: Oh God, here we go! When are you going to stop trying to set me up with your friends’ boring-ass daughters?! Has it ever occurred to you that maybe I want to be single?

Hugh: Oh but this one’s different. She’s a ballerina, drop-dead gorgeous, and talk about smart! She opened her own dance studio last year, and she’s making an absolute mint!

This type of positive exclamation can alternatively be uttered as: ...and boy is she smart! Pay special attention to the intonation in this kind of exclamation.

3 Sometimes talk about is used with idioms and expressions to highlight situations that are perfect examples of those idioms. For instance, we have the expression to rob the cradle, which means to be romantically involved with someone way younger — literally, to steal a baby out of its cradle. In the following snippet, talk about robbing the cradle means something along the lines of «what a PERFECT EXAMPLE of robbing the cradle!» The same with green thumb in the second snippet.

____________⦿ What the hell's... | What are you doing -ing? is an emphatic way of asking why someone's doing something: What are you doing sitting in here? All your friends are in the living room.⦿ Shut up! | Here: You've got to be joking!⦿ Try | When someone guesses something wrong, try is used to correct them. Literally: That guess was wrong — try this one.

Ron and Adam see their old boss and their young coworker at the company Christmas party.


Ron: What the hell’s Cooper doing holding Vicky’s hand?

Adam: Wait… you don’t know? They’re dating. They’ve been dating for 2 months.

Ron: Shut up! Isn’t he like twice her age?

Adam: Try three times. 

Ron: Yuck! Talk about robbing the cradle!

____________⦿ Man! | Here, Hugh isn't calling his brother man, he's saying man! with a falling intonation as an exclamation of amazement upon seeing something magnificent. In this usage, it's very close to Wow!, and can be used regardless of the gender of the person addressed. For instance, when your wife walks in wearing her new dress: Man, what a sexy dress!

Hugh arrives in Dallas to spend a week at his brother's place.


Hugh: Man! Your place is beautiful!

Christian: You haven't seen the best part. Come see the garden.

Hugh: Wow! This is amazing! Did you plant all this yourself?

Christian: Yep.

Hugh: Talk about a green thumb!