Student or Learner
A man asks a woman: How unselfish are you? She says: About average, dare I say?
I know what "I dare say" means, but I'm not sure about "dare I say"? Could it mean something like: do you agree OR can I say that.
- Where do you think you'll come in the race tomorrow?
- Dare I say ... first?
- You went on a date last night, didn't you? How did it go?
- Dare I say ... it went VERY well!
It's almost like tempting fate, as if the person thinks that by saying it, that might jinx it or that somehow they will shortly be proved wrong. In the example you gave, I think she is expressing a modicum of modesty. She is saying she is fairly unselfish, but she perhaps feels that is a slightly arrogant thing to say about herself so she adds "dare I say" to make it clear that she is taking a slight risk by saying that. Other people might, of course, have a very different opinion of how unselfish she is.