English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Frankness - Sincerity
|bare one's heart/soul||If you bare you
soul) to someone, you reveal your
innermost thoughts and feelings to them.
Mike couldn't keep things to himself any longer. He decided to bare his soul to his best friend.
|don't beat/stop beating around the bush||
This expression is used to tell someone to
say what they have to say, clearly and
directly, even if it is unpleasant.
Stop beating around the bush. Just tell me what has been decided!
|call a spade a spade||A person who
calls a spade a spade
speaks openly and truthfully about
something, especially difficult matters.
What I like about the new manager is that he calls a spade a spade - it makes things so much easier for everyone.
|put/lay one's cards on the table||If you put your cards on the table,
you speak honestly and openly about your
feelings and intentions.
Let's clean the air and put our cards on the table.
|clear the air||If you decide to
clear the air, you try to remove
the causes of fear, worry or suspicion by
talking about the problem openly.
The atmosphere had become so unpleasant that he decided it was time to clear the air.
|come clean||To come clean
about something means to tell the truth.
The boy was encouraged to come clean and tell the authorities what happened.
|home truths||If you tell somebody some home
truths, you tell them some unpleasant
facts about themselves which are often
difficult to accept.
David needs to be told some home truths, whether he likes it or not!
|in vino veritas||This expression, which in Latin means
'in wine there is truth', is a way of saying
that wine makes people less inhibited and
leads them to speak more freely and reveal
their true feelings.
After a few drinks he told us the whole story - in vino veritas!
|lay it on the line||If you speak frankly and make something
very clear, you lay it on the line.
The boss laid it on the line and told Jimmy that if he arrived late for work again he would lose his job.
|make no bones about||If you make no bones about
something, you don't hesitate to say
something in a frank and open way.
I made no bones about it. I told him his offer was unacceptable.
|not mince one's words||Someone who does
not mince their words expresses
their opinions, ideas or thoughts very
clearly, even if they offend others by doing
Come on John! Tell us what you really think - and don't mince your words.
|on the level||If you say that someone is on the
level, you are referring to an honest
and truthful person.
Tell me straight - is he on the level or not?
|open the kimono||If a person or organisation opens
the kimono, they reveal something
It's time to open the kimono and explain that we cannot meet the deadline.
|pull no punches||If someone
pulls no punches, they speak openly and
honestly, holding nothing back.
The doctor pulled no punches. He explained in detail the risks of the operation.
|say a mouthful||If you make an important or lengthy
remark, you say a mouthful.
The customer said a mouthful when he gave the reason for his dissatisfaction.
|unvarnished truth||If you present someone with plain facts,
without trying to embellish or soften the
reality, you give them the unvarnished
Tell me how the accident happened, and I want the unvarnished truth.
|words of one syllable||If you explain something in words of one
syllable, you use very simple language.
Not so fast! Tell me in words of one syllable!
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