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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


FRANKNESS - OPENNESS - SINCERITY

Idioms
from:   'bare one's heart'   to:  'words of one syllable'


  • bare one's heart (or soul)
    • If you bare you heart (or 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/lay your cards on the table  you speak honestly and openly about your feelings and intentions.
      "Let's be honest with each other and put our cards on the table."

  • clear the air
    • If you decide toclear 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 true but 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 something
    • 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 doesnot mince their words expresses their opinions, ideas or thoughts very clearly, even if they offend others by doing so.
      "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 their plans or intentions and do not withhold information.
      "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 truth.
      "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.
      "Your explanation is too complicated! Tell me in words of one syllable!"

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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