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 English Idioms and Expressions 

Idioms: Honesty, Dishonesty and Integrity -2
from:  'at face value'  to: 'lie through teeth'

  • (at) face value
    • If you take something at its face value, you assume that it is genuinely what it appears to be.
      "The car seems to be in good condition, but don't take it at its face value; get a mechanic to check it out."

  • fair and square
    • If something is obtained or won fair and square, it is done in an honest and open manner, the rules are respected and there is no cheating or lying.
      "Gavin won the competition fair and square - there was no doubt about the result."

  • fall off the back of a lorry
    • Goods that have fallen off the back of a lorry are stolen goods.
      "Judging by the price of that camera, it must have fallen off the back of a lorry!"

  • false pretences
    • If you obtain something under false pretences, you deceive others by lying about your identity, qualifications, financial or social position, in order to get what you want.
      "The journalist obtained the interview under false pretences. He said he was from the social services."

  • five finger discount
    • If somebody gets a five-finger discount, they take something without paying. In other words, they steal.
      "How could he afford that watch? Who knows - perhaps with a five-finger discount!"

  • fly-by-night
    • A fly-by-night person, business or venture is considered untrustworthy because they operate briefly and disappear overnight.
      "I bought it in one of those fly-by-night stores and now I can't exchange it. The place has closed down."

  • funny business
    • A business which is conducted in a deceitful, dishonest or unethical manner is called funny business.
      "I've got suspicions about that association. I think they're up to some funny business."

  • grease someone's palm
    • If you accuse someone of greasing somebody's palm, you are accusing them of giving money to someone in order to gain an unfair advantage or to obtain something they want.
      "In some countries, it is common practice to grease government officials' palms."

  • hand in glove
    • Two or more people who are in collusion, or work in close association, are said to be hand in glove.
      "After the match, it was discovered that he was hand in glove with the referee."

  • hairy at the heel
    • A person who is hairy at the heel is thought to be untrustworthy or even dangerous.
      "Rumour has it that the owner of the club is a bit hairy at the heel."

  • (not) have a leg to stand on
    • To say that someone does not have a leg to stand on means that they cannot prove that what they are saying is true.
      "Three people testified against him. He didn't have a leg to stand on."

  • ill-gotten gains
    • Money, profit or benefits that are made in a dishonest or illegal manner are called ill-gotten gains.
      "He won money by cheating and is now enjoying his ill-gotten gains."

  • in trouble with the law
    • If someone is in trouble with the law, they are being questioned by the police in connection with something illegal or criminal.
      "The suspect has often been in trouble with the law."

  • lead up the garden path
    • If someone leads you up the garden path, they deliberately deceive you by giving you misleading information or by not keeping a promise you believed to be sincere.
      "I still haven't got the promotion I was promised. I think my boss is leading me up the garden path!"

  • on the level
    • If you say that someone is on the level, you are referring to a truthful or honest person.
      "Tell me straight : Is he on the level or not?"

  • lie one's way in/out of
    • If you obtain something or get out of a situation by telling lies, you lie your way in or out of it.
      "He lied his way into a well-paid position."

  • lie through one's teeth
    • If you lie through your teeth, you lie openly and brazenly, knowing that what you are saying is completely false.
      "I saw him breaking the window. If he denies it, he's lying through his teeth."

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