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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 


Idioms relating to honesty, dishonesty, integrity and truth
from:  'live a lie'   to:  'sharp practice'

  • live a lie
    • If you spend your life hiding something important about yourself, or inventing something which is not true, you live a lie.
      "To hide his humble origins, he told his wife he had no family and spent his life living a lie."

  • money laundering
    • When people launder money, they manage to conceal the source of illegally-obtained money so that it is believed to be legitimate.
      "Certain countries have been accused of facilitating money laundering."

  • monkey business
    • An activity which is organised in a deceitful or dishonest way is called monkey business.
      "The results announced seem suspicious - I think there's some monkey business going on."

  • oldest trick in the book
    • A well-known and much-used trick, which is still effective today, is called the oldest trick in the book.
      "He made a noise to attract my attention while his accomplice stole my wallet - the oldest trick in the book!"

  • 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?"

  • (a) a pack of lies
    • A large number of untruthful statements is referred to as a pack of lies.
      "The story about her unhappy childhood turned out to be a pack of lies."

  • play the game
    • If you play the game, you accept to do things according to generally-accepted customs or code of behaviour.
      "Not all website owners play the game. Some download content from other sites without permission."

  • play games with someone
    • If you are not completely honest, or behave in a way that is insincere, evasive or intentionally misleading, you are playing games with someone.
      "Look, stop playing games with us. Just tell us if you're interested in the project or not."

  • play by the rules
    • If you play by the rules, you behave in a fair and honest way with people.
      "You can trust him, don't worry. He always plays by the rules."

  • pull a fast one on somebody
    • To pull a fast one means to gain an advantage over someone by deceiving them.
      "The street vendor pulled a fast one on Tom. He sold him a big bunch of roses but wrapped a smaller bunch while Tom was taking out his wallet."

  • (a) rip-off
    • To say that something is a rip-off means that it costs much more than it should.
      "$15 for an orange juice? That's a rip-off!"

  • (the) scales fall from your eyes
    • When the scales fall from your eyes, you finally understand the truth about something.
      "It was only when he was arrested for theft that the scales fell from my eyes and I realised where his money came from."

  • shady deal
    • A suspicious, dishonest or illegal arrangement or transaction is known as a shady deal.
      "The two sons were always involved in their father's shady deals."

  • sharp practice
    • Trying to achieve something by using underhand, deceitful or dishonourable means, that are barely within the law, is called sharp practice.
      "That company is under investigation for sharp practice so it's better to avoid dealing with them."

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 Honesty and Dishonesty 

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