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 English Idioms and Expressions 

Idioms: Honesty, Dishonesty and Integrity -1
from:  'short end of stick'  to: 'throw dust in eyes'

  • short end of the stick
    • If you get the short end of the stick, you are treated unfairly or receive less than what is due or is deserved.
      "They reached an agreement but Sophie felt she got the short end of the stick."

  • shoulder surfing
    • The practice of looking over somebody's shoulder when they are using a computer, cash dispenser or other electronic device, in order to obtain personal information (identification, account number, password, etc.) is called shoulder surfing.

  • siphon off
    • If someone siphons something off, they transfer something from one place to another, often illegally.
      "It was discovered that he had siphoned off money from the business into an account in a tax haven."

  • smoke and mirrors
    • An attempt to conceal or distort the truth (like a magician) in order to confuse people is called smoke and mirrors.
      "The outgoing president used smoke and mirrors to make the situation look better."

  • (a) smokescreen
    • A smokescreen is an action or tactic intended to conceal or divert attention from your real intentions or activities.
      "His travel business was just a smokescreen for his political activities."

  • (a) smoking gun
    • A smoking gun is a piece of evidence or the indisputable sign of someone's guilt.
      "The fingerprints left on the door-handle was the smoking gun that enabled the police to arrest him."

  • sow the seeds of suspicion
    • If someone's behaviour, or something they say, sows the seeds of suspicion, it leads people to suspect that they are guilty.
      "The fact that the boy spent a lot of money after the burglary sowed the seeds of suspicion in the neigbours' minds."

  • spin a yarn
    • If you spin a yarn, you tell a story, usually a long improbable one, with distorted truths.
      "He failed the exam and spun a yarn about the exam papers being stolen."

  • spit it out!
    • This expression is used to urge someone who is hesitant or fearful to stop stalling or stammering and say what they have to say.
      "Come on Tommy ! Just spit it out and tell us what happened !"

  • steal someone's thunder
    • If you steal someone's thunder, you take their idea or plan and draw attention and praise away from them by presenting it first.
      "Fred had developed a plan to reduce production costs, but the manager stole his thunder by announcing Fred's idea at the regional meeting."

  • (have) sticky fingers
    • Someone who hassticky fingers has a tendency to steal.
      "Items have been disappearing from the stock recently. Do any of the employees have sticky fingers?"

  • (as) straight as an arrow
    • Someone who is as straight as an arrow is a morally upright person who is extremely honest.
      "You can leave the keys with Andy. He's as straight as an arrow."

  • stretch the truth
    • When you stretch the truth, you exaggerate the facts or say things that are not exactly true.
      "Some candidates are tempted to stretch the truth about their skills or work experience."

  • sweetheart deal
    • The term sweetheart deal is used to refer to an abnormally lucrative arrangement between two parties.
      "Opponents say the contract was awarded to the builder as part of a sweetheart deal, and is therefore illegal."

  • take something with a pinch of salt
    • If you are told to take something with a grain of salt, you are being warned that the information may not be completely true, accurate or reliable.
      "What you read in that newspaper should be taken with a pinch of salt! "

  • take someone for a ride
    • To take someone for a ride means to cheat or deceive them.
      "I discovered he had charged me double the normal fee. He really took me for a ride!"

  • (be) taken to the cleaners
    • If someone is taken to the cleaners, they lose a lot of money in an unfair way, usually by being robbed or cheated.
      "When the company Tom had invested in went bankrupt, he realized he had been taken to the cleaners."

  • (a) tall story
    • A tall story is a story which is difficult to believe because it sounds unlikely.
      "What he said about a stolen invention sounds like a tall story to me."

  • the truth will out
    • This expression means that despite efforts to conceal the facts, the truth cannot be hidden forever.
      "I don't know if the police gave the full details, but inevitably truth will out."

  • throw dust in someone's eyes
    • If you throw dust in someone's eyes, you prevent them from seeing the truth by misleading them.
      "He threw dust in the old lady's eyes by pretending to be a police officer, then stole her jewellery."

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