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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Honesty - Dishonesty

(Idioms, page 4 :  short end of the stick  →  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 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.
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.
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.
sticky fingers Someone who has sticky fingers has a tendency to steal.
Items have been disappearing from the stock recently. Do any of the employees have sticky fingers?
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.
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!
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.
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.
throw dust in 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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