Honesty & Dishonesty (Idioms & Expressions) 3

In this post we have provided you some of the most common idioms , proverbs  and expressions about  “Honesty & Dishonesty”. We tried to put an example for each idiom or proverb to help you understand & use them in your daily life conversation.


Proverbs & idioms :

Honesty is the best policy.

No legacy is so rich as honesty (William Shakespear)

There is no honor among thieves : one dishonest person can’t trust others.

Heart to heart : an honest and open conversation.

Collocations  & Idioms:

  • Above board : If a situation or business is described as above board, it is open, honest and legal.

Example: There are no secret negotiations. Our dealings have always been above Board.

  • Barefaced liar : Someone who lies easily, with a total lack of shame, is called a barefaced liar.

Example:That barefaced liar stole my watch and said he’d found it.

  • Bend the truth : If you bend the truth, you say something that is entirely true.

Example: Ok, I bent the truth a bit; I told her it was my natural color, but I didn’t say that my hairdresser helped me to keep it natural!

  • The benefit of the doubt : If you give somebody the benefit of the doubt, you choose to believe that person is innocent, honest or telling the truth, because there is no evidence to the contrary.

Example: Although he found it hard to believe Tom’s explanation, the teacher decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.

  • Black market : The black market refers to the illegal buying and selling of goods or currencies.


  • Break every rule in the book : If you behave in a completely unacceptable way, you break every rule in the book.

Example: Our competitors obtained the contract by breaking every rule in the book.

  • Put / lay your cords on the table : If you put / lay your cords on the table, you speak  honestly and openly about your feelings and intentions.

Example: Let’s clear the air and put / lay your cords on the table.

  • Catch someone red-handed : If a person is caught red-handed they are caught while they are doing something wrong or illegal.
  • Cook the books : A person who cooks the books is one who changes the facts or figures  in their financial accounts, often in order to steel money.

Example: The actor discovered after a while that his agent was cooking the books.

  • Crooked as a dog’s hind leg : To say that someone is as crooked as a dog’s hind leg means that they are very dishonest indeed.

Example: He can’t be trusted; he’s as crooked as a dog’s hind leg.

  • Cross the line : To cross the line means to go beyond the authorized limits by doing something unacceptable.
  • Daylight robbery : The term ‘daylight robbery’ is used when the price of something is thought to be much to high.

Example: $10 for orange juice? That’s daylight robbery.

  • Economical with the truth : To say that a person is economical with the truth means that, without actually lying, they omit important facts or give incomplete information.

Example: The politician was accused of being economical with the truth.

  • Face value : If you take something at its face value, you assume that it is genuinely what it appears to be.

Example: The car seems to be in good condition, but don’t take it at its face value; get a mechanic to check it out.

  • Fall off the back of a lorry : If you buy goods that have fallen off the back of a lorry, they  are stolen goods.

Example: 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 pretence, you deceive others by lying about your identity, qualifications, financial or social position, in order to obtain what you want…

Example:She obtained the interview under false pretences.

  • Feather one’s nest : To say of someone that they are feather their nest means that they are taking advantage of their position in order to obtain money so as to have a comfortable life.


  • Five-finger discount : If somebody gets a five-finger discount, they take something without paying. In other words they steal.

Example: -How could he offered that watch?

-Who knows – perhaps with a five-finger discount!


  • Grease somebody’s palm : If you accuse 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.

Example: In some countries, it is common practice to grease government officials’ palms.

  • Hand in glove : Tow or more people who are in collusion, or work in close association, are said to be hand in glove.

Example: After the match, it was discovered that he was hand in glove with the referee.


  • On the level : If you say that somebody is on the level, you are referring to a truthful and honest person.

3 thoughts on “Honesty & Dishonesty (Idioms & Expressions)

  1. katelyn Jul 10,2011 3:26 am

    this makes NO sence 😈

  2. prerna May 26,2012 5:17 pm

    cool…it helped me in a ppt 😉 🙂 😯 🙄 😳 :mrgreen: 😀 💡 8) ❗ ❗ ❗

  3. revathi Aug 1,2012 4:54 pm

    these r very nice ones 😉

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