a fig leaf

fig leaf

Something used to hide an embarrassing or shameful problem. In the Bible, Adam and Eve used fig leaves to conceal their genitals after they became ashamed of their nakedness. Gary used humor as a fig leaf to conceal the fact that he was struggling with depression.
See also: fig, leaf

a fig leaf

Something which is intended to hide an embarrassing or awkward situation can be called a fig leaf. The Code of Practice must be enforced, or else it is just a meaningless fig leaf. He said that retaining Stewart in a creative role was a `generous fig leaf that the company gave her'. Note: According to the Bible, when Adam and Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden, they realized that they were naked and felt ashamed, so they covered their genitals with fig leaves. (Genesis 3:7)
See also: fig, leaf
References in classic literature ?
All his finery was gone; he was naked as when he was born, with the exception of a scanty flap that answered the purpose of a fig leaf.
When she set her eyes on the V&A's copy of Michelangelo's David for the first time, the queen was deeply shocked at the absence of a fig leaf.
The garments, which feature either a fig leaf or a clasped hands motif, are composed of a mixture of tungsten and other metals that do not set off metal detectors.
To conceal their nakedness they've created something less than a fig leaf - a fragment of a fig leaf, one too small to hide anything.
Wrap each halibut fillet completely with a fig leaf, securing with a toothpick if necessary.
Lay the roasted fig on a fig leaf along with the dressed fava bean salad.
If he wants to freeze to death, he could at least wear a fig leaf.
Celebrity guests at a swish New York fashion show couldn't believe their eyes when Jim strutted down the catwalk munching an apple - wearing nothing but a fig leaf to mask his manhood.
Protesters Wearing Nude Leotards and Fig Leaves will expose the Adult Industry Medical (AIM) HealthCare Foundation HIV Testing Clinic in Sherman Oaks as a Fig Leaf for Porn Industry
20 or so protesters will gather holding fig leaves--some wearing nude body suits--and carrying banners and signs to expose the clinic as a fig leaf for the porn industry.
She said: 'Researchers at Liverpool University took photos and X-rays and decided that, yes, he was originally cast with a fig leaf and so he's got a new one.
Experts used a photograph of the sculpture, taken in the 1850s, showing a fig leaf held in place by a belt with a decorative buckle to aid the design of the new covering.
A photograph of the sculpture taken in the 1850s, which showed a fig leaf held in place by a belt with a decorative buckle, was studied to aid the design of the new covering.