blow the whistle

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blow the whistle (on) (someone or something)

To expose or report something scandalous or deceptive. That company's stock price plummeted after the media blew the whistle on the CEO's embezzlement scandal. If you keep coming in late, I'm going to have to blow the whistle and report you to the department head.
See also: blow, whistle

blow the whistle

 (on someone)
1. Fig. to report someone's wrongdoing to someone (such as the police) who can stop the wrongdoing. (Alludes to blowing a whistle to attract the police.) The citizens' group blew the whistle on the street gangs by calling the police. The gangs were getting very bad. It was definitely time to blow the whistle.
2. Fig. to report legal or regulatory wrongdoing of a company, especially one's employer, to authorities. She was fired for blowing the whistle on the bank's mismanagement of accounts, but she then sued the bank.
See also: blow, whistle

blow the ˈwhistle (on somebody/something)

(informal) stop somebody doing something illegal or wrong by telling a person in authority about it: One of the police officers blew the whistle on his colleagues when he found out they were taking bribes. ▶ ˈwhistle-blower noun a person who informs people in authority or the public that the company they work for is doing something wrong or illegal: The company has denied a whistle-blower’s allegations of poor security.
This idiom probably comes from football, where a referee blows a whistle to stop the game when a player breaks the rules.
See also: blow, whistle

blow the whistle

To expose a wrongdoing in the hope of bringing it to a halt: an attorney who blew the whistle on governmental corruption.
See also: blow, whistle
References in periodicals archive ?
There will be a positive relationship between judgments of responsibility about organizational wrongdoing and decisions to blow the whistle.
FSA managing director Carol Sergeant said: ``We strongly encourage employees with concerns to blow the whistle within their firm at first.
The VA also has reaffirmed and strengthened its commitment to protecting employees who blow the whistle on waste, fraud and abuse at the agency.
It is possible to blow the whistle anonymously but you may be called upon to give evidence.
Previously, only auditors and actuaries were bound by a legal duty to blow the whistle.
It is also surprising that a qualified accountant employed by the companies now under scrutiny did not blow the whistle much earlier.
Charles Peters claims that Fortune Bethany McLean "was the first journalist to blow the whistle on Enron" ("Tilting at Windmills," March 2002).
Angus Council wants employees to blow the whistle on crooked colleagues.
SCHOOLBOY Jonathan Harris is ready to blow the whistle on his classmates - after qualifying as the youngest football referee in the country.
It was easier to blow the whistle than to continue to lie.
WHO: The American Lung Association of South Florida WHAT: Blow the Whistle on Asthma Walk WHERE: Huizenga Plaza, formerly Bubier Park, in Fort Lauderdale - located on the corner of Las Olas and Andrews Ave.
Many workers witness fraudulent acts every day, but are unaware that they can file actions on behalf of the government, or blow the whistle on the wrongful acts and receive a portion of damages that may be recovered as a result.
Lawmakers could pass legislation that protects leakers who lawfully reveal information, like those who blow the whistle on governmental or corporate misconduct.
Eventually, some plucked up the courage to blow the whistle.