blow the whistle on

blow the whistle on somebody/something

to tell someone in authority about something bad that is happening so that it can be stopped He was dismissed when he tried to blow the whistle on the safety problems at the factory. The kids are encouraged to blow the whistle on any of their friends who are using drugs.
See also: blow, on, whistle

blow the whistle on

1. Expose corruption or other wrongdoing, as in The President's speech blew the whistle on the opposition's leaking information. [Colloquial; 1930s]
2. Put a stop to, as in The registry decided to blow the whistle on new vanity plates. The term originally alluded to ending an activity (such as factory work) with the blast of a whistle. [Late 1800s]
See also: blow, on, whistle
References in periodicals archive ?
What you can do: Identify disconnects between ethics and action in your own work, then blow the whistle on yourself.
If after acute self-examination and discussion with trusted experts, the advocate decides to blow the whistle on the organization, a tie is broken.
Supporters of the right to blow the whistle on Welsh councils have given a cautious welcome to Government plans to change a gagging clause in a new law.
The charity Public Concern at Work said workers were twice as likely to blow the whistle on wrongdoings than they were five years ago.
Public Concern at Work, the charity which helps people raise concerns, said workers were twice as likely to blow the whistle on wrongdoings than they were five years ago.
They, and their buddies in Congress, are attacking the messengers, the folks like Bob Berman who blow the whistle on fraud.
Stewart and Feder have proposed an alternative job description: They want to set up an office that would help scientists who blow the whistle on fraud or misconduct.
The government actually pays the legal bills of its outside contractors who run into legal trouble in the course of their work, even when that legal trouble is defending themselves against employees who blow the whistle on their illegal or unsafe activities.