ring false

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ring false

Also, have a false or hollow ring ; strike a false note. Seem wrong or deceitful, as in Her denial rings false-I'm sure she was there when it happened, or His good wishes always seem to have a hollow ring, or Carol's congratulatory phone call really struck a false note. Ring false and the antonym, ring true, which means "seem genuine," allude to the old practice of judging a coin genuine or fake by the sound it gives out when tapped. This practice became obsolete when coins ceased to be made of precious metals, but by then the idioms were being used to refer to other matters. [Mid-1800s]
See also: false, ring
References in classic literature ?
I think that I must have been rather overacting my delight, and that she detected a hollow ring in my congratulations, for I saw her eyebrows rise a little, and she glanced at me curiously.
Jones, 41, said he was deeply sorry, but Judge Rhys Rowlands said his apologies had a hollow ring to them because he had denied the charge.
Demetriades' tough talk on Tuesday had a hollow ring.
Rightly or wrongly, both Offaly and Antrim consider themselves to be better than Division Four standard though that claim will carry a hollow ring for whoever comes out on the wrong side of the result tomorrow.
Leaving aside the fact that at the last Fans Forum, a club droid stated that they wouldn't comment on any transfer dealings at all, the manager's recent statement that the 1892 Ballbearing company had to excite the supporters again does have a hollow ring to it.
But her words had a hollow ring as the ongoing Mandela family war exploded yesterday with extraordinary allegations of illicit affairs.
The Government's claim that the economy is out of intensive care will have a hollow ring for those at Direct Line who face the dole queue.
These are damning statistics and give a hollow ring to racing's cry that it is doing all it can in the self-help department.
It's the joke with the hollow ring for many divorced men who leave a marriage with their pockets rather lighter than when they entered it.
But that claim had a hollow ring for disgruntled fans who left in their hundreds before the end.
DAVID Cameron speaks of the UK as a source of prosperity and fairness, but this has a rather hollow ring about it when English students will, from next year, be faced with tuition fees of up to pounds 36,000 if they enrol in a traditional four year honours degree course in any British university, whilst Scots attending a Scottish university will pay absolutely nothing for any kind of degree.
His claims to be a Good Samaritan have a hollow ring.
While New Zealand has proved a far happier hunting ground, the nation's greatest World Cup result against Australia will have a hollow ring to it if Italy prevail in Dunedin.
leaders "may not consider the return on America's investment in NATO worth the cost" has a hollow ring.
That tag may have something of a hollow ring to it after the country's repeated failures at senior level and Aston Villa striker Delfouneso knows it will not have real meaning until a squad returns home with the most precious of metals hanging around their necks.