telling(redirected from tellingly)
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Related to tellingly: emphasizing
take a telling-off
To be scolded, rebuked, or reprimanded, as for a wrongdoing. I took a telling-off from my teacher in front of the whole class for sticking my tongue out at him. My brother just can't take a telling-off. If our parents even raise their voices to him, he starts getting teary-eyed!
See also: take
tell a (little) white lie
To tell a seemingly small, insignificant, or harmless lie, often presumably in order not to offend or upset someone. I knew Jenny would be upset if she knew I didn't want go to the movies with her tomorrow, so I just told her a white lie about having to take care of my elderly grandmother. Don't get into the habit of telling little white lies, or, pretty soon, you'll start telling big, fat, ugly ones.
To (profess to) anticipate, and inform about, future outcomes or see what future events will take place. There's this old lady in the apartment next to mine who tells fortunes for ten bucks. I never go in for stuff like that, but I'll admit that I'm a bit curious.
tell (someone) what's what
To inform someone of the true facts or most fundamental information (about someone or something). After putting it off for a week, Sarah finally told Jane what's what and ended their relationship. You're so naïve about the way you think this business operates, so allow me to finally tell you what's what.
See also: tell
I don't mind telling you (something).
I want you to know something. Tom: You have a beautiful garden. Mary: Thank you. But I don't mind telling you, it's an awful lot of work. I don't mind telling you, I was as pleased as Punch when my daughter won the race.
tale never loses in the telling
Prov. When people tell stories, they tend to exaggerate. Johnny's bicycle accident tale never loses in the telling; he convinced his friends that four semi trucks had been involved, when in fact he only ran into one parked car.
You're telling me!
Inf. I know all too well the truth of what you are saying. Tom: Man, it's hot today! Bob: You're telling me! Jane: This food is really terrible. Sally: Wow! You're telling me!
there's no tellingalso there is no telling
it is impossible to guess There's no telling how much damage has been done to young people by these “designer drugs.” Even when we don't let them loose, there's no telling what kind of trouble the puppies will get into.Related vocabulary: you never can tell
You're telling me!(informal)
something that you say to emphasize that you agree with something someone has just complained about because you have experienced it yourself 'Brenda's really bad-tempered these days.' 'You're telling me!'
there's no telling
It's impossible to determine, as in There's no telling how many children will come down with measles, or There's no telling what will happen in the next episode of that soap opera. This idiom uses telling in the sense of "reckoning," a usage dating from the late 1300s.
you're telling me
I'm well aware of that, as in She's a terrific dancer.-You're telling me! I taught her how, or You're telling me, the prices are sky-high here. [Early 1900s]