play it straight

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play it straight

To do something in a completely serious, straightforward manner, without any kind of jocosity, foolishness, duplicity, deception, etc. I started dating Samantha because I loved her sense of humor and her chilled out manner, but I wish she would play it straight with me about what she thinks about our relationship. I'm tired of playing it straight; from now on, if there's an easy way to make a buck, I'm going to exploit it!
See also: play, straight

play it ˈstraight

(also play a straight ˈbat) be honest and not try to deceive somebody: ‘Do you think we should try and hide this from the newspapers?’ ‘No, play it straight; I’m sure the public will see our point of view.’These idioms refer to one way of holding the bat in the game of cricket.
See also: play, straight
References in periodicals archive ?
While the official line was that the show was canceled due to "creative issues," an inside source at the network suggests that the GLAAD intervention was welcomed at Fox, where executives believed the gay reality phenomenon was on the wane after the flop of Playing It Straight and dwindling ratings for Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.
So it's no surprise that purveyors of reality television would take advantage of the mythic gaydar and create Playing It Straight; premiering March 12 on Fox, it focuses on one beautiful woman ferreting out the gay guys among 14 sexy men.
Ultimately the viewers will decide the educational value of Playing It Straight, but for Brogdon, this idea of turning sexuality upside down is very appealing: "For people like Jackie who come from a small town, 0ris will be one of their first exposures to gay people, so I think it'll be good.