a dead giveaway

a dead giveaway

A clue, detail, action, etc. that obviously reveals something else. Your shoes are totally sticking out of the blankets! That's a dead giveaway that you're planning on sneaking out as soon as mom says good night to us. The homemade card was a dead giveaway that they had forgotten to buy us a gift.
See also: dead, giveaway

dead giveaway

something that reveals a fact or an intention completely. The car in the driveway was a dead giveaway that someone was at home.
See also: dead, giveaway
References in periodicals archive ?
For years, archaeologists wondered what these containers held, even though the poppy-seed head was a dead giveaway.
Benefit Puff Off Eye Gel, PS22.50 The party season pays havoc with our eyes and puffiness under the peepers is a dead giveaway of late-night revelling.
The 50-year-old actor said that the fact that he's wearing a chick's ring on his finger was probably a dead giveaway, the Mirror reported.
But because winning the game motivates this bird, rather than saving money, Lesser Jumpers proudly display their gate-crashing success for all to see (a perpetual sly smile is often a dead giveaway).
The administration's support for the La Raza agenda should be a dead giveaway that the high-profile rotation of a few thousand National Guard troops to the border and the sudden flurry of Customs and Border Patrol raids are simply election-year tactics aimed at winning back the Republican Party's "loyal core" that have abandoned President Bush because of his refusal to protect the border and enforce the law.
Squishy cork-like bark is a dead giveaway for Abies lasiocarpa arizonica, a variety commonly known as corkbark fir that grows at high elevations in Arizona and New Mexico.
But the corpse's cold, stiff hand was a dead giveaway. The clerk called the cops.
Mustaches on single relatives of either sex are a dead giveaway. Uncles who give the original cast album of Hairspray as Christmas gifts this year should be kept under watchful eyes at all times.
For a kickoff his grey/white beard is real not cotton-wool (a dead giveaway when you're six) and his suit is exquisite.
A "smoking" system is a dead giveaway that fluid is leaking.
The chapter headings are a dead giveaway. What is there to say about chapters with headings like: It's a Sin to Get a Mexican Divorce; Chasing Chinchilla Coats; Dad Is Not at the Dining Room Table Any More; The Madness of Two Georges; Read My Hips.
And the Doc Marten boots were a dead giveaway. Still, at least the bag looked right, Jo.
THE chubby cheeks and bulldog scowl are a dead giveaway...it's Sir Winston Churchill as a young lad.
Such behavior is a dead giveaway that the visible disk of these galaxies lies embedded in a much larger and more massive halo of unseen material.
It wasn't hard to spot Aston, driving around in his souped-up Audi, below - that JLS number plate is a dead giveaway. Hmm, if he can afford such a flash car, he should splash out on a belt to keep his trousers up.