blow the whistle (on) (someone or something)

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blow the whistle (on) (someone or something)

To expose or report something scandalous or deceptive. That company's stock price plummeted after the media blew the whistle on the CEO's embezzlement scandal. If you keep coming in late, I'm going to have to blow the whistle and report you to the department head.
See also: blow, whistle

blow the whistle

 (on someone)
1. Fig. to report someone's wrongdoing to someone (such as the police) who can stop the wrongdoing. (Alludes to blowing a whistle to attract the police.) The citizens' group blew the whistle on the street gangs by calling the police. The gangs were getting very bad. It was definitely time to blow the whistle.
2. Fig. to report legal or regulatory wrongdoing of a company, especially one's employer, to authorities. She was fired for blowing the whistle on the bank's mismanagement of accounts, but she then sued the bank.
See also: blow, 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

blow the whistle on someone/something

COMMON If you blow the whistle on something dishonest or illegal, or on someone who is doing something dishonest or illegal, you tell the authorities about them because you feel strongly that what they are doing is wrong. Members of Queensland coastal communities are being asked to blow the whistle on activities that damage the marine environment. The week he died, the Foreign Minister was planning to blow the whistle on corrupt top-level officials. Note: You can refer to this activity as whistle-blowing or use whistle-blowing before nouns. It took internal whistle-blowing to uncover the corruption. As one whistle-blowing former drug salesperson said on the film: `I sometimes wondered if people were dying as a result of what I was doing.' Note: A whistle-blower is someone who does this. The department needs to protect whistle-blowers — the health professionals who care enough to want to make a change in the system. Note: In games such as football, the referee blows a whistle to stop play when a player has committed a foul.

blow the whistle on

bring an illicit activity to and end by informing on the person responsible. informal
This idiom comes from football, in which the referee blows a whistle to indicate that a player has broken the rules. Those who inform on others engaged in an illicit activity are now referred to as whistle-blowers .
See also: blow, on, whistle

blow the ˈwhistle (on somebody/something)

(informal) stop somebody doing something illegal or wrong by telling a person in authority about it: One of the police officers blew the whistle on his colleagues when he found out they were taking bribes. ▶ ˈwhistle-blower noun a person who informs people in authority or the public that the company they work for is doing something wrong or illegal: The company has denied a whistle-blower’s allegations of poor security.
This idiom probably comes from football, where a referee blows a whistle to stop the game when a player breaks the rules.
See also: blow, whistle

blow the whistle

Slang
To expose a wrongdoing in the hope of bringing it to a halt: an attorney who blew the whistle on governmental corruption.
See also: blow, whistle
References in periodicals archive ?
A former American banker who blew the whistle on a tax evasion scheme testified yesterday that his signature was forged in documents used by a firm linked to the Anglo Leasing scandal.
Later, when that approach proved fruitless, so Menendez blew the whistle, letting the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) know about the problems.
The program itself has picked up momentum recently, thanks in large part to an October 2013 award from the SEC that gave $14 million to an individual who blew the whistle on financial malfeasance.
discovered that his CEO was guilty of falsifying sales records to make the organization seem more successful than it was, so he blew the whistle.
4 Silkwood (1983) MERYL Streep stars as Oklahoma nuclear plant worker Karen Silkwood who blew the whistle on safety violations at the plant were she worked.
Thomas Drake, a former National Security Agency senior officer who blew the whistle on the NSA "Trailblazer" surveillance program, talks about NSA's commitment to national security profit-making after 9/11.
But Dr Kim Holt, the doctor who blew the whistle on unsafe practices at the hospital where baby Peter Connelly was seen two days before he died, said the announcement was an "admission of failure", that internal processes were not working properly.
A LAWYER who claimed he was sacked after he blew the whistle on a detective perverting the course of justice has had his claims thrown at a tribunal.
But, Vadera, who interviewed workers at the 1,500-employee cement manufacturing plant, said that for the half who blew the whistle, emotions trumped even the possible loss of income.
A CORRUPT National Grid engineer faces financial ruin after a former mistress blew the whistle on him.
Sian Caiach, pictured, a Plaid Cymru member of Carmarthenshire County Council, blew the whistle on colleagues who were using NHS facilities for private operations.
WHISTLE STOP PIGS: Geoff Tyerman blew the whistle on a prize pig collection in August 1986 after nearly 1,000 porkers had been collected by regulars over the years.
So the latter eventually blew the whistle, but not until after they'd raked in the readies.
White said they had 10 seconds - then promptly blew the whistle when James Hook kicked into touch.