blow the whistle (on) (someone or something)(redirected from blew the whistle on)
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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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
blow the whistle onbring 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 .
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
blow the whistleSlang
To expose a wrongdoing in the hope of bringing it to a halt: an attorney who blew the whistle on governmental corruption.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
blow the whistle (on) (someone), to
To give away, to betray. This expression originally (late nineteenth century) meant ending something suddenly, as though by the blast of a whistle, but by the 1930s it had its present meaning. “Now that the whistle had been blown on his speech,” wrote P. G. Wodehouse in 1934 (Right Ho, Jeeves).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer