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

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