blow the whistle

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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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 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.
See also: blow, whistle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

blow the whistle

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
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).
See also: blow, to, whistle
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Therefore, observers of organizational wrongdoing may not choose to blow the whistle because of a fear of retaliation, and they may choose to exit out instead of to voice out from their organizations.
Feelings of anger about organizational wrongdoing will mediate the relationship between perceptions of intention about organizational wrongdoing and decisions to blow the whistle.
According to Hans De Witte, job insecurity is "associated with lower well-being" on the GHQ-12 measure and is "one of the most distressful aspects of the work situation." (22) It may be that the more secure an employee perceives his or her job, the lower the level of distress and therefore the more likely the employee will be to blow the whistle on wrongdoing.
Soon, the trainer need only blow the whistle to get the animal's cooperation for a dental exam.
Should a client somehow fail to discover an undisclosed commission arrangement, his or her attorney or even a competing insurance agent will almost certainly blow the whistle. Once revealed, a hidden commission arrangement could destroy the CPA's credibility with a client.
In August, a Tampa court awarded Akre $425,000 for being terminated in her attempt to blow the whistle. (Fox is appealing.) In April, the Goldman Environmental Foundation awarded them both the Goldman Environmental Prize.
Publicized fiascoes, including Confirm, raise important questions about the communication of bad news up the hierarchy, or "blowing the whistle." Most people find it difficult to blow the whistle, even when troubled IS projects clearly need to be turned around.
He is going to blow the whistle on speculation that he was about to announce an extension to midnight for all pubs this summer.
CIA director Allen Dulles asked the Times to keep its Latin American correspondent, Sydney Gruson, out of the way so he could not blow the whistle.
I could referee--it would give me a chance to blow the whistle on those neighborhood toughs.
Stewart and Feder have proposed an alternative job description: They want to set up an office that would help scientists who blow the whistle on fraud or misconduct.
Researchers surveyed 200 office workers to gauge their attitudes towards software piracy and whistleblowing, revealing that of those that would not blow the whistle, 36% stated that they wouldn't report it in order to protect their jobs, 16% to protect their reputations, and a further 30% simply didn't care.
That's why staff who blow the whistle are crucial in helping to raise standards, and we're determined to support them.
I recently caught my boss with his hands in the till but am afraid I will lose my job if I blow the whistle. - Anonymous by email.
But they are only going to be caught if those they try to con blow the whistle on them.