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

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 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

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 ?
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.
Knowing the implications can bring their moral identity and emotions to the forefront, making them more likely to blow the whistle," Aguilera said.
Feelings of anger about organizational wrongdoing will mediate the relationship between perceptions of intention about organizational wrongdoing and decisions to blow the whistle.
Auditors are likely to be more objective than IS managers or project team members and more willing to blow the whistle on troubled projects.
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.
I recently caught my boss with his hands in the till but am afraid I will lose my job if I blow the whistle.
If the justices ultimately decide the answer is no, some experts warn that government employees who want to blow the whistle on corruption and malfeasance will have no weapon against retaliation.
Previously, only auditors and actuaries were bound by a legal duty to blow the whistle.
The main difficulty for the UK now is the absence of an independent agency that will encourage athletes to come forward and blow the whistle on their competitors and really fight for a drug-free sport from within.
People in Newcastle are being urged to blow the whistle on children as young as six who torch derelict houses for fun.
It is also surprising that a qualified accountant employed by the companies now under scrutiny did not blow the whistle much earlier.
The regulator has also issued guidance encouraging all FSAauthorised firms to establish procedures enabling workers with concerns to blow the whistle internally.
Charles Peters claims that Fortune Bethany McLean "was the first journalist to blow the whistle on Enron" ("Tilting at Windmills," March 2002).