feed (one) a line

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feed (one) a line

1. To tell an actor what to say. In this usage, the phrase is often used in the plural ("feed one (one's) lines"), and "line" refers to a line of dialogue in the script. I'm sorry, I can't remember a word of this scene—can someone please feed me my lines?
2. To speak deceptively to one. In this usage, "line" refers to a prepared response, perhaps one intended to be what the listener wants to hear. Don't feed me a line, tell me the truth—what's the real reason you missed my party?
See also: feed, line

feed someone a line

1. Also, feed someone lines. Cue an actor with his or her next line (or lines), or tell someone what to say, as in Some contestants become tongue-tied, so someone has to feed them a line, or Eric still has trouble learning a part; he needs someone to feed him his lines.
2. Also, hand someone a line. Lead someone on, deceive with glib or exaggerated talk. For example, He really fed them a line about his important new position, or Don't hand me a line-I know exactly how much you paid for it. [Early 1900s]
See also: feed, line, someone
References in periodicals archive ?
But the firm has hit back accusing the staar of extravagant spending - claiming he even pays a sound engineer to feed him lines so he doesn't have to memorise scripts.