have the goods on someone
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have the goods on (someone)
To have incriminating evidence or proof against someone. We know he's guilty, but we can't arrest him until we have the goods on him.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have the goods on someoneAMERICAN, INFORMAL
If you have the goods on someone, you know secret facts about them which could harm them if you told these facts to other people. How can the cops confront these people if they don't have the goods on them? Note: You can also say that you get the goods on someone, meaning that you obtain information of this kind. They hired a special investigator to get the goods on you. Note: `The goods' here refers to stolen property, which can be used as evidence against the person who is in possession of it.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012