he, it, etc. is not as black as he, it, etc. is painted
be (not) as black as (someone or something) is painted
To be as bad or unpleasant as someone or something is rumored to be. This phrase is often used in the negative to convey the opposite. That class is as black as it is painted—I've never had so much homework in my life! Mr. Stewart may yell a lot, but he's not as black as he is painted—he's actually helped me carry my groceries many times.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
he, it, etc. is not as black as he, it, etc. is ˈpaintedhe, it, etc. is not as bad as people say: The boss is not as black as she’s painted; in fact, I find her quite helpful and friendly.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017