if truth be known/told

(if the) truth be known

I must admit; to be honest; in actuality. Truth be known, even though I majored in English literature, I've never read anything by Hemingway! I know I said I wanted to go out to the bars tonight, but if the truth be known, I'd rather just stay home and watch a movie.
See also: known, truth
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

if (the) ˌtruth be ˈknown/ˈtold

used to tell somebody the true facts about a situation, especially when these are not known by other people: None of the students really liked the new teacher. In fact, if the truth be told, everyone was rather afraid of him.
See also: if, known, told, truth
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

if truth be told

To be perfectly honest, to present all the facts of a case. James Patterson used it in his novel, Roses Are Red (2000): “I am a little scared, truth be told.” See also fact of the matter; truth to tell.
See also: if, told, truth
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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