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.
if (the) ˌtruth be ˈknown/ˈtoldused 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.
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.