not as black as you are painted
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not as black as (one) is painted
Not as evil, malicious, or malignant as one is described or believed to be. Everyone is afraid of the old hermit who lives on the edge of town, but after having a few conversations with him, he's not nearly as black as he's painted. The biker gang plays up its tough demeanor and hellish reputation, but they're really just a bunch of regular guys and not as black as they're painted.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
not as black as you are paintedINFORMAL
If someone is not as black as they are painted, they are not as bad as people generally consider them to be. I'm really not as black as I'm painted,' he said pointedly.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
not as black as you are paintednot as bad as you are said to be. informal
The proverb the devil is not as black as he is painted , first recorded in English in the mid 16th century, was used as a warning not to base your fears of something on exaggerated reports.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017