tell it like it is

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tell it like it is

To speak bluntly, directly, and truthfully, even if what is being said is undesirable to the listener. I always respect employees who are willing to tell it like it is, rather than trying to sugarcoat everything to save a little face. I tell it like it is, and that rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
See also: like, tell
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Tell it like it is.

Inf. Speak frankly.; Tell the truth no matter who is criticized or how much it hurts. Come on man, tell it like it is! Well, I've got to tell it like it is.
See also: like, tell
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

tell it like it is

Speak the truth, no matter how unpleasant. For example, We're obligated to tell it like it is to the stockholders. [Slang; second half of 1900s]
See also: like, tell
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

tell it like it is

describe the true facts of a situation no matter how unpleasant they may be. informal
See also: like, tell
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

tell it how/like it ˈis

(informal) tell somebody something honestly and directly: All right, I’ll tell it like it is. I don’t love you Rachel, and I never have.
See also: how, like, tell
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

Tell it like it is!

and TILII
exclam. & comp. abb. a phrase encouraging someone to continue to make whatever points were being made; Speak frankly.; Tell the truth no matter how much it hurts. Right on, Fred! TILII! Come on man, tell it like it is!
See also: like, tell
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

tell it like it is, to

To tell the truth even though it is unpleasant. Linguistics professor Margaret G. Lee lists this among the verbal expressions borrowed from African-American English (American Speech, winter 1999). It undoubtedly gained currency as the title of a number-one rhythm and blues hit of 1967, and has become a standard and somewhat overused colloquialism. Jane Smiley played on it in Horse Heaven (2000): “He wasn’t a funny guy like Baffert, but they always said he ‘is peppery and straightforward,’ ‘pulls no punches,’ ‘tells it like it is.’” See also pull no punches; unvarnished truth.
See also: like, tell, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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