whistle in the dark

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whistle in the dark

To be sure of a particular outcome when all evidence points to the contrary. Based on the polls, he's whistling in the dark if he thinks he's going to unseat the incumbent.
See also: dark, whistle
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

whistle in the dark

Fig. to guess aimlessly; to speculate as to a fact. Am I close, or am I just whistling in the dark? She was whistling in the dark. She has no idea of what's going on.
See also: dark, whistle
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

whistle in the dark

Summon up courage in a frightening situation, make a show of bravery. For example, They knew they were lost and were just whistling in the dark. This expression alludes to a literal attempt to keep up one's courage. [First half of 1900s]
See also: dark, whistle
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.

whistle in the dark

pretend to be confident or unafraid.
1996 Bernard Connolly The Rotten Heart of Europe Swedish authorities had, whistling in the dark, spoken of ERM ‘association’—but nothing had come of it.
See also: dark, whistle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

whistle in the ˈdark

try not to show that you are afraid, are in danger, etc: He seems confident we’ll get the money we need, but I think he’s just whistling in the dark.
See also: dark, whistle
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

whistle in the dark

in. to guess aimlessly; to speculate as to a fact. She was whistling in the dark. She has no idea of what’s going on.
See also: dark, whistle
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

whistle in the dark

To attempt to keep one's courage up.
See also: dark, whistle
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

whistle in the dark, to

To try to call up one’s courage or hopefulness in a difficult or frightening situation. The literal idea is a very old one, attested to by John Dryden in Amphitryon (1690): “I went darkling, and whistling to keep myself from being afraid.” An unknown parodist of Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack (Poor Richard, Jr., 1906) managed to combine two clichés: “Whistling to keep the courage up is all right, but the whistle should not be wet.”
See also: to, whistle
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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