open and aboveboard

open and aboveboard

Fully visible to public scrutiny; completely and openly honest or legitimate. Though some regulators have expressed concern over the merger of the two multinationals, everything about the deal has been open and aboveboard.
See also: aboveboard, and, open
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

open and aboveboard

Also, honest and aboveboard. Candid and fair, without deceit or trickery, as in I'll join you, but only if everything remains open and aboveboard. Both versions of this expression are redundancies, since they use open and aboveboard in the sense of "honest." The latter word, dating from the early 1600s, comes from gambling and alludes to the fact that card players who do not keep their hands on the table (board) may be suspected of changing their cards under the table.
See also: aboveboard, and, open
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.

open and aboveboard

Honest and fair. This term comes from the rule that players, when dealing cards, must keep their hands above the board (i.e., table). Presumably when they put their hands under the table they could be changing their own cards. The expression appeared in print as early as 1608, in Joseph Hall’s Virtues and Vices: “All his dealings are square, and aboue the board.” It has been so used ever since.
See also: aboveboard, and, open
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"Then why not ride open and aboveboard with me in the hills?" he urged.
Telling clients about a commission arrangement before they, their attorney or--even worse--a competing insurance agent discovers it, keeps the relationship open and aboveboard. Disclosure is not a negative thing.