paper over the cracks

paper over the cracks

To conceal or attempt to conceal a problem so that a situation seems better than it really is. Although they tried to paper over the cracks while we were visiting, you could just feel the tension between them.
See also: crack, over, paper
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

paper over the cracks (in something)

Fig. to try to hide faults or difficulties, often in a hasty or not very successful way. (Based on paper over something {2}.) The politician tried to paper over the cracks in his party's economic policy. Tom tried to paper over the cracks in his relationship with the boss, but it was not possible. She didn't explain it. She just papered over the cracks.
See also: crack, over, paper
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

paper over the cracks

mainly BRITISH
COMMON If someone papers over the cracks, they try to hide the fact that there are major problems with something rather than admit the truth and deal with it. Robertson accused the hospital management of trying to paper over the cracks. Couples sometimes try to paper over the cracks even when their relationship is in terrible trouble.
See also: crack, over, paper
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

paper over the cracks

disguise problems or divisions rather than trying to solve them.
The phrase is a translation of a German expression used by the statesman Otto von Bismarck in a letter of 1865 , and early uses refer to this.
See also: crack, over, paper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌpaper over the ˈcracks

try to hide a problem or disagreement in a way that is temporary and not likely to be successful: These new prison reforms are just papering over the cracks. What we need is a fundamental change in the prison system.
This expression refers to putting wallpaper on a wall in order to hide the cracks in the plaster.
See also: crack, over, paper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

paper over (the cracks), to

To patch up; to repair in a makeshift way. The term alludes to paperhanging—that is, covering cracks in the walls with wallpaper. It allegedly was used by Otto von Bismarck in 1865 to describe the outcome of the Convention of Gastein, where, after Denmark’s defeat, it was agreed that Austria would administer the Danish province of Holstein and Prussia would govern Denmark itself. An English translation of 1910 quoted Bismarck as saying it “papered over the cracks.” The expression has been so used ever since.
See also: over, paper, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
This draw, which lost 126 overs to wet weather on the opening two days, will not paper over the cracks of a Glamorgan side who are still at the foot of Division Two.