pull no punches


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pull no punches

To act without restraint or limitations; to not soften one's words or actions. Everyone around here is so afraid to be honest with me because I'm the boss, but I need you to pull no punches—what exactly do you think is wrong with the company?
See also: no, pull, punch

pull no punches

Behave unrestrainedly, hold nothing back, as in The doctor pulled no punches but told us the whole truth. This expression comes from boxing, where to pull one's punches means "to hit less hard than one can." This idiom, too, has been applied more generally, as in They decided to pull their punches during these delicate negotiations. [First half of 1900s]
See also: no, pull, punch

pull no punches, to

To be perfectly blunt; to act without restraint. The term comes from boxing, where to pull a punch means to deliver a blow that is intentionally ineffective, that is, to hold back deliberately. In the 1930s it was being transferred to other activities, as in Harold L. Ickes’s Secret Diary (1937): “He talked about the judiciary and he didn’t pull his punches at any time.”
See also: no, pull