sell a bill of goods


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sell (one) a bill of goods

To attempt to convince one of a lie, especially in order to take unfair advantage of them; to swindle or con one. He said he would sell my bike and bring me back the profits, but he sold me a bill of goods—I never heard from him again! So you told me you would study harder if I got you that new video game, but your grades got even worse. Looks like you sold me a bill of goods!
See also: bill, good, of, sell

sell someone a bill of goods

Fig. to get someone to believe something that isn't true; to deceive someone. Don't pay any attention to what John says. He's just trying to sell you a bill of goods. I'm not selling you a bill of goods. What I say is true.
See also: bill, good, of, sell

sell a bill of goods

Deceive, swindle, take unfair advantage of, as in He was just selling you a bill of goods when he said he worked as a secret agent, or Watch out if anyone says he wants to trade bikes with you; he's apt to be selling you a bill of goods . The bill of goods here means "a dishonest offer." [c. 1920]
See also: bill, good, of, sell

sell a bill of goods

Informal
To take unfair advantage of.
See also: bill, good, of, sell

sell someone a bill of goods, to

To cheat or defraud someone. A “bill of goods,” in commercial language, is a quantity or consignment of merchandise. Selling it here means persuading someone to accept something undesirable. The term dates from the early twentieth century. The playwright Eugene O’Neill used it in Marco Millions (1924), “Selling a big bill of goods hereabouts, I’ll wager, you old rascals?” Or, in the Toronto Globe and Mail (Feb. 17, 1968), “There was no production bonus . . . we were sold a bill of goods.”
See also: bill, of, sell, someone