sell someone a bill of goods
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!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
sell someone a bill of goodsdeceive or swindle someone, usually by persuading them to accept something untrue or undesirable.
A bill of goods is a consignment of merchandise.
1968 Globe & Mail (Toronto) There was no production bonus…We were sold a bill of goods.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer