speak out of both sides of your mouth

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speak out of both sides of (one's) mouth

To try to maintain contradictory positions or beliefs in an attempt to please the most people. We all know that you've been speaking out of both sides of your mouth about the merger, so please, just tell us the truth. Will there be layoffs or not? I don't trust that candidate—he still hasn't committed to a clear course of action and is always speaking out of both sides of his mouth.
See also: both, mouth, of, out, side, speak

speak out of both sides of your mouth

or

talk out of both sides of your mouth

AMERICAN
If someone speaks or talks out of both sides of their mouth, they give different advice or opinions on the same subject in different situations. Lenny would speak out of both sides of his mouth. He would say to one person that our company was failing and the next day he'd talk about our long-term future. Note: This expressions is used to show disapproval.
See also: both, mouth, of, out, side, speak
References in periodicals archive ?
Some have argued that Weld changed his position in order to be more competitive in New York's Republican gubernatorial primary, but Matt Foreman, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, calls that strategy "just plain dumb." "If politicians have learned anything from the 2004 presidential race, it's that you cannot talk out of both sides of your mouth about marriage," he says, making reference to Democrat John Kerry's purported reputation as a flip-flopper.
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