tell (one) to (one's) face

tell (one) to (one's) face

To say something directly and unambiguously to one, especially when it is something critical, derogatory, inflammatory, or otherwise negative. A: "Tom's been telling people around the office that you've been slacking lately." B: "If that's the way he feels, why doesn't he come tell me to my face?" I know she spreads a lot of nasty stuff about me behind my back, but she's too cowardly to ever tell me to my face.
See also: face, tell