tell (one) to (one's) face

(redirected from tell him to his 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
References in classic literature ?
This would I tell him to his face, were he not so great a craven.
I can't tell him to his face that he is the most contemptible of living creatures, after that!"
So when Southampton got rid of Nigel Adkins (above), the least they could have done was tell him to his face.
"You'd think she'd have the decency to tell him to his face rather than humiliate him on a busy road."
His back benchers should tell him to his face his time is up.
She added: "After knowing Louis for over 20 years, Simon should have had the guts to tell him to his face that he was going to get fired.