tell (one) to (one's) face

(redirected from tell you to your 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 ?
"You shall not get off in that way," rejoined Stryver, shouldering the rejoinder at him; "no, Sydney, it's my duty to tell you--and I tell you to your face to do you good--that you are a devilish ill-conditioned fellow in that sort of society.
I tell you to your face I have filled the false position more creditably than you could have filled the true one, and I mean to keep it.
Doolittle,” he said, striking the breech of his rifle violently on the ground; “ what there is in the wigwam of a poor man like me, that one like you can crave, I don’t know; but this I tell you to your face, that you never shall put foot under the roof of my cabin with my consent, and that, if you harbor round the spot as you have done lately, you may meet with treatment that you will little relish.”
It's not only Johan – the gaffer and Garry Parker also tell you to your face."