to somebody's face

to (one's) face

To one directly, often quite literally by speaking face to face, as opposed to indirect methods. Hey, if you've got a problem with me, tell me to my face instead of complaining about me to everyone else at work.
See also: face, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

to somebody’s ˈface

(say something) openly, when speaking to somebody: Would you really call her a liar to her face?I think he’s guilty but I’d never dare say it to his face. OPPOSITE: behind somebody’s back
See also: face, to
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
"Pick something that you would give to somebody's face or that you would want to receive with integrity," Schuit said.
Hurling personal insults - and that too to somebody's face as they try to calm their crying child - is stooping to the lowest point of humanity.
"I do think people trolling on Facebook or Twitter, if you wouldn't say it to somebody's face why would you say it on social media, it doesn't reflect well on you either.
There's a road rage phenomenon to social media, where people all of a sudden feel comfortable to say horrible things that you would never say to somebody's face in real life.
The food will just bring some variety and I hope it will bring a smile to somebody's face."
Note the following alternative, formal lexicalisations of the discussed sense 'to be bold': to be bare-FACEd, to have/to bear the FACE to do something, to push/show one's FACE, to travel upon one's FACE, to run one's FACE, to tell something to somebody's FACE.
STUNNING news last week, as it emerged that no journalist on Fleet Street has ever said one thing to somebody's face and another behind somebody's back.
"If I can bring a smile to somebody's face, let's do it."