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tell it like it is
To speak bluntly, directly, and truthfully, even if what is being said is undesirable to the listener. I always respect employees who are willing to tell it like it is, rather than trying to sugarcoat everything to save a little face. I tell it like it is, and that rubs a lot of people the wrong way.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Tell it like it is.
Inf. Speak frankly.; Tell the truth no matter who is criticized or how much it hurts. Come on man, tell it like it is! Well, I've got to tell it like it is.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
tell it like it is
Speak the truth, no matter how unpleasant. For example, We're obligated to tell it like it is to the stockholders. [Slang; second half of 1900s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
tell it like it isdescribe the true facts of a situation no matter how unpleasant they may be. informal
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
tell it like it is, to
To tell the truth even though it is unpleasant. Linguistics professor Margaret G. Lee lists this among the verbal expressions borrowed from African-American English (American Speech, winter 1999). It undoubtedly gained currency as the title of a number-one rhythm and blues hit of 1967, and has become a standard and somewhat overused colloquialism. Jane Smiley played on it in Horse Heaven (2000): “He wasn’t a funny guy like Baffert, but they always said he ‘is peppery and straightforward,’ ‘pulls no punches,’ ‘tells it like it is.’” See also pull no punches; unvarnished truth.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer