Idioms – Deception

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Hey guys!

Everybody knows the importance of learning some idioms and colloquial expressions, especially when you live in a foreign country. We always learn a lot of them by communicating with native speakers or watching movies and series. In this section, you learn some idioms and expressions to communicate in a more natural way when speaking English in a foreign country.

Here are a few Idioms related to the topic Deception.

* blow the whistle on someone/something – to tell someone in authority about something harmful or illegal that someone is doing. (botar a boca no mundo)

If two of the firm’s employees hadn’t blown the whistle, the scandal would never have become known.

* cover your tracks – to hide or destroy the things that show where you have been or what you have been doing. (cobrir seu rastro )

Roberts covered his tracks by throwing the knife in the river.

* be economical with the truth – to avoid stating the true facts about a situation, or lying about it (ser econômico com a verdade)

When they insisted that no changes had been made to the original plan, his team was being economical with the truth.

* give the game away – to spoil a surprise or a joke by telling someone something that should have been kept secret: (estragar a surpresa)

It’s a secret, so don’t give the game away, will you?

* go behind someone’s back – to do something secretly, without your permission. (pelas costas)

What do they say about me behind my back?

 * go through the motions– to do something without thinking it is very important or having much interest in it. (fazer algo sem interesse, sem dar importância)

He says he’s been investigating my complaint, but I feel he’s just going through the motions.

* a hidden agenda – a secret reason for doing something. (um plano secreto)

The prime minister denied that the new visa requirements were part of a hidden agenda to reduce immigration.

* keep something under your hat – whe you don’t tell anyone about it.  (manter em segredo)

Very few people know, so keep it under your hat.

* lead someone up the garden path – to deceive someone. (enganar alguém)

He led me up the garden path. He said their relationsip was over but now I know it wasn’t.

* lie through your teeth – to tell someone something that you know is completely false. (mentir na cara dura)

He asked me how old I was and, lying through my teeth, I said “29”.

* on the fiddle – to act dishonestly in order to get something for yourself, or to change something dishonestly, especially to your advantage. (por meio de trapaça)

He didn’t have a high paying job but was driving a very expensive sports car, so his boss realized he was on the fiddle.

* pull someone’s leg – to tell someone something that is not true as a way of joking with the person. (pregar uma peça)

I know he’s lied to you before, but I really think he’s on the level this time.

* sweep something under the carpet – to hide a problem or try to keep it secret instead of dealing with it. (varrer para debaixo do carpete)

The committee is being accused of sweeping financial problems under the carpet to avoid embarrassment.

* a white lie – a lie that is told in order to be polite or to stop someone from being upset by the truth. (uma mentirinha, uma mentira branca)

His baby was ugly, but I told a little white lie and said it was cute.

I hope you learned some new idioms today, see you next time!

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