Lie through your teeth

To tell someone something that you know is completely false:

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

Cambridge Dictionary

Liegen dat je zwart ziet

tell a blatant untruth

Stop lying through your teeth, I know you were there

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This idiom means to tell somebody something that you know to be completely false or untrue. To ‘lie through your teeth’ is to lie deliberately, without shame. The force of this expression means that to accuse someone of doing so can lead to conflict. That’s why you would generally only say it to, or about, a person you are absolutely certain is lying. As the video shows, this expression is common in both a social and professional context and is similar to the phrases ‘tell a pack of lies,’ ‘lie to one’s face‘ and ‘a barefaced lie‘.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. Adam told me he wasn’t at the party last night, but I know he’s lying through his teeth because there are pictures of him there.
  2. I had to lie through my teeth to the police so they wouldn’t give me a fine. I’m surprised I got away with it.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. I lied through my teeth in the interview and said that I have a lot more experience than I really do, so I could get the job.
  2. Politicians in this country can not be trusted. They are well known for lying through their teeth and making promises they don’t keep.

The expression “Lie through your teeth” typically refers to the act of deliberately and blatantly lying, often with confidence or conviction. The key points of this expression include:

  1. Dishonesty: The expression implies that the person is intentionally being untruthful, knowingly deceiving others.

  2. Blatancy: The use of the word “through” suggests that the lie is so blatant and obvious that it passes through or penetrates the teeth, indicating a lack of subtlety or attempt to hide the deception.

  3. Confidence: The expression often conveys that the person lying is doing so with confidence or assurance, perhaps maintaining a calm or composed demeanor while knowingly deceiving others.

  4. Oral communication: The use of the word “teeth” highlights that the lie is spoken, indicating that it is a verbal falsehood rather than a written or non-verbal deception.

  5. Consequence: The expression may also imply that there may be negative consequences or repercussions for the person who is lying, as dishonesty can lead to loss of trust, damaged relationships, or other negative outcomes.

Overall, “Lie through your teeth” is a vivid and idiomatically expressive way to convey the act of intentional, obvious, and confident dishonesty through verbal communication.

 ‘A barefaced lie’: a shameless falsehood told without trying to hide it

he/she told a barefaced lie

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 ‘A barefaced lie’ is a lie that is told without any attempt at concealment. The implication is that the person who tells ‘a barefaced lie’ is aware that others might know they are lying or will probably find out. This term usually has a negative connotation and is used in social contexts more than professional ones. Similar in meaning to ‘lie to your face’.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. The mother knew her son’s explanation for the broken window was a barefaced lie.
  2. “That’s a barefaced lie,” the lawyer told the court after the defendant’s testimony.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. The HR Manager was angry when the accusation was made against her. The employee was telling barefaced lies about what she had said.

The phrase “a barefaced lie” refers to a blatant or obvious falsehood, where someone is deliberately and shamelessly lying without any attempt to conceal it. The key points of “a barefaced lie” are:

  1. Intentional falsehood: The lie is intentional, meaning the person who is making the statement knows that it is not true and is deliberately misleading others.

  2. Lack of concealment: The lie is “barefaced,” which means it is blatant and obvious, without any attempt to hide or cover it up. The person telling the lie may not provide any evidence or attempt to support their false statement.

  3. Shamelessness: The person telling the barefaced lie does so without any sense of shame or guilt. They may be brazen or audacious in their dishonesty, showing no remorse for their deceitful behavior.

  4. Lack of credibility: A barefaced lie is typically easy to recognize as false, and it may lack credibility or believability. The person telling the lie may not provide any convincing or plausible explanation for their false statement.

  5. Ethical concerns: Telling a barefaced lie is generally considered unethical, as it involves intentionally deceiving others and betraying trust. It can have negative consequences for relationships, credibility, and trustworthiness.

  6. Context-dependent: Whether a statement is considered a barefaced lie or not may depend on the context in which it is made. In some situations, exaggeration, embellishment, or hyperbole may be considered acceptable, while in others, even a slight deviation from the truth may be seen as a barefaced lie.

In summary, “a barefaced lie” refers to a deliberate and obvious falsehood, lacking in concealment or credibility, and often accompanied by a lack of shame or remorse. It is generally considered unethical and can have negative consequences in various contexts.

Only a little white lie: an untruth presumed to be harmless

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A white lie‘ is usually a lie intended to protect someone’s feelings. White lies are generally understood to be harmless or have no serious repercussions. This is a term used in social and professional contexts. Similar expressions include ‘tell a fib’, or ‘to be fibbing’.

Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. It was only a little white lie, he’s forgotten all about it already.
  2. Instead of the truth, I told her a little white lie that her gift was still in the delivery process.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Basic)

  1. Don’t worry about the advertising campaign. It’s not illegal. It’s just a little white lie to attract customers.
  2. Sometimes you have to tell little white lies to your employees to increase their confidence.

The term “white lie” generally refers to a harmless or minor lie that is intended to spare someone’s feelings, avoid conflict, or protect someone’s dignity. The key points or characteristics of a white lie are:

  1. Intention: A white lie is usually told with good intentions, such as to prevent hurting someone’s feelings or to avoid unnecessary conflict.

  2. Harmlessness: A white lie is typically considered harmless, as it does not cause significant harm or have serious consequences.

  3. Social conventions: White lies are often considered socially acceptable in certain situations where being completely truthful may be considered impolite or inappropriate. For example, saying “You look great!” when someone asks about their outfit, even if you don’t truly believe it, can be considered a white lie.

  4. Proportionality: White lies are usually small in scale and are not intended to deceive or mislead in a major way. They are often used in minor situations and do not involve significant fabrications or falsehoods.

  5. Relationship preservation: White lies are sometimes used to maintain harmony in relationships, by avoiding unnecessary conflicts or confrontations. For example, saying “I’m fine” when you’re feeling down, to avoid burdening someone with your problems, can be considered a white lie.

  6. Context-dependent: Whether a statement qualifies as a white lie can depend on cultural norms, individual values, and the specific situation. What may be considered a white lie in one culture or situation may not be viewed the same way in another.

It’s important to note that while white lies are generally seen as harmless, they can still involve deception and may not always be the best approach to communication. It’s always important to consider the potential consequences and impact of any form of dishonesty, even if it’s considered a “white lie.” Honesty and transparency in communication are generally valued in most relationships and situations.

A “white lie” is a minor or harmless lie that is told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings or to avoid conflict. The key points of a white lie include:

  1. It is a minor lie: A white lie is not a big or serious lie. It is a small lie that is often told in order to avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

  2. It is harmless: A white lie is not intended to cause harm to anyone. It is often told in order to prevent a situation from becoming more difficult or complicated.

  3. It is told with good intentions: The purpose of a white lie is to prevent someone from being hurt or upset. It is not intended to deceive or manipulate anyone.

  4. It is a social norm: White lies are often considered to be a socially acceptable way to navigate certain situations. They are a way of being polite and considerate without causing unnecessary conflict.

  5. It is contextual: The acceptability of a white lie may depend on the situation, culture and the people involved. What might be considered a white lie in one situation, may not be in another.

It is important to note that while white lies may be a common social practice, they can still have consequences and it is always important to consider the impact of our words and actions on others.

A discrepancy: a difference between two or more things that should be the same

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A discrepancy can refer to incompatibility or a lack of similarity between two facts or two things that should be the same.


Check Icon Social Examples (Basic)

  1. There is a discrepancy between your account of what happened and Brian’s, so one of you is lying.
  2. I’d like to discuss my bill with you. there are a couple of discrepancies I’d like to clarify.

Check Icon Social Examples (Advance)

  1. There were a number of discrepancies in the statement the suspect gave to the police which only served to increase the suspicion of guilt around him.
  2. It’s important to document any breaches of procedure straight away in case there are discrepancies in accounts later on.

Check Icon Professional Examples (Advance)

  1. At the AGM, shareholders questioned the CEO on the discrepancy between the bonus he reported to have received, and the actual amount listed in the company accounts.


Lying to your face

Lying to yourself

Lying to the naked eye

Men Think Blind Woman is Flirting With Them

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16 jan. 2019

A woman just can’t eat ice cream without men thinking that she is flirting.