to call a spade a spade

Idiom Definition

"to call a spade a spade"

to speak the brutal honest truth even though the recipient may find the truth uncomfortable

Idiom Definition - to call a spade a spade


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - to call a spade a spade

Two owners of a business are talking ...

Owner 1:  Our business seems to be struggling.

Owner 2:  Struggling?  That's putting it mildly.  I don't think we're going to be able to pay the employees this month.

Owner 1:  Maybe we can do something.

Owner 2:  Our creditors are calling every day.  We are more than ninety days behind on the bills.

Owner 1:  What are you really saying?

Owner 2:  Let's call a spade a spade.  Our business is failing and it's time to declare bankruptcy.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - to call a spade a spade

A professor and student are talking about the student's performance ...

Professor:  Your grades have not been all that good this term.  In fact, at this point you are failing.

Student:  I know, professor.  I've been finding the work very difficult to understand.

Professor: Well, we are more than three-quarters of the way through the term.  I wonder if it is possible for you to recover.  Even with a perfect grade on the final exam, things seem doubtful.

Student:  Why don't you call a spade a spade.  Do you think I will fail this course?

Professor:  Yes, sorry, you are going to fail this course.

to call a spade a spade - Usage:


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to call a spade a spade - Gerund Form:

Calling a spade a spade is sometimes a rather uncomfortable act.

to call a spade a spade - Examples:

1)  You call a spade a spade when the unvarnished truth is necessary.

2)  It is time that we call a spade a spade and rename the Democratic party to the Socialist party.

3)  Just call a spade a spade if you want to be understood.

4)  It may also help to call a spade a spade and realize that you are dealing with an emotional abuser. 

5)  I loved this band, but I can still call a spade a spade. I never really liked the sound of the band after Vince took over.

6)  Lets at least call a spade a spade, that's what I have liked about the android environment.

7)  I wanted him to call a spade a spade in no uncertain terms.

8)  I mean, let's call a spade a spade, this is a monumentally dumb song.

9)  The most natural thing for a writer to do is to call a spade a spade.

10) "Political Correctness" is the last refuge of a society too weak to call a spade a spade and deal intelligently with the reality that some people NEED to be offended .

11)  Time to call a spade a spade. Time to investigate the ties and to prosecute those involved.

12)  Perhaps it's time to call a spade a spade instead of playing the gutless appeasement game.

13)  Where are the leaders, regardless of party, that will stand-up, call a spade a spade, and move toward sensible solutions to real problems.

14)  Good post. However, I call a spade a spade. If you hate women, you are a misogynist.

15)  It's time to call a spade a spade and realize that in California, everything is illegal and bankrupt.

16)  In the interest of honesty, and disclosure, let's call a spade a spade.

17)  So let's call a spade a spade. These guys hate government; perhaps they hate civilization.

18)  The rock-o-rama that happens at the church is... let's call a spade a spade... a Halloween party.

19)  Is it OK to be harsh, call a spade a spade as some say? Or is it better to be kind?

20)  I think they mean that I call a spade a spade regardless of who I am talking to.