to call someone's bluff

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - call someone's bluff

"to call someone's bluff"

to challenge someone to carry out a threat or prove the truth of a statement


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - call someone's bluff

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  I am in big trouble in these negotiations with our supplier.

Colleague 2:  What happened?

Colleague 1:  We reached an impasse and I told him that we would just have to give our business to another supplier.

Colleague 2:  But we don't have another supplier.

Colleague 1:  And there's the trouble. Our supplier called my bluff, told me to go with the other supplier and walked away from the negotiations.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - call someone's bluff

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  How much do you love me?

Husband:  I love you with all my heart. I would follow you to the ends of the earth.

Wife:  Well, I might just call your bluff on that. I have just been offered an exciting new position in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.

Husband:  That's awesome. When do we leave?

Wife:  Really? I wasn't sure you would come with me.

Husband:  I wasn't bluffing. I will follow you anywhere.

to call someone's bluff - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   644   click for frequency by country

to call someone's bluff - Gerund Form:

Calling your boss's bluff could find you without a job.

to call someone's bluff - Examples:

1)  ... as this would not hold any merit, and the market would immediately call their bluff with a direct challenge.

2)  ... will claim to have gotten an awesome deal offered elsewhere, I always call their bluff and say well if thats what they can offer you would be a fool not ...

3)  ... go up so they can maximise profit, government is too afraid to call their bluff to avoid the market going into freefall sparking widespread negative equity.

4)  ... would use it to threaten and blackmail. What should we do? Call their bluff! It is unlikely that they could put the expertise together to use such a ...

5)  ... funnily enough they hung up pretty quick, easiest thing is to call their bluff then report to local authorities.

6)  ... service else where for a cheaper price. Which if they can, call their bluff and suggest that they go for that option.

7)  ... to be unreasonable, but unless you are prepared to walk away and call his bluff ("Divorce is the only answer."), then you need to take ...

8)  ... leader made it clear he will block any serious treaty renegotiation. Call his bluff, go for a minority government.

9)  ... negotiating purposes. It would be a very foolish Irani who tried to call his bluff given the magnitude of the possible consequences, however unlikely.

10)  If the Swedes think he is bluffing, they should call his bluff. They could easily send over a team to London to interrogate him.

11)  Suppose I call your bluff and ask you to come to India with me?

12)  If it's an empty threat, he'll just call your bluff.

13)  One day, people will call your bluff and that day will be the end of business.

14)  Most people will be surprised and at times even call your bluff at first. That is because they do not expect this from a brand.

15)  So, I call your bluff. Explain how a slippery slope argument is not a logical fallacy.

16)  If Ghana, which has a population of about 24 million, can call our bluff that means our house is not in order.

17)  ... say, wanting to go to Africa or somewhere but Michael would call my bluff, telling me that he could connect me with some missionaries who were leaving that ...

18)  Had a few call my bluff, and the cops came and wound up giving them a ticket. 

19)  So someone decided to call my bluff and call the waiter over and show him the bottle.

20)  ... from anyone or from me, who will call my bluff and tell me straight to my face if I try to emotionally manipulate him.