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call a spade a spade

Meaning: If you call a spade a spade, you tell the truth in a straightforward and direct way, even if the truth is not pleasant.

For example:

  • I should warn you that Sandra calls a spade a spade, so if she thinks you say something wrong or make a mistake, she'll say so.

  • Sometimes it's good to call a spade a spade, but sometimes it's better to be more diplomatic in what you say.

Quick Quiz:

Harvey was just calling a spade a spade when he said
  1. he likes to work in the garden
  2. you should lose some weight
  3. you should cheat when playing cards

Discuss: call a spade a spade

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