under the table
This page is about the idiom under the table
If something is done under the table, it's done secretly, usually because it's illegal or unethical.
- If I do any overtime, can you pay me under the table so I won't have pay tax on it.
- If you make under-the-table payments to customs officials, you can get goods through the port without having them inspected.
If this idiom is used to qualify a noun or a noun phrase, hyphens must be used, as in "under-the-table payments".
Origin: Probably related to the fact that if a package or an envelope is passed under a table, other people cannot easily see what's going on.
This idiom is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
See Idiom of the Day today
Contributor: Matt Errey