Idiom of the Day
under the table
Today: Thu, 20 Feb 2020
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.
Note: 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.
Variety: This idiom is typically used in American English but may be used in other varieties of English too.
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