Call-a-spade-a-spade definitions

(idiomatic) To speak the truth; to say things as they really are.
verb
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Origin of call-a-spade-a-spade

A mistaken translation of Ancient Greek τὰ σῦκα σῦκα, τὴν σκάφην δὲ σκάφην ὀνομάσων ('calling figs figs, and a trough a trough'). The word σκάφη (skaphe, “trough”) was mistranslated by the medieval scholar Desiderius Erasmus as σκαφείον (skapheion, “digging tool”).