Call-a-spade-a-spade definition

(idiomatic) To speak the truth; to say things as they really are.
verb
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Alternative Forms

Alternative Form of call-a-spade-a-spade - call a spade a spade and a shovel a shovel

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”).

    From Wiktionary