1/10/13

Idiom of the week: to tell sb a few home truths

To tell sb a few home truths is to tell sb something which is true, but not pleasant to the person you say it to: I told him a few home truths - le dije cuatro verdades/las verdades del barquero.
The idiom comes from the expression to bring sth home to sb = to make sb realize or understand sth.
The Spanish idiom comes from the story of a boatman who agreed to take a student across the river free if he told him three unquestionable truths, but when they reached the other side, the student told him as the third truth: If you cross everybody free as you crossed me today, what are you doing here? The boatman replied: That's very true indeed and it will be a lesson to me.

Recommended books: Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, revised by Adrian Room, Cassell, and
 El Por Qué de los Dichos, by José María Iribarren, Ariel..

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