Are you looking for some useful lie idioms?
You are in the right place.
Here are 31 lie idioms and phrases that will enhance your English and help you even more like a native English speaker.
31 Lie Idioms & Phrases (Meaning & Examples)
1. A Little White Lie
- Meaning: to say something that is not true in order not to hurt someone’s feelings.
- Use In A Sentence: I couldn’t tell her that I didn’t like the food so I told a little white lie and said that we did enjoy dinner.
2. To Get The Short End Of The Stick
- Meaning: To not get the outcome a person deserves, usually after they have been slighted in some way.
- Use In A Sentence: After the negotiations we over, Steve felt like he got the short end of the stick.
3. To Lie Through One’s Teeth
- Meaning: to boldly tell lies with no remorse.
- Use In A Sentence: If he says he wasn’t at the party, he is lying through his teeth because I saw him there talking to Jessica.
4. To Lie Your Water Into/Out Of Something
- Meaning: to get out of a difficult situation by telling a lie or several lies.
- Use In A Sentence: Fred lied his way out of a speeding ticket.
5. To Be Taken To The Cleaners By Someone
- Meaning: to swindle someone. To take someone’s money in a deceitful manner.
- Use In A Sentence: The con artists took the elderly couple to the cleaners by convincing them they needed a new roof.
6. A Tissue Of Lies
- Meaning: A story that is full of lies.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t believe his story. I think it is nothing but a tissue of lies.
7. To Be In Cahoots With Someone
- Meaning: to work closely with someone usually to do something deceitful or dishonest.
- Use In A Sentence: After the investigation, it was clear the mayor was in cahoots with the thieves.
8. A Lie Has No Legs
- Meaning: Something that is clearly a lie.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t worry about what they said you and Jessica. Remember a lie has no legs and the truth will come out.
9. To Pull The Wool Over Someone’s Eyes
- Meaning: to deceive someone in hopes of taking advantage of them.
- Use In A Sentence: Be careful with what Bobby tells you. I don’t think he wants to help you. I think he is just pulling the wool over your eyes so that you will give him what he wants.
10. Monkey Business
- Meaning: dishonest behavior.
- Use In A Sentence: I suspected some monkey business was going on when I wasn’t in the room.
11. To Take Someone For A Ride
- Meaning: to deliberately deceive someone; to cheat someone.
- Use In A Sentence: I think that salesman is taking you for a ride. There is no way, that car gets 50 miles to the gallon.
12. To Pull One’s Leg
- Meaning: To tell someone something that is not true, usually as a joke.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t know if I would believe Ryan. I think he was just pulling your leg when he said that you won the grand prize.
13. Smoke And Mirrors
- Meaning: words/actions that are meant to deliberately deceive or to confuse someone.
- Use In A Sentence: I think his report is nothing but smoke and mirrors.
14. To Stretch The Truth
- Meaning: to exaggerate the truth in order to mislead someone without technically lying.
- Use In A Sentence: He stretched the truth about his writing experience in order to get the job.
15. To Bend The Truth
- Meaning: To alter or omit certain details of a story in order to achieve one’s goal.
- Use In A Sentence: He bent the truth a little in order to make himself look better at the job interview.
16. To Throw Dust Into Someone’s Eyes
- Meaning: to mislead someone by diverting the person from the truth.
- Use In A Sentence: I think he is throwing dust in your eyes so that you don’t see the real problem.
17. To Pull A Fast One On Someone
- Meaning: to deceive someone before they know what is going on.
- Use In A Sentence: Gary tried to pull a fast one on the teacher when he told her that he was late because his mom was sick. However, his mom had already talked to the teacher that morning.
18. To Rip Someone Off
- Meaning: to cheat someone.
- Use In A Sentence: That salesperson ripped me off. This isn’t a real Rolex!
19. To Pull/Yank One’s Chain
- Meaning: to tell someone something that is not true, usually as a joke; to pull someone’s leg
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t know if I would believe Ryan. I think he was just pulling your chain when he said that you won the grand prize.
20. To Have Scales Fall From One’s Eyes
- Meaning: to be able to understand the truth after a long time of not believing it, not wanting to believe it, or realizing the truth after being deceived.
- Use In A Sentence: It was at that moment that scales fell from my eyes and I realized that he hasn’t been telling me the truth.
21. To Lie Like A Rug
- Meaning: used to describe someone who lies without any remorse.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t believe him for one second. He is lying like a rug about where he was last night.
22. To Lie Like One Breathes
- Meaning: used to describe someone who lies without thinking about it. Lying has become second nature to him.
- Use In A Sentence: I can’t watch the news anymore. That politician lies likes he breathes and it just makes me sick.
23. To Cry Wolf
- Meaning: to say you are in trouble when in reality you are not. Then when you are really in need of help people no longer will come to help you because they no longer believe you. To raise a false alarm.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t pay attention to him, he is just crying wolf. The last time he said he needed help, I went to help him, but he just wanted the attention.
24. Crooked As A Barrel Of Fish Hooks
- Meaning: a deceitful or dishonest person.
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t believe everything Mark says, he is as crooked as a barrel of fish hooks.
25. Sharp Practice
- Meaning: a deceitful sneaky practice.
- Use In A Sentence: After the sharp practice was discovered the government has been keeping a closer eye on the private sector.
26. To Not Trust Someone As Far As You Can Throw Them
- Meaning: to not trust someone usually because they have a reputation of being dishonest or deceitful
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t want to do business with Gary. I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him.
27. To Take Something With A Pinch/Grain Of Salt
- Meaning: to keep in mind that what is being said may not be completely true because the source is not a reliable source. To be skeptical of what is being said.
- Use In A Sentence: Remember to take why David says with a grain of salt. He is really upset right now and he is not thinking clearly about the situation.
28. To Lie Like A Tombstone
- Meaning: to lie without any remorse. To exaggerate the truth.
- Use In A Sentence: My sister lies like a tombstone about her performance at school.
29. A Fish Tale
- Meaning: A lie or an exaggeration of the truth.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t think he was telling the truth, it sounded like nothing but a good old fish tale to me.
30. To Be Full Of Hot Air
- Meaning: a person who is lying or a person who exaggerates the truth.
- Use In A Sentence: Tim is full of hot air. There is no way he bought that car for 5,000 dollars.
31. To Blow Smoke
- Meaning: to intentionally say something with the purpose of misleading or deceiving them. To lie to someone.
- Use In A Sentence: I think Rodger is just blowing smoke about us breaking the law. I spoke with my friend who is a lawyer and he said we aren’t doing anything wrong.
There you have it! 31 common lie idioms. Did we miss one? If so, please share your thoughts in the comments below.