Let's Come Clean About Being Honest

Today you’ll learn native phrases to use when being honest and direct with others, plus hear a super rockin’ Led Zeppelin song.

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This is a special time of year, when we reflect on our lives, and make up our minds to do better next year.

This is only possible, though, if we are completely and brutally honest with ourselves.

So, in the spirit of self-reflection and positive changes, let’s learn some phrases for being honest, open and forthright with ourselves and others.

7 Phrases for Honest Talk

come clean- to reveal the truth

“Fine, I’ll come clean. I’ve been seeing another woman behind your back.”

own up- admit guilt

“Come on, John. Own up. You’ve been stealing supplies from the office supplies closet.”

break it down- analyze information and details

“Let’s break it down. You can see from these numbers that the product simply isn’t selling.”

lay it all on the table/lay all your cards on the table- tell the entire truth


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I’ll lay all my cards on the table, here. No, I don’t have much experience, nor do I have a degree in the field, but I’m a very hard worker and an extremely quick learner.”

brutally honest- tell a truth that may hurt another’s feelings, or is hard to hear for some reason

Be brutally honest with me. Does this dress actually look sexy, or not?”

the nitty-gritty- the essential information; specific details

“Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. You were on the date, you’d ordered dinner. Then what happened?”

give it to me straight- tell me the truth, without trying to sound nice

Straight’ is a great synonym for ‘honest’!

Give it to me straight, boss. Will I have a job next week?”

Pop Culture R&R

One of my favorite albums of all time is Led Zeppelin- their first one, released in January 1969.

It’s full of honest lyrics, but the song I think exemplifies today’s notion of brutal honesty best is Babe I’m Gonna Leave You.

This is definitely a song I’ve played on repeat. It’s super rocking and passionate. Below, you’ll see the video and the lyrics!

"Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You"

Babe, baby, baby, I'm Gonna Leave You.
I said baby, you know I'm gonna leave you.
I'll leave you in the summertime,
Leave you when the summer comes a-rollin'
Leave you when the summer comes along.

Babe, babe, babe, babe, babe, babe,
Baby, baby, I wanna leave you.
I ain't jokin' woman, I got to ramble.
Oh, yeah, baby, baby, I believin',
We really got to ramble.
I can hear it callin' me the way it used to do,
I can hear it callin' me back home!

Babe, oh, babe... I'm gonna leave you
Oh, baby, you know, I've really got to leave you
Oh, I can hear it callin 'me
I said don't you hear it callin' me the way it used to do? Ooooh

I know, I know, I know I never, never, never, never, never gonna leave you, babe
But I got to go away from this place,
I've got to quit you, yeah
Ooh, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, ooh, don't you hear it callin' me?
Oh, woman, woman, I know, I know
It feels good to have you back again
And I know that one day, baby, it's gonna really grow, yes it is.
We gonna go walkin' through the park every day.
Come what may, every day, ooh

My my my my my, my babe.
I'm gonna leave you, go away...
... Oh I miss you, baby

It was really, really good.
You made me happy every single day.
But now... I've got to go away! Oh, oh, oh.

Baby, baby, baby
That's when it's callin' me
I said that's when it's callin' me back home...