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to make false and injurious statements about another; to defame; to vilify; to malign
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WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie



 
ESL Forum | English Teacher Explanations (ESL Tests)
pilot vs pilots | Meaing of Let sleeping dogs lie
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WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie #1 (permalink) Mon Oct 11, 2004 20:28 pm   WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie
 

Test No. incompl/inter-14 "Popular Idioms (1)", question 5

It's all right to tell a ......... lie.

(a) red
(b) white
(c) blue
(d) black

Test No. incompl/inter-14 "Popular Idioms (1)", answer 5

It's all right to tell a white lie.

Correct answer: (b) white

Your answer was: incorrect
It's all right to tell a black lie.
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why do you say WHITE lie and not BLACK lie?

Tomas
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A white lie #2 (permalink) Mon Oct 11, 2004 20:50 pm   A white lie
 

Hi Tomas,

Thank you for your question. The expression a white lie is an idiom - it means an unimportant lie (especially if an unimportant lie (especially one told to be tactful or polite).

There probably idioms with colours in your language and you can try to see what happens if you change a colour in that expressions...

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WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie #3 (permalink) Thu Dec 07, 2006 15:00 pm   WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie
 

Interestingly enough, if you translate "white lie" into Azeri it would mean "a blatant lie".
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WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie #4 (permalink) Sat Jun 19, 2010 17:27 pm   WHITE lie vs. BLACK lie
 

I think a lie itself is "black" so we needn't call it "black" ^^ and so a white lie is the only exception.
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