get the goods on

Also, have the goods on. Acquire or possess confidential information about someone, especially of a damaging or incriminating kind. For example, “Trouble is, they've got the goods on me” (Owen Johnson, The Lawrenceville Stories, 1909). [Slang; 1870s] Also see get on one.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.