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unvarnished truth

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The plain facts without embellishment, as in Let's just have the unvarnished truth about the sale. This idiom was first recorded in 1883, although unvarnished had been used to describe a direct statement since Shakespeare's time.

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

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