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unvarnished truth

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.