Slang dictionary

bold-faced lie

[ bohld-feyst lahy ]

What does bold-faced lie mean?

The term bold-faced lie refers to an obvious, shameless lie, one that the liar makes little or no effort to disguise as the truth.

Bold-faced lie means the same thing as two other similar phrases, bald-faced lie and barefaced lie.

All three of these terms typically imply that the lie is told shamelessly, without a real attempt to conceal the deception. In other words, the teller is so brash that they don’t care whether the lie is recognized as a lie. In some cases, they might even want it to be recognized as one in order to provoke the person or people they’re telling it to.

For this reason, bold-faced lie and its synonymous terms are always used critically.

Example: It’s fascinating that his statements, which are so obviously bold-faced lies, are so convincing to some people.

Related words

headcanon, shadow banning, the proof is in the pudding

Where does bold-faced lie come from?

Wooden Pinocchio doll with his long nose, teal filter

The adjective bold-faced means “brazen.” While bold-faced has been used to describe brazen people since the late 1500s, the phrase bold-faced lie came about much later, gaining widespread use during the 1900s.

Though some consider bold-faced lie to be the result of a mishearing of bald-faced lie, both phrases are in common use. The term bald-faced has been used since at least the mid-1600s.

Examples of bold-faced lie

I hate when amazon says "arriving today by 10 p.m. today" allll day. Once it passes a 3 pm, if it aint on a truck, it just becomes a bold faced lie.
@EaglesWinItAll, March 24, 2021
Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is calling Myles Garrett's assertion that he used a racial slur a "bold-faced lie," and Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is supporting his quarterback.
Brooke Pryor, ESPN, February 15, 2020

Who uses bold-faced lie?

Bold-faced lie is always used critically. Calling something a bold-faced lie is meant to indicate that it’s especially brazen—and therefore extremely frustrating or insulting to the person or people it’s being told to.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of bold-faced lie like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of bold-faced lie that will help our users expand their word mastery.