Thursday, January 3, 2013


Do you say, "bold-faced lie or bald-faced lie"? I was asked this morning that question and needless to say I had to stop and think, because I wasn't even sure how I said it. Saying both over a few times, trying to let it roll off my tongue  naturally without thinking about it made me stop and realize I really didn't know. I'm sure I've heard people say it both ways never knowing.
So I actually took the time to look it up and this is what I found. 

The original term seems to have been bald-faced (bare-faced) and refers to a face without whiskers. Beards were commonly worn by businessmen in the 18th and 19th century as an attempt to mask facial expressions when making business deals. Thus a bald-faced liar was not a very good liar, and was not able to lie without the guilt showing on his face.

The more correct term is "bald-faced lie" or "bare-faced lie" (bare is more common in Great Britain). It refers to a "shameless" or "brazen" lie. One where the teller does not attempt to hide his face while telling it.
 The phrase can either be used as bold-faced lie, as in someone with a bold enough face to lie (bold meaning daring, or brazen) or someone bold enough to lie to your face; it can also be used as bald-faced lie, where the older meaning of bald (meaning uncovered or unconcealed) - the more correct usage with this term is bare-faced lie. Earlier editions of Merriam Webster define bold-faced as someone being bold or forward, with no relation to lies.


  1. Mnnn...interesting I had not read about the bearded business men. Have a wonderful weekend Marjory!

  2. Hi Marjory!
    Missing your posts hope all is well.