Posted by R. Berg on February 10, 2008 at 12:33:
In Reply to: Re: Honest to a fault posted by Smokey Stover on February 10, 2008 at 12:33:
: : There is an expression in Italian that roughly means "honest to a fault". It describes a market vendor who refuses to put his best produce up front and fill orders from the lesser stock - eventually going broke because he's the only honest vendor at market.
: : Is there an equivalent English phrase/expression?
: I unfortunately do not know the Italian expression, but I would have said, "Too honest for his own good." The phrase, "Honest to a fault," means honest to such a degree that it becomes a fault. But the phrase "to a fault" usually means as seen by someone else.
: I can imagine "Honest to a fault" used of someone who is exaggeratedly truthful, but then one should say, "Truthful to a fault"--like a little sister who always rats you out, or a friend who can't help telling you how unbecoming your wardrobe is.
"Honest to a fault" might describe you if your paycheck is three cents too big and you feel compelled to call your employer's attention to the error. ~rb