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Honest to a fault

Posted by Pamela on February 10, 2008 at 12:35:

In Reply to: Honest to a fault posted by R. Berg 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.
: : SS

: "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

I've heard "honest to a fault" in English, and it gets 86,000 Google hit, although many of these are related to a song of the same title. The meaning is the same in English - someone who is honest to the point where they do themselves an injustice. Pamela