speak plainly or bluntly without avoiding issues which are unpleasant or embarrassing. A variation on this phrase, dating from the early 20th century and used for humorous emphasis, is call a spade a shovel.
1998 - Spectator - A man whom I might not agree with where politics are concerned, but one who calls a spade a spade.
Related Idioms :
call his bluff
challenge someone to carry out a stated intention in the expectation of being able to expose it as a false pretence.
In the game of poker (which was formerly also known by the name of bluff), calling someone's bluff meant making an opponent show their hand in order to reveal that its value was weaker than their heavy betting suggested.
call it a day
decide or agree to stop doing something, either temporarily or permanently.
This expression comes from the idea of having done a day's work. In the mid 19th century, the form was call it half a day.
call someone names
Insult someone verbally
Accuse someone by using different abusing words
call of nature
used euphemistically to refer to a need to urinate or defecate.
call the shots = call the tune
take the initiative in deciding how something should be done
be in control – informal
Call the shots was originally an American phrase, first recorded in the 1960s. Call the tune comes from the saying he who pays the piper calls the tune, which dates from the late 19th century.
1996 - Sunday Telegraph - Britain is no longer run from Downing Street. It's Brussels that calls the shots.
Do not call us we will call you
used as a dismissive way of saying that someone has not been successful in an audition or job application – informal
good call = bad call
used to express approval (or criticism) of a person's decision or suggestion – informal
Originally good call and bad call referred to decisions made by referees or umpires in a sports match.
too close to call
(of a contest, race, etc.) so evenly balanced that it is impossible to predict the outcome with confidence - Informal