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name names

  1. (idiomatic) To identify specific people, especially people involved in misdeeds or other secretive activity.
    • 1820, Sir Walter Scott, The Monastery, ch. 24:
      "Prithee, peace, man," said Avenel; "what need of naming names, so we understand each other?"
    • 1918, Henry Blake Fuller, On the Stairs, ch. 3:
      They named names—names which I shall not record here.
    • 1953 May 25, "West Germany: Panthers in the Streets," Time:
      He named names; the whole gang was rounded up, and all were sentenced to two years in reform school.
    • 2008 May 18, Clark Hoyt, "Journalism From the Bottom of the Boat ," New York Times (retrieved 16 June 2011):
      Sometimes it is not the journalist who is in peril but the subject of a story, and naming names can leave both the reporter and the reader uneasy.



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