whistle past the graveyard

idiom

informal
: to act or talk as if one is relaxed and not afraid when one is actually afraid or nervous
He shows a confident manner, but he may just be whistling past the graveyard.

Examples of whistle past the graveyard in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Of course, but the notion of the natural world crumbling while humans whistle past the graveyard is nothing new, given the recent deluge of very good dystopian fiction that has been published in recent years. Marc Weingarten, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2023 Companies have entire departments and armies of outside public relations helpers to whistle past the graveyard until a big event like the Olympics fades into the rear view mirror. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, 4 Feb. 2022 As New Orleans managed to sidestep a series of devastating storms that had borne down on the city in the years before Katrina, the response of government at all levels was essentially to whistle past the graveyard. Adolph Reed Jr., The New Republic, 27 Apr. 2021

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'whistle past the graveyard.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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Cite this Entry

“Whistle past the graveyard.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/whistle%20past%20the%20graveyard. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

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