take out an onion

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Coined by Private Eye and used as a mock stage description, originally to describe Harold MacMillan.[1]


take out an onion (third-person singular simple present takes out an onion, present participle taking out an onion, simple past took out an onion, past participle taken out an onion)

  1. (idiomatic) Suggests that the performer of the action is not sincere in their grief.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ 2001, June 1, James Fenton, "Profile: Whose idea was this?", The Guardian.