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Warts and All

Updated on March 3, 2009

Where is it from? And what does it mean?

The phrase "warts and all" is said to have originated in the 1600s, when  Oliver Cromwell was giving instructions to the painter Sir Peter Lely about his portrait.  It is claimed that Cromwell told the painter to "paint me as I am, warts and all", as opposed to the more standard practice of painting an embellished portrait that was more flattering of the individual.

The story of its origin may not be entirely true, but the simplicity of the phrase and the context of portraying something exactly as it is has given life well beyond the realm of portrait painting.  The phrase can be used in all types of situations, when a speaker is attempting to convey that the entire truth is being presented, "warts and all".

'Warts and All', granite 150 x 225 x 120 cm


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    • purplesheep profile image

      purplesheep 8 years ago from Earth

      Interesring fact.. I live a the town where Cromwell went to get blotto..