I'm looking for expressions that are equivalent to
"calling a spade a spade."
In some environments and verbal contexts, this phrase needs to be avoided -- please take my word for it.
I shouldn't have used the gerund in my question. Where I need to use this sort of expression is in a discussion I'm losing patience with, and I want to say, effectively, let's not pussyfoot around with euphemisms. I'm going to tell it like it is, and Let's not mince words here, both work quite well. Thank you all.
In response to @Pharap,
Do you have evidence that someone has taken offence at this before or is this merely preemptive?
I want to avoid problems. I live in a small town where everybody has their sensitivities. I was once in a hiring committee where a person objected to someone calling one of the candidates a "dark horse." I believe I read that some town in California decided not to use the term "manhole covers" any more because of the "man" syllable.