In my own language, the "Cover your breasts over the baby's mouth" is such a lovely and interesting idiom. It's derived from the thing that is: a baby cries very much and the mother is too busy with her business and she dont appease a baby, she just "cover her breasts over the baby's mouth", immediately the baby no longer cries.

In my country this expression implies such as this situation: the guy A prosecute B, unfortunately for A, B has so much powers as well as money, so B just simply uses these things to overcome the trouble. In general, the "Cover your breast over the baby's mouth" is action of high-rank people suppress the feelings, opinions of low-rank people, and this action is usually illegal or inappropriate.

I want to translate this expression into English in such a naturally way. Please suggest me something for this.

  • I'd say "Treating the symptoms and not the cause".
    – Slepz
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 22:52
  • Marie Antoinette, in trying to achieve the same result, said, "Let them eat cake!"
    – user184292
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 0:20

3 Answers 3


We can speak of throwing money at a problem till it goes away or of a whitewash or papering over the cracks (like wallpaper over a rough or cracked wall) but I'm not sure this is exactly the meaning you want.


suppression of dissent


Suppression of dissent occurs when an individual or group which is more powerful than another tries to directly or indirectly censor, persecute or otherwise oppress the other party, rather than engage with and constructively respond to or accommodate the other party's arguments or viewpoint. When dissent is perceived as a threat, action may be taken to prevent continuing dissent or penalize dissidents. Government or industry may often act in this way.

A cover-up is an attempt, whether successful or not, to conceal evidence of wrongdoing, error, incompetence or other embarrassing information. In a passive cover-up, information is simply not provided; in an active cover-up, deception is used.

Oxford dictionaries

The action of suppressing something such as an activity or publication: the heavy-handed suppression of political dissent



The expression is usually applied to people in positions of authority, such as police, who abuse their power to avoid or silence criticism or to deflect guilt of wrongdoing. Those who initiate a cover-up (or their allies) may be responsible for a misdeed, a breach of trust or duty, or a crime.

While the terms are often used interchangeably, cover-up involves withholding incriminatory evidence, while whitewash involves releasing misleading evidence.

see also: blacklisting, chilling effect, coercion, whitewash, defamation


To sweep something under the rug refers to an attempt to hide something unseemly or embarrassing, or to avoid solving a problem in a forthright way, as in:

"The scandal was swept under the rug because of the important people involved in it." (via)


"It's an issue that's easy for the leadership here to sweep under the rug unless folks out there at the grass roots are heard from," said Jim Turner, a Democrat from Crockett, in East Texas. (via)

More prosaically, in the case of a high-ranking official suppressing a scandal, you might say that they hushed it up (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/hushed+up).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.