What is the English idiom, expression, or proverb to express that even if I am proved wrong by all the members in the room, still I flaunt a false pride as if nothing happened?

In Hindi, there is a saying, "Gire to gire phir bhi tang upar!" which literally means "Even if you fell, still you act [to naive people] as if you have won." The meaning is that a snob always acts as though he has won the debate, game, or election when everyone else around him knows within himself that he has lost it.


Jim and John are coworkers working for the same boss. John the snob has returned from the boss's office bringing along his termination letter for blatant incompetency, screwing up on a project, tardiness, and having a negative effect on other staff members' morale. While behind closed doors John grovelled to his boss, begging to give him another chance. Once outside he brags to Jim. Here is that conversation:

Jim: How was your trip to the boss's office?

John: Oh! the boss. I back answered him and came out. I don't care.

So here the expression means "Even after John's setback, still he portrays himself (primarily to convince naive, unaware bystanders) as unbothered or unfazed by the whole episode and implies that, on the contrary, he went into boss's cabin and gave him a piece of his mind and then came out.

  • 2
    I have no idea what you're asking. Are you being figurative or literal? (I thought it was figurative until I read the last paragraph.) Is this in relation to a snob specifically or anyone? Why would looking at a setback in a positive light be something "bad"? Sep 5 '18 at 7:36
  • It is figuratively and snobbish. It is related to a setback that should be seen negatively.
    – AMN
    Sep 5 '18 at 9:04
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    I think it is more than obvious what the OP is asking for. We have the same kind of idiom in our native language. " One will not fall on his/her back as a cat ", implying - one would not admit his/her defeat. Cats are famous for their ability to turn and twist while falling so that they land on their feet. So, I see no reason for closing this question as off-topic.
    – Beqa
    Sep 15 '18 at 12:17
  • You’re contradicting yourself: you say ‘‘you act [to naive people]’’ but also ‘‘when everyone else around him knows that he has lost it.’’
    – Scott
    Sep 16 '18 at 3:37
  • I removed "setback" because we normally associate it with a temporary delay or an unfortunate episode. Getting the sack (UK) (fired US) is not a setback, it's much worse than that, depending on the circumstances, you can feel ashamed, worried or deeply angry. John pretends to shrug it off.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Sep 17 '18 at 14:43

Parts of your question make me think "in denial" is what you're looking for. This isn't a strong tie-in, but it works. This is the case where the person genuinely believes they are right/correct/has won, but isn't.

"Even if you fell, still you act in denial as if you have won."

Another part of your question is the idiom "talk out of both sides of (your) mouth". This case is usually when a person is doing it on purpose. https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/talk+out+of+both+sides+of+mouth

To try to maintain contradictory positions or beliefs in an attempt to please the most people. "We all know that you've been talking out of both sides of your mouth about the merger, so please, just tell us the truth.Will there be layoffs or not?"
"I don't trust that candidate—he still hasn't committed to a clear course of action and is always talking out of both sides of his mouth."

The above examples are mostly "cover your {rear}" (CYA) statements, but this can be done in a malicious way, to make someone seem better than they are, to cover up a blunder, or just to be rude.

This would be akin to lying, where you tell one person or group of people one thing, then tell another person or group something completely different. This is the case of John begging the boss for his job, then telling Jim that other story.


Not exactly an idiom, but its meaning comes close to the one sought by the OP

Someone who…

  • never admits to being wrong
  • never admits his/her/their faults
  • acts as if nothing has happened
  • shrugs it off

shrug off
. To dismiss, ignore, or minimize the importance of someone or something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shrug" and "off.

  • You have to learn to shrug off the negative opinions of others if you want to succeed in this industry.

Someone who fails to acknowledge their wrong-doing, or refuses to accept any blame, is often called a narcissist. One of the typical tactics employed by narcissists is avoidance: they will often fail to recognise or accept the reality or truth.

From Merriam-Webster the first definition of the term is the following

a : an extremely self-centered person who has an exaggerated sense of self-importance

… since the narcissist is so convinced of his high station (most are men), he automatically expects that others will recognize his superior qualities and will tell him so. —Charles Zanor

When someone is guilty of wrongdoing, we say they are responsible and we hold them accountable.

  • “Each and everyone of those members of the court has to be held accountable for their actions.”

In the scenario described by the OP, John refused to be held accountable for losing his job.

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