cloak and dagger


Senior Member
Please forgive the ‘cloak and dagger’, but I’m going out on a limb by telling you this…

From the above sentence, what does cloak and dagger mean, please?

Thank you!
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    "Cloak and dagger" is a phrase that metaphorically (well, metonymically) refers to espionage, intrigue, conspiracies, or other covert and perhaps even unsavory activities.

    For example, the line of dialog you cite could be used to refer to a person who used a complicated ruse to meet another person without being observed by others. Or perhaps they're just making sure they cannot be overheard.

    Curiously--though appropriately--this phrase originated with dramatic plays characterized by subterfuge and violence rather than with authentic espionage.
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