Suppose someone is trying to endanger your reputation / dignity. For example you borrowed some money from somebody and did not clear the check you drew for him for the borrowed money; he comes to your office and starts shut and make a situation in which you lose face in front of your staff. Then the following sentence which is a translation from my mother language would work in English or it sounds like something unidiomatic to you:

  • Don’t play games with my dignity.
  • I don't think "dignity" is quite an apposite word in this situation; synonymous with "self-respect", it's not the trait anyone but yourself can do any harm to. Maybe it is something synonymous with "trustworthiness/trustiness" that you are looking for.
    – Victor B.
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 13:40
  • @Rompey, dignity is about other people's respect for you, not your self-respect. dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/dignity
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 14:02
  • @A-friend: "[you] did not pass the check you drew for him for the borrowed money"... what does this mean- you did not give him the check?
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 14:05
  • @JavaLatte - Thank you very much. I thought it is how a man evaluates himself that he gets a dignity about himself from, acts and dies with it, and nothing, even the near end, can deprive him of his dignity if he really has it. And it's because of this dignity, as a manifestation of his self-respect, that people respect him.
    – Victor B.
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 14:17
  • @Rompey, You are right, a person's dignity is about their behaviour and how others perceive it, and nobody else can deprive a person of that, but it is most certainly not about how a man evaluates himself (that's self-respect), it's how he behaves.
    – JavaLatte
    Commented Jul 31, 2016 at 14:26

1 Answer 1


The expression "Don't play games with..." is quite common. To play games with something is to treat it without respect - to treat it lightly.

In your example, you are right "Don't play games with my dignity" would work as an expression.

However, a more common expression in English would be "Don't play games with me". That is often heard and covers all aspects of your dignity and reputation. It also implies that the person to whom you are speaking is trying to deceive you.

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