spill the beans

Definition

To reveal a secret or to divulge confidential information

Examples

I asked him not to spill the beans about my surprise birthday party

We agreed not to spill the beans about the merger until after it was made public.

Origin

Believed to be derived from an ancient method of voting by placing beans in a jar or bowl

FAQs

q1

How long has this phrase been in use?

a1

This phrase has been used since the early 1900s.

q2

What does ‘spill the beans’ mean?

a2

It means to reveal a secret or to divulge confidential information.

q3

What is the origin of this phrase?

a3

It is believed to be derived from an ancient method of voting by placing beans in a jar or bowl.