English Idioms

Comprehensive resource for understanding and mastering English idioms

Spill the beans


The idiom "spill the beans" means to reveal a secret or share confidential information. It is often used when someone has unintentionally disclosed sensitive information, or when they are about to do so. The phrase "to spill beans" can also be used in a more general sense to refer to any kind of revelation or disclosure.


  • She accidentally spilled the beans about their upcoming project at the meeting.
  • He was so excited to share his new hobby with me that he spilled the beans before I even asked.
  • I hope you don't spill any beans about our surprise party, it's supposed to be a secret.
  • The gossip in this town is always spilling the beans about each other.
  • After years of keeping his identity a secret, he finally spilled the beans about who he really was.

Roots and History

The origin of the idiom "spill the beans" is unclear. One theory suggests that it comes from the practice of farmers selling pigs by the pound, with the price often determined by the size of the animal's beans (kidneys). If a farmer accidentally revealed too much information about their pig, they might spill the beans and reveal its true worth. Another theory suggests that the phrase is related to the act of boiling beans, which releases a lot of gas. If someone accidentally lets out a loud burp while cooking beans, they might be said to have spilled the beans.

Synonyms in English

  • Reveal a secret
  • Disclose confidential information
  • Uncover hidden knowledge
  • Share sensitive details
  • Tell too much

Synonyms in other languages

  • English: "to reveal"
  • Spanish: "divulgar"
  • French: "revéler"
  • Italian: "rivelare"
  • German: "offenbaren" In each of these languages, the synonym for "spill the beans" carries a similar meaning and connotation to the original idiom in English.

Similar Idioms