What does the idiom "hear it through the grapevine" mean?

Although the meanings of the words in them do not make any sense when examined one by one, the word groups that are shaped according to the cultural roots of the language and that make sense as a whole are called idioms. hear it through the grapevine meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "hear it through the grapevine"


The phrase “hear it through the grapevine” is used to describe something that you have heard from a third-party source, often an unreliable one. This phrase does not only refer to the literal phrase ‘grapevine’ and usually implies that the information is not to be trusted. This idiom is used to express skepticism about the truth of the information. The use of this phrase is often tongue-in-cheek and is used in a humorous way.


The etymology of the phrase ‘hear it through the grapevine’ dates back to the mid 1800s. The phrase was originally used to describe the communication process that was often used in the American Civil War. It referred to the use of messengers, such as scouts, to pass information between the two sides. This was done by using a phrase, “hear it through the grapevine”, to indicate that the message had come from a third-party who could not be trusted.


The phrase is still used today as a humorous way to indicate that the information being discussed is not reliable. It is used in a variety of contexts, and does not always relate to the literal meaning of grapevines. It can also be used as a form of warning, as it implies that the information may be false. The phrase can be used to express skepticism about news, gossip, or someone’s opinion. It is often used to suggest that the information is unreliable and should not be trusted.

Example Sentences

  • I heard it through the grapevine that she was moving away.
  • I wouldn’t believe it unless I heard it through the grapevine.
  • I heard it through the grapevine that he got a promotion.
  • Don’t believe everything you hear - it could just be something you heard through the grapevine.

The meanings of the words in the "hear it through the grapevine" idiom

Beyond the Literal: Figurative Language in Idioms

Idioms often use figurative language to convey a message that is not meant to be taken literally. For instance, the idiom "bite the bullet" means to endure a painful or difficult situation without complaint, while "hold your horses" means to be patient and wait. Other idioms, like "kick the bucket" or "pop your clogs," use euphemisms to talk about death.


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