What does the idiom "Let the cat out of the bag" mean?

You are wondering about the meaning of the phrase Let the cat out of the bag, maybe you heard it in a TV show, movie or theater play. Although this idiom is not used very often, it enriches your capacity of expression and strengthens communication. In which case is the expression Let the cat out of the bag used and what is its meaning?

Meaning of "Let the cat out of the bag"

Meaning

The idiom “let the cat out of the bag” is used to describe the act of revealing a secret or disclosing information that was previously hidden or unknown. By disclosing the secret, the person who is letting the “cat out of the bag” can have some form of influence or control over the situation, as well as the information.

Etymology

The origin of this idiom is unknown, but it is believed to be derived from an old English proverb, which was “sell the cat in the bag.” This proverb was used to describe someone who was trying to deceive someone by selling them an item that was not what they were led to believe. The phrase “let the cat out of the bag” was likely derived from this proverb as it was used to refer to the act of revealing a secret.

Usage

The idiom “let the cat out of the bag” is used in both informal and formal contexts. It can be used in conversations between friends, family members, or coworkers to refer to someone revealing a secret. It can also be used in more formal settings, such as a business meeting or a court of law, to refer to a person revealing confidential or important information.

Example Sentences

  • She let the cat out of the bag and told everyone what the surprise was.
  • You can't let the cat out of the bag, this is confidential information.
  • He tried to keep the truth a secret, but eventually he let the cat out of the bag.
  • The attorney had to let the cat out of the bag and reveal the evidence in court.

The meanings of the words in the "Let the cat out of the bag" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.

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