What does the idiom "spill the beans" 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. spill the beans meaning, in what situations is it used?

Meaning of "spill the beans"


The phrase “spill the beans” is used to refer to revealing a secret, an important fact, or information that was supposed to be kept confidential. It can also be used to refer to giving away too much information than necessary or intended.


The phrase “spill the beans” originated in Ancient Greece. According to Greek legend, a secret vote was taken at Delphi to decide which of two potential suitors was to wed the princess. To keep the decision secret, each member of the court was given a single bean to cast their vote: white for one, black for the other. Unfortunately, one of the courtiers accidentally “spilled the beans” by announcing the result of the vote before it had been announced publicly.


The phrase “spill the beans” is often used as a warning to individuals to not reveal secrets or information that could potentially have negative consequences. It is a humorous way of conveying the importance of keeping something confidential. The phrase is also used when a person unintentionally reveals information they were not supposed to disclose. This can be done deliberately or accidentally.

Example Sentences

  • Don't spill the beans about our surprise party for her, or she'll find out before we intended!
  • You better not spill the beans about our business plan, or we'll be in trouble.
  • His colleague was about to spill the beans about the truth behind their company's scandal.
  • He spilled the beans about our plan to his parents before we could tell them.

The meanings of the words in the "spill the beans" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.


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