let the cat out of the bag


Also found in: Dictionary/thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

let the cat out of the bag

Fig. to reveal a secret or a surprise by accident. When Bill glanced at the door, he let the cat out of the bag. We knew then that he was expecting someone to arrive. It's a secret. Try not to let the cat out of the bag.
See also: bag, cat, let, of, out, the

let the cat out of the bag

Give away a secret, as in Mom let the cat out of the bag and told us Karen was engaged. This expression alludes to the dishonest practice of a merchant substituting a worthless cat for a valuable pig, which is discovered only when the buyer gets home and opens the bag. [Mid-1700s] Also see pig in a poke.
See also: bag, cat, let, of, out, the

let the cat out of the bag

To let a secret be known.
See also: bag, cat, let, of, out, the

let the cat out of the bag

to tell people secret information, often without intending to I was trying to keep the party a secret, but Jim went and let the cat out of the bag.
See also: bag, cat, let, of, out, the

let the cat out of the bag

to tell something that is a secret, often without intending to Amazingly, not one of the people who knew about the surprise let the cat out of the bag.
See also: bag, cat, let, of, out, the
References in periodicals archive ?
It's time to let the cat out of the bag - I'm running for President," said Morris the Cat.
He let the cat out of the bag in a start-of-term assembly, proudly telling youngsters every student bar one had gained grades C and above.
GOING PUBLIC: Elvis Costello's bride-to-be Diana Krall,below, right, says her father let the cat out of the bag
Full browser ?