tell tales


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Related to tell tales: tell tales out of school

tell tales

To share secrets, often knowing that doing so will cause problems for someone else. Here's a tip: don't tell tales about your co-workers if you want to have any friends here.
See also: tales, tell

tell tales

Divulge secrets, as in Don't trust him; he's apt to tell tales. This expression was first recorded about 1350. A variant, tell tales out of school, first recorded in 1530, presumably alluded to schoolchildren gossiping but was soon broadened to revealing secret or private information. Both may be obsolescent.
See also: tales, tell

tell tales

If someone tells tales, they tell someone in authority about something bad or wrong that someone else has done. She had no right to tell tales to his mother! They try to get convicted criminals to tell tales on their mates in return for cuts in their own sentences. Note: This expression is used to show disapproval.
See also: tales, tell

tell tales (out of school)

gossip about or reveal another person's secrets, wrong-doings, or faults.
As telling tales to school authorities is a terrible offence in the eyes of schoolchildren, this expression is often used in the context of declining to supply information or gossip.
1991 Mark Tully No Full Stops in India Indira trusted me throughout her life, and just because she's dead it's not right that I should break that trust and tell tales about her.
See also: tales, tell

tell ˈtales (about somebody/something)

(British English) tell somebody, especially somebody in authority, that another person has done something wrong: How did the boss know that I was late for work this morning? I think somebody’s been telling tales about me.
See also: tales, tell
References in periodicals archive ?
The show is all about bridges, and engages the children (and their families) with a simple story about magic bridges, metaphorical bridges, bridges that tell tales of hungry trolls and greedy goats and supports them to share, learn and play and along the way make new friends.
The Tell Tales series attempts to address this neglect, and evidenced by the twenty-six stories in the fourth volume, the result is a mixed bag.
99) Great for toddlers and preschoolers, these six episodes tell tales of the Bear family (Papa, Mama, Sister and Brother) and the lessons they learn.
We are all longing for light in the darkness," he intones, and so, he continues, we sing songs, tell tales and move through vast solitudes with stories toward one another and then apart again.
Like his compatriot Hans Christian Andersen, August Bournonville was a master storyteller, using the language of mime and classical dance to tell tales of good triumphing over evil, and love, if not art, conquering all.
Not too many of us tell tales out of school, that surprised me," said Thorpe.