told


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Related to told: all told, told off

do tell

An exclamation of surprised or incredulous curiosity, sometimes (but not necessarily) a literal prompt for the speaker to tell more. You're getting a divorce? Do tell!
See also: tell

I told you so!

I warned you that this would happen; I told you things would turn out this way. A: "That car I bought online turned out to be a complete piece of junk!" B: "See? I told you so!"
See also: told

tell a (little) white lie

To tell a seemingly small, insignificant, or harmless lie, often presumably in order not to offend or upset someone. I knew Jenny would be upset if she knew I didn't want go to the movies with her tomorrow, so I just told her a white lie about having to take care of my elderly grandmother. Don't get into the habit of telling little white lies, or, pretty soon, you'll start telling big, fat, ugly ones.
See also: lie, tell, white

tell fortunes

To (profess to) anticipate, and inform about, future outcomes or see what future events will take place. There's this old lady in the apartment next to mine who tells fortunes for ten bucks. I never go in for stuff like that, but I'll admit that I'm a bit curious.
See also: fortune, tell

tell (someone) what's what

To inform someone of the true facts or most fundamental information (about someone or something). After putting it off for a week, Sarah finally told Jane what's what and ended their relationship. You're so naïve about the way you think this business operates, so allow me to finally tell you what's what.
See also: tell

(if the) truth be told

I must admit; to be honest; in actuality. Truth be told, even though I majored in English literature, I've never read anything by Hemingway! I know I said I wanted to go out to the bars tonight, but if the truth be told, I'd rather just stay home and watch a movie.
See also: told, truth

(one's) little finger told (one) that

A phrase used when the speaker has learned something by unconventional means. Pain in one's fingers was once regarded as an indicator of things to come. Oh dear, I just knew that they were going to break up this weekend—my little finger told me that.
See also: finger, little, told

a little bird told me

A phrase used when one does not want to reveal the source of the information that one is about to share or has shared. Did you hear that Mark is planning to propose to Sarah soon? Yes, a little bird told me.
See also: bird, little, told

all told

Fig. totaled up; including all parts. All told, he earned about $700 last week. All told, he has many fine characteristics.
See also: all, told

if I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times

Fig. an expression that introduces a scolding, usually to a child. Mother: If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times, don't leave your clothes in a pile on the floor! Bill: Sorry. "If I've toldyou once, I've told you a thousand times, keep out of my study!" yelled Bob.
See also: if, thousand, times, told

little bird told me

Fig. a way of indicating that you do not want to reveal who told you something. (Sometimes used playfully, when you think that the person you are addressing knows or can guess who was the source of your information.) Jill: Thank you for the beautiful present! How did you know I wanted a green silk scarf? Jane: A little bird told me. Bill: How did you find out it was my birthday? Jane: A little bird told me.
See also: bird, little, told

all told

as a total All told, there were 550 people there.
See also: all, told

all told

in total There were 550 people there, all told.
See also: all, told

A little bird told me (so).

something that you say in order to let someone know that you are not going to tell them who gave you the information being discussed 'So who told you she'd got the job?' 'Oh, let's just say a little bird told me so.'
See also: bird, little, told

all told

Added up, in summation, as in The ferry will hold 80 passengers all told, or All told, his proposal makes some good points. This idiom, first recorded in 1850, uses the verb tell in the sense of "count."
See also: all, told

do tell

A phrase used to express surprise about something, as in Jane's getting married again? Do tell. This expression does not necessarily ask the speaker to provide more details but merely expresses one's astonishment. [Colloquial; first half of 1800] For a synonym, see you don't say.
See also: tell

I told you so

I warned you in advance, especially of a bad outcome. For example, It's too bad your guests didn't get along with each other, but remember, I told you so .
See also: told

little bird told one, a

A source one cannot or will not identify gave this information, as in How did you learn they were getting a divorce?-Oh, a little bird told me. Versions of this idiom date from ancient times and appear in numerous proverb collections.
See also: bird, little, told

Do tell

sent. Is that so? (A disinterested way of holding up one end of a conversation.) So, you’re a dentist. Do tell.
See also: tell

if I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times

phr. I know I have told you many, many times. If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a thousand times, don’t lean back in that chair.
See also: if, thousand, times, told

all told

With everything considered; in all: All told, we won 100 games.
See also: all, told
References in classic literature ?
She said, don't say nothing about the Proc- tors, but only about the Apthorps -- which 'll be per- fectly true, because she is going there to speak about their buying the house; I know it, because she told me so herself.
Treat the rest of my letter as you like, but consider what I have told you about Mrs.
Her parents were very much vexed when the old man came back and told them this, but as soon as the three months of the Prince's enchantment were over, he ceased to be an eagle and became once more a man, and they returned home together.
Then Ripple told her tale, and asked where she should go; but Summer answered,--
He told us that it had been a fine day to-day, and we told him that it had been a fine day yesterday, and then we all told each other that we thought it would be a fine day to-morrow; and George said the crops seemed to be coming up nicely.
Because," he answered, "you told me that you had just been to see Scarlett Trent
That is why, as I told you before, we saw quite a great deal of one another.
They were no longer all of war, of revenge; they told of love also.
I guessed part from things I've seen--and Miss Reade told me a good deal--and the Awkward Man himself told me his side of it as we came home last night.
He had told Susan that he had never tasted anything like her strawberry shortcake and Susan's susceptible heart was his forever.
Pendleton looked sort of funny when I said I'd told YOU.
Dudley fell for her right away, and she must have fallen for him, for they had only known each other for a few weeks when they came and told me they were engaged.
Enraged, he told himself he would see -- of course.
He had stayed longer with me, but he happened to look out at the window and see his sisters coming up the garden, so he took his leave, kissed me again, told me he was very serious, and I should hear more of him very quickly, and away he went, leaving me infinitely pleased, though surprised; and had there not been one misfortune in it, I had been in the right, but the mistake lay here, that Mrs.
When this man was here once before, I warned this man against the mischievous strangers who are always about - and who ought to be hanged wherever they are found - and I told this man that he was going in the wrong direction.