hear something through the grapevine
hear (something) through the grapevine
To hear or learn of something through an informal means of communication, especially gossip. I heard through the grapevine that Stacy and Mark are getting a divorce. A: "How do you know the company is going bust?" B: "I heard it through the grapevine."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
hear something through the grapevineor
hear something on the grapevineBRITISH
COMMON If you hear a piece of news through the grapevine or hear it on the grapevine, you are told it informally by someone who was told it by someone else. I heard through the grapevine that she was looking for work. She heard on the grapevine that he had come back to London. Note: One of the early telegraph systems in America was given the nickname `the grapevine telegraph' because the wires often became tangled, so that they reminded people of grapevines. During the American Civil War, the telegraph system was used to communicate propaganda and false information, as well as real news about the progress of battles, so that anything heard on the `grapevine' was likely to be unreliable.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012