spill the beans

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spill the beans

To reveal something that was meant to be a secret. We had everything organized for Bruce's surprise party, but Kate accidentally spilled the beans to him at work. All right, spill the beans! What's going on?
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans

 and spill the works
Fig. to give away a secret or a surprise. There is a surprise party for Heidi on Wednesday. Please don't spill the beans. Paul spilled the works about Heidi's party.
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans

Disclose a secret or reveal something prematurely, as in You can count on little Carol to spill the beans about the surprise. In this colloquial expression, first recorded in 1919, spill means "divulge," a usage dating from the 1500s.
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans

INFORMAL
COMMON If you spill the beans, you reveal the truth about something secret or private. He was scared to death I was going to spill the beans to the cops. Come on, spill the beans! Whose fault was it? Note: This expression has a number of possible explanations. One is derived from an ancient practice of voting by placing coloured beans in one of a number of jars or pots, then tipping the beans out and counting them. Another is an informal description of vomiting.
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans

reveal secret information, especially unintentionally or indiscreetly. informal
See also: bean, spill

spill the ˈbeans

(informal) tell somebody something that should be kept secret or private: We were trying to keep it a secret from Pete, but Marcia spilled the beans.Come on, spill the beans! What did your father say? OPPOSITE: keep something under your hat
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans

and spill the works
tv. to give away a secret or a surprise. There is a surprise party for Heidi on Wednesday. Please don’t spill the beans. Sorry, I didn’t mean to spill the works.
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans

To disclose a secret.
See also: bean, spill

spill the beans, to

To give away a secret. This slangy Americanism combines two earlier meanings: of spill, meaning to talk, and of beans, meaning information. Although these date from the sixteenth and thirteenth centuries respectively, the cliché has been around only since the 1920s or so. It is particularly common in detective stories and novels, in which the opportunity for revealing important secrets is a common occurrence.
See also: spill
References in periodicals archive ?
Mad Dog's former mistress spilled the beans last week about her eight-year affair with the terror boss.
It was Hollingsworth's first public outing with a woman since Anne, 44, spilled the beans on her marriage break-up.
JENNIFER Aniston has finally spilled the beans. "Who would [see Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie together] and say, 'Isn't that sweet!'?" she miaows to Vanity Fair.
WE ALSO broke the news of Celtic's move for striker Dennis de Nooijer - 24 hours before Sparta Rotterdam spilled the beans.
Summary: Neighbours actress Kym Valentine has spilled the beans on the future for her character Libby.
Dave Morgan (fireman) has just spilled the beans on Jessie Wallace (actress) the mother of his child.
It was the first time Sven, 56, had been with the national team since FA secretary Faria Alam spilled the beans on their relationship.
Beverly Hills barber Giuseppe Franco spilled the beans on the 56-year-old's grooming routine.
Tisha, of cool new girlband The 411, has spilled the beans on the singer.
But the search came to a dramatic halt after it emerged Heath spilled the beans himself at a lunch with the paper's editor William Rees-Mogg.