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Spill the beans

To spill the beans means to divulge a secret, whether intentionally or accidentally. Originally, spill the beans was an American horse racing term that described an upset or a race in which the favored horse did not win. By 1910 the phrase spill the beans had expanded to mean a situation in which the status quo was upset by someone speaking out or talking out of turn. By the 1920s the meaning of the phrase altered to its current meaning, which encompasses altering the status quo by divulging a secret. Spill the beans is often informally shortened to the single word, spill, especially when requesting that someone divulge a secret.


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Examples

Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley spill the beans on secret talks with Strictly Come Dancing bosses (The Mirror)

During the clip, Khloé also gets a call from Kylie after she was spotted hanging out with Blac Chyna, too — but rather than immediately spill the beans, Kylie says she’ll talk with Khloé about it later in person. (Cosmopolitan Magazine)

Lolly’s troubled and liable to spill the beans, so now Frieda and Red think they need to kill her too. (The Telegraph)

And the 34-year-old beauty revealed she just had to spill the beans on her baby news when former bandmate Cheryl came to stay: “When Cheryl came over to visit, I couldn’t keep my pregnancy a secret any longer. (The Daily Star)

My techie life – Irish celebrities spill the beans on their essential apps (The Independent)

“If the prince is going to appeal, I am going to accept the offer of the movie of the book I have written — I am going to spill the beans,” she said. (The National Post)

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