Jenny and Mary are sisters. When Jenny started dating a new boy at school, she wanted to keep it a secret from her parents. But Mary accidentally let the cat out of the bag by sharing a photo of them together online. Their parents saw the photo and demanded to know who the boy holding hands with Jenny in the picture was! Of course, Jenny was furious at Mary when she found out! Have you ever let a secret like this slip?
Check out the video below for more examples of how to use this idiom in context.
Let the cat out of the bag? Like, release the little animal?
No! To let the cat out of the bag means to accidentally release a secret or to accidentally ruin a surprise.
Let’s look at a few example sentences:
- We’re throwing Dad a surprise birthday party tomorrow night. Don’t let the cat out of the bag!
- My brother wanted to surprise my parents by coming home for Christmas, but I let the cat out of the bag. Now they know all about it. I’m such an idiot!
- A: Don’t tell anyone! It’s a secret!
- B: Don’t worry. You can trust me. I won’t let the cat out of the bag.
So, there we are: let the cat out of the bag. Do you have a similar phrase in your language? Let us know in the comments section below.
Now it’s your turn to try out today’s expression in a sentence!
- Did you ever accidentally ruin a surprise for a friend?
- Did a friend or a family member ever tell a secret you shared in confidence? What happened?
- Can you think of a time on a TV show, where a character caused chaos by letting a secret slip (accidentally telling a secret)?