Grammar Monster
Grammar Monster

To Spill The Beans (Origin)

What Is the Origin of the Saying "To Spill The Beans"?

Meaning to give away a secret or to confess, the term spill the beans derives from the electing of a council member in ancient Greece. Each council member would vote with either a white bean (yes) or a brown bean (no), and these would secretly be put into a jar, and no one would know which way the members voted. However, if the jar was knocked over causing the beans to spill out, the proportion of yes and no votes could be seen.



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