It is common to hear English native speakers use this idiom.
Have you come across it before?
It means to reveal secret information unintentionally.
It can be a great idiom to use when you are warning others not to reveal sensitive information.
To help you, below are some examples of using this idiom.
“We want the birthday party to be a surprise, so don’t spill the beans!”
Like a lot of idioms, there are varying etymologies. Some say this idiom is of Greek origin. People would use beans to vote – some beans were white, some black, some red, and so on. They were put in jars and counted. If someone accidentally tipped over a jar, they had “spilled the beans” and revealed the vote early.
Here is a conversation with my friend Berend McKenzie. He is a writer, director, and actor from Edmonton, AB. In this video we catch up, discuss video chatting, and Berend uses our idiom of the day!