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Some one who is not good at keeping secrets. In my native language it is called "chugalkhor" but it's a slang. So I can't translate it.

What do you call such a person who can't keep secrets because his instincts don't let him.

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open, tactless ... –  Kris Jul 10 at 6:45
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Too tired to bother writing a well-formed answer, but "loose-lipped" springs to mind. –  ValekHalfHeart Jul 10 at 8:25
    
loose-lipped hmm.. –  vaibhav Jul 14 at 15:55
    
dictionary.com say stupid is an antonym of sly (not that sly is the opposite of someone who can't keep secrets - but it's nice...) –  user3306356 Jul 17 at 14:09
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Really, vaibhav, what don't you like about the current responses that would prompt you to look for more? Perhaps you should explain what's wrong with the banana-boatload of synonyms you've already been given. –  Robusto Jul 17 at 14:55

17 Answers 17

up vote 41 down vote accepted

The first word I think of is

  • Blabbermouth

    A person who talks excessively or indiscreetly. -- from ODO

The thesaurus lists several synonyms with negative connotations, such as when a criminal reports on his associates' activities:

  • Rat
  • Fink
  • Snitch
  • Squealer
  • Informant
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2  
Blabbermouth instantly jumped to my mind too, but a note to the OP: I can't quite tell what you're after, but "blabbermouth" is extremely colloquial, even childish. –  WinnieNicklaus Jul 10 at 14:40
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A lot of your synonyms suggest a person who is deliberately informing on someone, rather than someone who can't help themselves. I think your answer could be improved if you mentioned that. –  starsplusplus Jul 10 at 17:11
    
Blabber mouth. hmm.. kind of nice one. –  vaibhav Jul 14 at 15:55
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Re: @starsplusplus comment, I would go so far as to say you should remove the synonyms entirely. They do not meet the criteria of the question and end up cluttering what is otherwise an excellent answer. –  Henry74 Jul 23 at 2:13

First thing I would like to point out - chugalkhor doesn't seem to just mean 'can't keep a secret'. More like somebody who is actively complaining about / revealing others' wrongdoings, not 'not keeping secrets'. So the question's premise itself seems wrong.

Now going on to an English word:

An English word meaning the same thing as chugalkhor:

  • tattletale: someone who gossips indiscreetly
  • tattler: synonym of tattletale
  • taleteller: synonym of tattletale
  • telltale: synonym of tattletale
  • sneak: British Informal tattletale; informer
  • snitch: Also called snitcher; an informer.
  • backbiter: one who speaks unfavorably or slanderously of a person who is not present.

-Source of words from shabdkosh.com and source of meanings is from dictionary.com

Of the above words, tattletale and the other highly similar synonyms related to tattle come closest to the way your given word is used.

(eta) chugali is entirely defined as tattling and telling tales in this Hindi-English dictionary I just discovered.

A sneak is regional and also implies cowardliness, and a snitch can often specifically imply one informing the authorities such as the police. And a backbiter can backbite in more ways than tattling - he can just spread uncomplimentary information (true or false) unrelated to actual wrongdoing.

An English word for someone who can't keep a secret

  • blabbermouth: a person who talks too much, especially indiscreetly.

    • indiscreet: not discreet, i.e. not "judicious in one's conduct or speech, especially with regard to respecting privacy or maintaining silence about something of a delicate nature."

A blabbermouth is not exact, since a blabbermouth can talk too much about things that aren't secrets, but the phrase usually does imply a person who wouldn't be able to 'keep it in' while blabbering if they were in possession of a secret.

But it's a bit closer than a plain indiscreet which can and does also apply as frequently to conduct not just talk, and more importantly can refer to being careless with one's own affairs and secrets, not just others'.

Loose-lipped is another colloquialism for the concept, if not one you're likely to find in a dictionary. One of the sayings to popularize the phrase is the WWII slogan Loose lips sink ships; but apparently the phrase was also used by Virginia Woolf (1882-1941).

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+1 for WWII propaganda. And the rest of your answer is really nice, too. –  Patrick M Jul 18 at 16:37
    
I don't believe that "loose-lipped" derives from that phrase, it's older than that. M-W cites Virginia Woolf, for example. merriam-webster.com/dictionary/loose-lipped –  Rupe Jul 22 at 16:13
    
@Rupe I'll have to take your word for it - MW seems to be behind a paywall for me. :( I'll update my answer to reflect this, thanks :) –  Shisa Jul 23 at 7:01

You can also call this person:

Big mouth:

used in reference to somebody who likes to spread gossip, or who cannot keep a secret.

Note also the expression:

Someone who spill the beans/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

Source: http://www.urbandictionary/ http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com

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A gossip. I like this word because it less about ratting someone out, and more about talking about other people and telling others what they've confided in you.

The word gossip is also less of a slang/colloquial word, as some of the answers suggested, so it would suit more forms of communication.

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After several answers I come across optimum one that is :

Loose-lipped.

or

Blabber-Mouth
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2  
If you like blabber mouth, you might want to accept Mr.Shiny's answer. –  KitFox Jul 17 at 11:54
    
Please do accept an answer. –  Patrick M Jul 18 at 16:41

If I understand the implication from this page, this is referring to a gossip which can be a noun or a verb. There are many synonyms proper and slang for (a) gossip so you could take your pick for a good translation of the intent.

With regard to "his instincts don't let him", you could use some type of descriptor like 'natural born', 'pathological', 'compulsive' or just 'instinctual' combined with one of the synonyms for gossip so depending on what sort of audience this is for you could say 'pathological gossip' (proper; you would need to provide some evidence of this) or 'compulsive chin-wag' (slang) for example.

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A person you cannot keep secrets can be called indiscreet, a blabbermouth.

See Urban Dictionary for more synonyms of blabbermouth.

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The answer blabbermouth was already given. –  tchrist Jul 10 at 16:54
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so sorry didn't see that. –  Nivedita Jul 10 at 16:56

I like tattletale, which “the Free Dictionary” defines as:

tat·tle·tale (ttl-tl)
n.
One who tattles on others; an informer or talebearer.

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10  
This isn't about keeping secrets, it's about ratting out someone for the purpose of getting them in trouble. –  WinnieNicklaus Jul 10 at 14:38

Tattletale is the right word for such a person.

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This is about getting someone in trouble, not an inability to keep secrets. Someone who reveals what another is getting as a birthday gift is not a tattletale. –  WinnieNicklaus Jul 10 at 14:43
    
@WinnieNicklaus : you might as well want to take a look at the definition of this word. –  Veronica Diamond Jul 11 at 5:22

I'm assuming that you are looking for a word that would be appropriate in most contexts. That in mind, I'd go with indiscreet.

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I suppose it depends on the context.

If the person in question has sworn in to his country, and breaches security via communicating secret information, they'd be called an oath-breaker, or traitor. If they were communicating information the country did illegally, they might be considered a Whistleblower.

If it's in a social setting, a formal descriptor would be scandalmonger or flibbertigibbet.

More informal words for a social setting would be (as mentioned) blabbermouth or telltale/tattletale.

If you're most concerned about the word containing instinctive elements, I'd say your closest bet would be flibbertigibbet:

flib·ber·ti·gib·bet /ˈflɪbərtiˌdʒɪbɪt/ [flib-er-tee-jib-it] [source]1

noun

1. a chattering or flighty, light-headed person.

2. Archaic. a gossip.

Origin: 1425–75; late Middle English flepergebet, flipergebet; reduplicative compound of obscure origin

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You can use any of these:

sycophant - a person who acts obsequiously towards someone important in order to gain advantage.

talebearer - a person who maliciously gossips or reveals secrets.

tattler - a person who engages in gossip or who tells tales.

gossiper / gossipmonger - a person who enjoys talking about other people's private lives : a person who spreads gossip

newsmonger - a person who spreads gossip or idle talk

quidnunc - an inquisitive and gossipy person.

tale-teller - a person who spreads gossip or reveals secrets.

telltale - a person, especially a child, who reports others' wrongdoings or reveals their secrets.

yenta - a woman who is a gossip or busybody

whistle-blower - a person who informs on a person or organization regarded as engaging in an unlawful or immoral activity.

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I am joining this conversation very late, but generally let me add a couple of comments. First, perhaps you need more than one word to get at the meaning in English that you need. Somewhere I saw a great descriptive phrase "prodigal tongue". A prodigal (think of the biblical story of the prodigal son) is basically a "spendthrift"; a person who cannot help but spend the money he or she has. In Ancient Rome, a prodigal was considered mentally incompetent and in need of a guardian for his or her finances, because he or she couldn't help it. If that's the sort of thing you're after, describing the person as having a "prodigal tongue" -- in other words, unable to control telling, might be a good solution.

The other comment is that "bitching" refers most of the time to women. I might use "grousing" if you want something more generic. A "grouse" is a complainer -- but that seemed less to the point.

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Welcome to English Language and Usage on Stack Exchange! –  M. K. Hunter yesterday

If this word you seek is about someone who is talking about you to reveal secrets or information for the purpose of causing trouble, then I would consider the word snitch. According to Merriam-Webster, "a snitch is a person who tells someone in authority about something wrong that someone has done." The implication for snitch is that the act of snitching is intended to cause some kind of trouble for you. The intent of a snitch is usually malicious.

If the person in question didn't really intend any harm, then some of the above suggestions such as loose-lipped, blabber-mouth, gossip, or even indiscreet may be more appropriate.

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There is a proverb in the Old Testament book of Proverbs which talks about the kind of person you describe:

"He who goes about as a talebearer reveals secrets, But he who is trustworthy conceals a matter" (Proverbs 11:13 NAS, my emphasis).

A synonym for a "talebearer" is a "gossip." A gossip is someone who cannot keep a confidence (or secret).

In Hebrew (the original language of Proverbs), the proverb would be much simplified:

"Talebearer reveals; trustworthy person conceals" (or something like that).

Interestingly, in America, a saying that we associate with a person's (insincere) promise not to divulge a secret is:

"Do you swear on your mother's grave?"

And the talebearer's duplicitous response is:

"I swear on my mother's grave."

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Blabbermouth, loose-stomach, loose lipped.

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Although many synonyms have been given above, I believe the literal translation for chugli is bitching.

"Chugalkhor" is a hindi slang, the meaning being "gossiping with malicious intent".

For example an approximate translation of "wo mere dost ke samne meri chugli kar rahi thi" (sorry, I could not find the exact Devanagari script) would be "they were bitching about me to my friend."

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