What is a good way to say 'the secret is out'?


Depending on the context, a secret can be uncovered, exposed, revealed, let out, disclosed, blabbed, discovered, manifested, unveiled, unmasked, divulged, confessed, unbosomed, dismasked, uncloaked, undraped, unshrouded, made known, confided, published, tattled, blurted, leaked, admitted, or squealed.

Other phrases: the beans have been spilled, it has been brought to light, show one's hand (or cards), draw the veil, take out from under wraps, break the news, come out with, turn state's evidence, let slip, get off one's chest, blow one's cover, see its true colors.

(Thanks to Roget's)

  • 2
    +1, wonderful! I love dictionaries but somehow always forget about thesauri. (Thesauruses, thesauridae, theseosaurs, thesaurodes, …)
    – PLL
    Apr 2 '11 at 15:42
  • @PLL: Thanks. I was most pleased with spilling the beans, but you squeaked by me again! Apr 2 '11 at 15:49
  • Well done, @Callithumpian, for turning up all these phrases, but I think the question requires something in the passive voice, and so far @F'x has hit on the only suitable expression. Apr 2 '11 at 21:28
  • @Brian Hooper: I think you’ve got an excellent point, but if you’ll excuse me putting on my grammar-pedant horse for a moment, “the passive voice” is not what’s involved. The question seems to want a form which doesn’t mention who let the secret out, and as such, @F'x’s probably fits the bill best. But the passive voice is something different — the question doesn’t require it, and @F'x’s answer isn’t in it. By contrast, other answers do include some passive suggestions: the beans have been spilled, it has been brought to light, we’ve been rumbled, the whistle has been blown.
    – PLL
    Apr 2 '11 at 22:28

The cat is out of the bag.


I think F’x has nailed the best one, with The cat’s out of the bag. But also:

  • All is revealed! (A classic phrase, in eg this urban legend.)
  • We’ve been rumbled! (If it was “our” secret.)
  • The game is up! (Works well as a confrontational one, e.g. detective collaring suspect.)
  • The beans are spilled! (Better with an agent: Jacques spilled the beans.)

Apart from the cat quote, "the s--t has hit the fan" might apply, especially if there is heavy (media, legal, etc) fallout starting to occur from said uncovering.


Usually, when a secret is out, either an activity is brought to a halt, or consequences follow. For such events, some pertinent phrases are:

  • The game is up
  • The burble has burst
  • The honeymoon is over
  • The whistle has been blown (not usually in the passive, though)
  • The skeleton is out
  • The dirty linen/laundry has been exposed

One that I use sometimes is: "The jig is up"


I don't know how popular this is but I often hear and the earth is round.

When someone is holding a secret and it seems like everyone else knows and that person reveals it, one might say "and the earth is round" sarcastically.


The kimono has been opened gets some exposure, maybe too much.


The pickle is out of the jar.

I told my friends I was gay and one of them shouted this out loudly.

  • 1
    I don't know if this expression is at all common, I doubt it, but it's really sweet and clever :)
    – Mari-Lou A
    Apr 22 '17 at 6:00
  • Eloquent isn't what comes to mind when I look at the usage examples from Google.
    – Phil Sweet
    Apr 22 '17 at 20:43

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