For example:

Me: So what do you do for a living?

Guy: I'm a fish and game warden.

Me: Interesting. Well I guess I better not tell you about all the salmon I caught yesterday.

I was thinking sarcasm but I'm fishing for another word.

  • 5
    You were thinking sarcasm, but in the title you say inadvertently? Makes it difficult to be sure what you're after.
    – Reg Edit
    Sep 21, 2014 at 19:59
  • 2
    You've pulled a Hagrid.
    – Jim
    Sep 22, 2014 at 1:11
  • What a great point about "pulled a Hagrid"..
    – Fattie
    Sep 22, 2014 at 5:04
  • This is an example of speech that Donald Trump uses. It has a name, I knew it once and I'm searching it out again. example: "I'm not going to tell you how much of a liar Lying Ted Cruz is" Hagrid would be a good word, but it's not the official one.
    – user198548
    Sep 29, 2016 at 10:08
  • Let the cat out of the bag, unless you are an animal control agent. Sep 29, 2016 at 12:30

3 Answers 3


If you're inadvertently telling them, I think the word is a blunder:

a foolish tactless remark

or a gaffe:

a social blunder, esp a tactless remark

or simple a slip of the tongue (often also referred to as a slip-up):

an unintentional utterance; a mistake in speaking.


The rhetorical device goes by several names. Paralipsis is one of them.

paralipsis noun Rhetoric [mass noun] The device of giving emphasis by professing to say little or nothing of a subject, as in not to mention their unpaid debts of several millions. - ODO

Here are a few more:

Apophasis is a rhetorical device wherein the speaker or writer brings up a subject by either denying it, or denying that it should be brought up. Accordingly, it can be seen as a rhetorical relative of irony.

The device is also called paralipsis (παράλειψις) – also spelled paraleipsis or paralepsis – or occupatio, and known also as praeteritio, preterition, antiphrasis (ἀντίφρασις), or parasiopesis (παρασιώπησις).

- wikipedia


If you accidentally reveal a bit of your strategy or intentions, it is called tipping your hand (as in, accidentally showing your cards during a game.)

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