Is there a word that represents the positive connotation equivalent of the term tattle or tattletale ?

What I would be looking for is something like the following:

Dan tattled on Ken to Ken's boss.

Dan positive tattled on Ken to Ken's boss.


To further clarify what I'm looking for... It's not so much that Dan tattling on Ken is a good thing, but more that what Dan is tattling about is positive.

Dan tattled on Ken that Ken was being a jerk

Dan ____ on Ken that Ken was being helpful

In this context, whistleblower, duly reported..... none of these really fit the bill. I have my own suggestion that I will answer with to give a better idea... anonymously praised

  • Thesaurus would work
    – Mitch
    Dec 9, 2015 at 21:53
  • Except that it didn't. I looked but didn't find. Plenty of antonyms though.
    – MegaMark
    Dec 9, 2015 at 21:56
  • Did you try looking at antonyms of one of the antonyms?
    – anonymous
    Dec 9, 2015 at 22:01
  • 1
    Would Reveal work?
    – anonymous
    Dec 9, 2015 at 22:02
  • I've edited for clarification on what I'm looking for.
    – MegaMark
    Dec 9, 2015 at 22:03

6 Answers 6


Based on your edits to the original question and additional comments, I think you've found your own answer: "Dan anonymously reported to their boss that Ken was being helpful." If you are using this example in a real-life situation, you might wish to say something more praiseworthy and specific than "was being helpful." Otherwise, this is fine.

  • 3
    Gathering intelligence is not the same as tattling. Dec 10, 2015 at 4:38
  • @DJClayworth- You are quite right. I have edited my answer to reflect your objection. Thank you for pointing it out. Dec 10, 2015 at 13:40
  • This answer is confusing, but on the right track. I'd suggest some further examples, simplification, and clarification. In other words, it should be simplified.
    – Neptunian
    Dec 11, 2015 at 15:49
  • @Neptunian- In the interest of simplification and clarity, I have affirmed the OP's own answer and deleted the rest of my original answer. Thank you for your suggestions. Dec 11, 2015 at 21:12

Get your positive connotation via adverb. To tattle is to report that which is better unreported. When the matter is better reported than not, and in fact is reported, we can say that it is duly or rightly reported.

Dan duly reported Ken’s actions to their boss.

  • It's not to say this is wrong, however, not what I'm looking for. Dan reporting the actions (in my mind) is a neutral in this scenario. What I want to know is how to say that Dan reported Ken's positive actions.
    – MegaMark
    Dec 11, 2015 at 17:18

Using Thesaurus.com

One of the antonyms for tattle was concealed. I went to the Thesaurus page for concealed and found a variety of more positive antonyms-(which are now synonyms for tattle)

Here are some of the words I found:

divulge [dih-vuhlj, dahy-]

verb (used with object), divulged, divulging.

  1. to disclose or reveal (something private, secret, or previously unknown).


disclose [dih-sklohz]

verb (used with object)

  1. to make known; reveal or uncover:

    to disclose a secret.


reveal [ri-veel]

verb (used with object)

  1. to make known; disclose; divulge:

    to reveal a secret.


Dan "______ "ed Ken's actions to Ken's Boss.


To 'tattle' on someone usually means to inform others (often a figure of some authority) that the person in question has done something questionable that they wouldn't want revealed (e.g. spent their day playing solitaire instead of working). The positive equivalent is surely when you inform others that the person has done something commendable, but perhaps would prefer not to have revealed, in which case I'm not sure any single verb captures that meaning - but there are verbs like "to out someone" that can be used either positively or negatively.

  • This answer is more along the lines of what I'm asking, thank you
    – MegaMark
    Dec 11, 2015 at 17:21

You might consider blew the whistle, since a [whistle-blower] (MW) 1 has generally positive connotations.

a person who tells police, reporters, etc., about something (such as a crime) that has been kept secret


How about Anonymously praised ? In the sense that Dan told on Ken, not for negative actions but instead positive actions.

  • 1
    How would this look in a sentence? It doesn't fit the blank space in your question. "He praised Ken" works, but "He praised Ken to Ken's boss" sounds a bit odd. Also I don't feel that your question makes it clear that the word you're looking for should imply anonymity. To tattle on someone doesn't seem to imply anonymity to me. I would also generally question whether you need the word "anonymously" because usually "I spoke about X to Y" implies that you were speaking to Y and not to anyone else.
    – Aurast
    Dec 11, 2015 at 21:42

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