In Bahasa, the phrase "Jangan membuka aib orang lain" is used to ask other people to not expose one's bad deeds. An example of this would be:

[After A breaks B's vase with C watching]

A: C, jangan buka aib-ku ya! (C, please don't tell (dynamic translation) B!)

C: Males! Bayar dulu! (Fuck that! How about we see some cash, then we'll talk.)

Is there a direct equivalent to this phrase?

  • There's always "honor among thieves", but it has several connotations.
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:52

9 Answers 9


"Don't be a tattle-tale" is another phrase often used in this connection.


You could consider using "what happened here / what happened between us stays between us (you and me)".

There are many similar idioms like "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", "what happens on the road stays on the road" or "what happens on tour, stays on tour" which all mean:

In essence, the phrase means that all exploits during the tour must be kept strictly confidential, never to be discussed with anyone outside the group.

Your example:

Please don't tell C. What happened here stays between us (you and me).


  • @KaiMaxfield Yes, you are right. What happened just now (A's breaking B's vace) becomes a secret to be kept between A and C. The phrase could apply to most of the situations where you need to keep something secret like what happened in Las Vegas or on the road. It is just a matter of interpretation.
    – user140086
    Feb 11, 2016 at 16:26
  • Yes, I've heard most of those before (although it doesn't really work that way) I just wanted to thank you for the helpful answer without all the cuss'n - and bring up my four-eyed friend. :) Feb 11, 2016 at 18:01

Consider Keep it under your hat

Definition: to keep something secret

Example: I've got some interesting news, but you must promise to keep it under your hat for the moment.

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A rat (aside from being a disease infected large mouse-like animal) is someone who tells other people about the misdeeds of someone else. Thus there is the expression:

No one likes a rat

Which basically means:

Don't tell people about the misdeeds of others. No one will like you if you do.

  • 1
    I'd usually say "Don't rat me out, OK?"
    – user867
    Mar 16, 2016 at 22:20

I've heard the following expression, which seems to express the desired sentiment:

Snitches get stitches.

Which implies that harm will come to those who reveal others' misdeeds.

  • 1
    I think "Don't snitch" or "Snitches get stitches" is used most often specifically to warn against talking to the police. Mar 17, 2016 at 0:57
  • 1
    Also it's a threat, not a plea; although I can't tell if that makes it more appropriate or less, since the translation is somewhat up for grabs.
    – Hellion
    Mar 17, 2016 at 4:42

Another option is to keep it on the downlow or to keep things on the downlow, where downlow (also spelled down-low and down low) means per Wikipedia any activity kept discreet. Wiktionary gives further examples of down low for a state of secrecy.


There is a popular (and vulgar) slang in English - cover one's ass

(Also, cover one's hide or oneself) Make excuses or otherwise take action to avoid being blamed, punished, or harmed.

[The Free Dictionary]

So the conversation in English would be something like:

A (after breaking B's vase in presence of C): C, you did not see anything! Cover my ass, dude !

C (to A): Fuck that shit, A! Show me the money, honey . . . and we'll be talking then!

  • Note that this idiom is only used in some dialects.
    – user867
    Mar 16, 2016 at 23:45
  • This answer could be improved by finding a less vulgar way to express it.
    – tchrist
    May 1, 2016 at 14:40

Zip your lip

Zip Your Lip can have two meanings depending on the context. In both, the image means to keep your mouth closed (as if it were zipped).

In the first, it means to keep a secret. The person talking to you is asking or instructing you not to tell anyone else. Can you keep your lip zipped about it? It could be a secret, rumors, or gossip. Those are always good to zip your lip about, don't you think?

The second is just a request (or command) to keep quiet in general. If the person is extremely frustrated, they might use a shorter form. Zip It!

Today's Idioms


You didn't see/hear that asks (or tells, depending on tone and relationship) the other person to keep what just happened secret.

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