I understand the answers from many people as a kerfuffle but what about the circumstance leading up to the kerfuffle.

An example of this is: Person A to Person B: Where are the pens we used for the brain storming session? Person B: They are there. Person C (not part of the conversation): You don't need to use pens. Use paint! Person D (not part of the convo either): No, pencils are the way forward. Use them!

  • 1
    Please clarify these questions. 1.Does the speaker intend to do this? 2. Does the entire audience think they are being addressed? Both questions are mutually exclusive. Maybe the speaker does and audience doesn't or vice versa. Maybe both do or dont? – vickyace Jun 5 '16 at 13:47
  • @vickyace 1. No, the speaker did not intend to do this. 2. The entire or 3rd party does not think they are being addressed. – NotADoctor Jun 5 '16 at 14:32
  • It sounds like C and D are eavesdropping and then butting in. But are you looking for a word to apply to person A (or maybe the exchange between A and B)? – Jonathan S. Jun 6 '16 at 19:23
  • @Jonathan I am looking for a word to describe the situation leading up to C butting in. Thinking about it Evesdropping is probably it. Although evesdroping is what person C and Person D are doing. But is Person A inadvertantly having a conversation with a third party or third parties? – NotADoctor Jun 6 '16 at 19:27
  • Hmm, so we're looking for a word to describe a private conversation that's taking place out in the open? – Jonathan S. Jun 6 '16 at 19:31

You have figuratively (not literally) been caught in a live mic situation. In the literal case, you think you are talking privately, but you are talking into a microphone that is switched on.

Here is an example of a literal live mic situation, from Paste Monthly: The Rivalries Issue

he [Biden] was heard on a live mic calling the Affordable Care Act “a big fucking deal.”

Another example of being caught on a live mic, from the Washington Post

When Obama gave a joint address to Congress three months later, Boehner and Biden were caught on a live mic before the speech discussing the speaker's sub-par round of golf during the August recess at a resort course in Nebraska.

This was only slightly embarrassing, because it was only about golf. However, the participants in the game had agreed not to publically discuss their scores at this "golf summit".

In the OP's example, after D had chimed in, A or B might say "Looks like we are on a live mic!"

  • @omg_dudewtf And thank you for the acceptance. It was your bio that gave me the idea -- a musician....microphones. – ab2 Aug 6 '16 at 21:02

You could use broadcasting:


  1. To make known over a wide area: reporters who broadcast unchecked rumors in order to get the story out first; "The birds sang in flight because that was the only way, in this treeless terrain, to broadcast their claims across their chosen pieces of land" (Kenn Kaufman).

... - thefreedictionary.com

eg: "Are you two meaning to have a private conversation, because at the moment you are broadcasting to the whole room?"


The closest I can think of would be 'speaking in third-person when they are present'. I don't believe there is a singular word for this.

An example of this would be a dialog like so.

Bob, Jack, and Michelle are all at a conference. Jack just got into a fight with Michelle and they are not on speaking terms.

Jack says to Bob: "Wouldn't it be nice if she were to get me a drink.", pointing to Michelle.

Michelle, nearby, says "Don't speak about me in third-person. I'm right here!"

While they speaker might not always be using pronouns, the idea is that they are speaking regarding someone else as if they are not present often having a strong negative connotation.

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