This question already has an answer here:

The informal word for telling on people is "dobbing" (and we call that person a "dibber-dobber", at least here in Australia.

Is there an actual word for it?

Example: Sue went to my mother and told on me when I said that I was having an abortion. Sue is such a [insert word].

marked as duplicate by user140086, Mari-Lou A single-word-requests Jul 3 '16 at 16:50

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • 3
    Actual word, informer – NVZ Jul 3 '16 at 8:24
  • @NVZ There is no context in this question. I think it is always the first thing to do to ask if the OP can write an example sentence where the word would be used. I think the question asks for a verb, not a noun and all the answers except for one are suggesting nouns. We should not answer any question without any context or example sentence. Voting to close it. – user140086 Jul 3 '16 at 16:24
  • @E.Groeg Can you write an example sentence where the word or phrase would be used? The following is the strict rule of this community. Questions on choosing an ideal word or phrase must include information on how it will be used in order to be answered. For help writing a good word or phrase request, see: About single word requests. Please edit your question accordingly. – user140086 Jul 3 '16 at 16:29
  • 1
    Based on your example, I'd suggest tattle-tale, telltale, etc. – NVZ Jul 5 '16 at 10:30

Inform (on somebody) — M-W

verb to give information (as of another's wrongdoing) to an authority
"informed on a member of his own gang"

  • He informed on the gang.
  • He's been informing on us!

Related to the noun InformerM-W

noun a person who gives information to the police about secret or criminal activities
"the informer who told the police about that conspiracy has angered a lot of dangerous people"

or informantM-W

  • She's an informer.
  • She's an informant.

EDIT: For the added example in OP, I'd suggest tattle-tale, telltale, etc. as mentioned in other answers. "a person, especially a child, who reveals secrets or informs on others"

"Sue went to my mother and told on me when I said that I was having an abortion. Sue is such a ____."



informal, verb to tell someone in authority (such as the police) about something wrong that someone has done : to betray someone
"The teacher knows what we did, which means that somebody ratted."

From ODO

informal, noun 2.1 An informer
"he became the most famous rat in mob history"


informal, noun An informer
"they thought he was a plant or a snitch"

informal, verb 2. (no object) Inform on someone
"she wouldn’t tell who snitched on me"


A person telling on someone may be called a rat, mole, fink, stoolpigeon, tattle-tale, or narc, with each subject to being rendered a verb: ratted, narced, etc.


A lot of people have given you a noun. It seems to me you asked for a verb. In the US, we often say tattle, although it usually applies to children, or childish behavior in adults. It's an aspersion on the tattler. Or, that's how it used to be. I'm old, and the language is quickly outgrowing me.

I notice that one of the answers uses the words rat and snitch. Funny, these two words are both nouns and intransitive verbs, and with help, transitive verbs. That is, a rat will rat, or will rat on you (or even rat you out), and a snitch will snitch, or snitch on you (I've never heard anyone say snitch you out).


The formal word is informing, see NVZ's answer.

Alternatively, there's whistle-blowing, which comes from the noun whistle-blower:

one who reveals something covert or who informs against another <pledges to protect whistle–blowers who fear reprisals — Wall Street Journal>

  • whistle–blowing (noun)


  • He blew the whistle on the gang.
  • He's been whistle-blowing!
  • She's a whistle-blower.

Various other informal ones:

  • ratting out
  • telling on
  • 1
    I agree with this answer. The question seems to be asking for a verb, not a noun. +1) – user140086 Jul 3 '16 at 16:27

telltale Pronunciation: /ˈtɛlteɪl/ ; telltale

1 A person, especially a child, who reports others' wrongdoings or reveals their secrets.

See also:

tell·tale (tĕl′tāl′) n. (TFD)
1. One who informs on another; a talebearer.

telltale (ˈtɛlˌteɪl) n
1. a person who tells tales about others
(syn.) tattletale, blabbermouth, talebearer, taleteller, tattler, tattletale gossiper, gossipmonger, newsmonger, rumormonger, rumourmonger, gossip - a person given to gossiping and divulging personal information about others …
squealer (informal), snitch (informal)


Grass. British informal A police informer. Perhaps related to the 19th-century rhyming slang grasshopper 'copper'

Example Sentences: He then asked who the drug dealer was and when he found out he said, 'I wouldn't do it for him anyway because he's a grass and his supplier's a grass.' — O-D

Grass can also be used as a verb.

Also there is a relatively new term a supergrass.

Supergrass l British informal A police informer who implicates a large number of people: both turned supergrass and were the main prosecution witnesses — O-D

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