Is there a word for telling someone all your thoughts? For example, when you've been trying not to talk about something but you end up blurting it all out in one big mess of emotion and it's all over the place and almost desperate. Or just a word that describes someone desperately yelling all their thoughts to no one in particular; they are just getting their thoughts out.

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    – Helmar
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:10
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    Well, a single word doesn't do it justice so I just have to tell you that it really burns me when someone gets started talking and just runs on and on and on about some topic that you weren't really interested about in the first place but acted like you were just to be polite but now you're trapped and you're hoping that they will run out of characters in the comment before you die of boredom but it seems like they're just going to keep on going forever and you're starting to get hungry and you really need to pee and if they don't quit soon you're just going to punch them in the nose and tell
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 22:41
  • We have something you'd translate like sinceriside in Spanish - a mashup between sincere and suicide that works pretty OK in English, too. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 21:30
  • Sounds a bit like “emotionally incontinent” in lay usage.
    – PJTraill
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 23:17
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    Please add a sample sentence to your question with a blank for the word. Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 7:43

20 Answers 20


It's definitely "colloquial", but from Cambridge Dictionaries...

unload - to tell someone about your problems, the things that worry you, etc.
(e.g. - I've been unloading my worries on poor Ann here)

The example usage unloading my worries above clearly shows how this particular metaphoric usage came about in the first place, but almost 2000 written instances of unload on you in Google Books should be sufficient to show that the intransitive usage is well established.

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    Or sometimes more specifically, to unload your feelings. As in your example: unloading my worries. I'd say that it is transitive rather than intransitive, you wouldn't say I'm unloading there's always something that you're unloading. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:17
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    @BladorthinTheGrey: I kinda wish I hadn't included that example now! :) The whole point of my post was to show that in recent decades (unqualified) unload has come to be understood as specifically meaning dump your emotional hangups on someone else. As in Sometimes you just need to unload. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:24
  • Sorry, what I meant to say is that your point is correct (and I have up-voted it) it might want qualifying with the fact that it is usually accompanied by 'feelings', 'worries' &c Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:47
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    Your edit is spot on, thanks for building upon both of our points. Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 21:23

How about vent?

From Dictionary.com:

vent: to give free play or expression to (an emotion, passion, etc.): to vent rage; to give public utterance to: to vent one's opinions; to relieve by giving expression to something: He vented his disappointment by criticizing his successor.

From the OP's example:

"When you've been trying not to talk about something but you end up blurting it all out in one big mess of emotion and it's all over the place and almost desperate," you are venting your pent-up emotions, confusion, anger, frustration ... or you are simply venting.

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    I would add 'rant' to this post, since I feel like venting might not cover the situation of emptying your thoughts to no one in particular. I've always thought of venting as something that required an audience.
    – Jeutnarg
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 14:56

The closest British English match (for this particularly emotional example) is

"To pour your heart out."

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    This has mostly positive connotations - to tell all the thoughts and feelings that are troubling you to a sympathetic listener.
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 9:18

It isn't a single word, but consider the idiom "spill ones guts," as shown in Idioms by The Free Dictionary:

to tell all; to confess;

to tell secret or personal information

to tell someone all about yourself, especially your problems

You don't currently give an example sentence, but based on your description here is how it might be used:

After all of Bob's badgering her over her recent hesitance to talk, Alice was ultimately compelled to spill her guts.

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    "To let it all out" is another idiom with the same meaning.
    – 54 69 6D
    Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 20:32
  • "To get it off his chest" might also cover the OP. "I just got it off my chest and blurted out my disappointment at the way she had treated me". To express something that has been worrying you and that you have wanted to say. (Cambridge Dictionary) Commented Sep 6, 2016 at 21:18
  • @PeterPoint Getting it off one's chest suggests to me something in the nature of a confession of guilt, which I'm not sure was what the OP was wanting.
    – WS2
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 20:47
  • "spill ones guts" has more negative connotations - the implication is that you've been forced to tell when you'd rather not. It is also usually used for the act of imparting information, rather than thoughts or emotions.
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 8:21

Its not a single word, but how about "brain dump"? The most common sense means explaining or writing down everything you know about a subject. It is generally used to refer to knowledge rather than emotion though.

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    My first thought when I read the title. Agreed on the caveat, though.
    – Kroltan
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 1:18
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    The caveat leads me to consider heart dump. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 7:07
  • Dammit you beat me... By 11 hours! This was exactly my first thought even when it comes to emotion.
    – Lyall
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 8:44
  • This can be a single word. In fact, according to ngrams, "braindump" is now more common than "brain dump". Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 21:54

To "bare one's soul" to someone would seem to cover the OP's situation although it's not one word.

He felt a great sense of relief after being asked by his doctor to bare his soul about his innermost worries and anxieties.

To bare one's soul: reveal one's innermost secrets and feelings to someone. (Google online).

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    @Runic-Scribe Suggested edit "bear" [sic] to bare acknowledged. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 3:01
  • Please add a reference link. Else, this is a good one. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 4:38
  • @alwayslearning I was merely acknowledging Runic-Scibe's edit which corrected my misspelling of the word "bare" which I had written as "bear" [sic] in my original OP. A Freudian slip on my part, I think. My nickname is Bear! Have I referenced the link adequately? Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 8:11
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    Well, my earlier comment was just asking the answerer (you!) to add a (clickable) link to their reference. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 8:16

Confide: verb

1 reveal in private; tell confidentially;

2 confer a trust upon; to show confidence by imparting secrets.

  • This is a good answer. I would have upvoted if you gave a citation/reference. Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 4:36
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    This is the correct meaning of 'Confide', but that's not a word that means 'telling someone all your thoughts' i.e what the OP was looking for.
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 9:45

Speaking all thoughts, as they occur?

Not a single word, but how about Stream of consciousness, referring to the verbal narrative mode (rather than the actual awareness 'streaming' through your head.)

Another might be: full disclosure. Imagine two people watching a ranting lunatic across the street who yells out every thought as it occurs. They look at each other, and the first one says "Full disclosure?" The second smiles and says "TMI!"



lay bare one's soul

M-W Learner's Dictionary:

bare adjective

1 a : not having a covering

— sometimes used figuratively

He laid bare his soul. = He laid his soul bare. [=he revealed his most private thoughts and feelings]


To be candid, to say what you really think without glossing over or leaving out parts that may be distasteful.

  • Hi, user195091, and thanks for your contribution to English Language & Usage. I think your suggested word is an excellent one, but you could make it more definitive by quoting a suitable a definition in a good dictionary and citing your source in your answer. I would gladly upvote your answer if you added such corroborating support to it.
    – Sven Yargs
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 5:00
  • Don't be so hasty - candid that is the correct definition of candid, but that's not the meaning that the OP was looking for
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 9:44

You could also use the phase verbal diarrhea. It has some strong connotations to both desperation and a "big mess of emotion" like in the question.

verbal diarrhea

NOUN, vulgar slang

The fact or habit of talking too much:

'was it necessary to have the narrator exhibit verbal diarrhea throughout the entire picture?'

Source: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/verbal-diarrhea

  • logorrhea means the same, without the icky metaphor. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 4:18

If someone has been keeping something to themselves for a long time it can cause them a lot of stress. A friend might then come alongside them, see that they need to divulge their private thoughts, and suggest it might do them good to 'offload'.

'Offload: Relieve oneself of (a problem or worry) by talking to someone else'


Another, closely-related word would be

Unburden oneself: Relieve (someone) of something that is causing them anxiety or distress: 'the need to unburden yourself to someone who will listen'




  1. to issue copiously or violently
  2. to make an effusive display of affection or enthusiasm

Example: I'm tired of hearing her gush about her boyfriend.

M-W.com I removed the inapplicable definition


You are ranting:


speak or shout at length in a wild, impassioned way.

"she was still ranting on about the unfairness of it all"

synonyms: fulminate, go on, hold forth, vociferate, sound off, spout, pontificate, bluster, declaim; shout, yell, bellow; informal: mouth off

"she ranted about the unfairness"


a spell of ranting; a tirade.

"his rants against organized religion"

synonyms: tirade, diatribe, broadside; literaryphilippic

"he went into a rant about them"


Open up [to someone]


To start to talk more about yourself and your feelings.

Use in a sentence:

I've never opened up to anyone like I do to you.

Source: Cambridge.org


Unload, venting, and especially ranting have the connotation that the information is negative and/or the person giving it is exaggerating the impact.

"get this/something off my chest" or "blurt out" give the feeling that the speaker has been holding back on something serious and has finally said it while leaving it ambiguous if the thing is positive or negative.

For example:

He said, "I've got to get this off my chest. I've been offered a promotion, but we'll have to move to another city."

At Dinner, he blurted out the news of his promotion.


One of the idiomatic uses of "dump" has a meaning like this. From Dictionary.com:

  1. dump on (someone), Informal.

    b) to unload one's problems onto (another person):

    You never phone me without dumping on me.

From The Free Dictionary:

dump something on someone

Fig. to pour out one's troubles to someone. She dumped all her grief on her friend, Sally. I wish you wouldn't dump all your problems on me.

The advantage of these idioms for your intended use is that several of the ordinary meanings of "to dump" ("to drop or let fall in a mass", "to unload or empty out [...], as by tilting or overturning", "to transfer or rid oneself of suddenly and irresponsibly", again from Dictionary.com) are suggestive of the act of suddenly and messily blurting out many emotional thoughts.

The disadvantage of the first idiom is that the other idiomatic meaning of "to dump on someone," which I think is more commonly recognized, is to criticize someone, and the disadvantage of the second idiom is that "to dump something on someone" often means to suddenly give someone an undesirable task to perform. In order to avoid those connotations you would have to be careful about context and framing. (On the other hand, if those connotations are consistent with the act of blurting out the things in question, you might not need to try so hard to avoid them.)


I think the person who does this is dysinhibited, and when he does this, he is showing dysinhibition. Another way to say this is "leaky brakes".

Here's an old-fashioned expression to fit with your first example: You wear your heart on your sleeve.

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    While these are similar concepts, "wearing your heart on your sleeve" is a continuous state, much like "friendly" or "vicious". The act of unloading or getting it off your chest is not described by "wearning your heart on your sleeve". Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 9:04

Vent is pretty good, but how about divulge?

2 : to make known (as a confidence or secret)

It means exactly what you want, but it has the added advantage of being something like an onomatopoeia, bringing up mental imagery of a dam breaking, and info flooding out.

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    Again, this is the correct meaning of 'divulge', but that's not what the OP was looking for.
    – Steve Ives
    Commented Sep 7, 2016 at 9:47

I would suggest indiscreet:

adj. having, showing, or proceeding from too great a readiness to reveal things that should remain secret or private.

"they have been embarrassed by indiscreet friends"

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