I recently heard the phrase in the season 3 of Blindspot series. One of the characters used this phrase:

Well, if I knew it, I'd swear that I'd tell you, but it's not my story to tell, so, sorry.

What did he mean by using this phrase?

I would like to get as many usages as possible.

  • There is only one meaning. Have you event tried looking it up?
    – Lambie
    Apr 13, 2022 at 17:23

6 Answers 6


He says, "It is not my story to tell." For some reason he is not allowed to tell the story. Perhaps it would invade the privacy of some third person. He is leaving it up to that third person to tell the story if she wants to.

  • many thanks! Also, is this phrase used as a slang in particular or can be used anywhere informally? Apr 21, 2019 at 5:28

In addition GEdgar’s spot on response, it can also be used politely to not attempt to take the limelight with a story. For instance, if I was an observer of an incident, and the actor was present, it would be polite for me to introduce the story, and say “its not my story to tell” to give the actor the option to take center stage, or to allow me to tell it if they aren’t the center-of-attention type.


To me it sounds like he doesn't know the story because he wasn't there. If he was, he wouldn't say "if I knew it". Therefore, it's not his story to tell.


It means keep your mouth shut and do not share other people’s stories, other people’s news, etc. If somebody shares with you, then embrace it, but don’t assume they want you sharing it all over the place. It is their story. It’s not yours to tell!!!


I think it is a way for people not to have to talk to someone they do not care to have a conversation with.

For example: you ask some one a question, and they look at you and say "It's not my story to tell!" which is rude.


The statement " Well, if I knew it, I'd swear that I'd tell you, but it's not my story to tell, so, sorry." doesn't make sense,

  • 1
    Why do you think that it doesn't make sense? Dec 16, 2022 at 3:45

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