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. Thank you.


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? – K-devlife10 Apr 21 '19 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, its 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!!!

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