Language Community

Clear all

Idioms in English

Admin Admin
Joined: 10 months ago
Posts: 168
Topic starter  

Have you heard the expressions 'Spill the beans' and 'Spill the tea'?

What do these expressions mean?

  • When we spill the tea we reveal some juicy gossip about someone.
  • When we spill the beans we reveal a secret intentionally or unintentionally

But have you ever thought of why beans are selected here instead of anything else? What could be the origin of this expression?

It turns out that in Ancient Greece they used to vote with white and black beans. The white beans to indicate you are for the idea and the black beans to show you are against the idea. These beans would be cast secretly in a jar and the result will not be revealed till everyone voted. 

If someone accidentally or intentionally tipped the jar and spilled the beans the secret will be out.