Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Origins of Common Expressions, No. 20: Spill the Beans

Spill the Beans

Meaning: To reveal a secret

History: In Ancient Greece, beans were used to vote for candidates entering various organizations. One container for each candidate was set out before the group members, who would place a white bean in the container if they approved of the candidate and a black bean if they did not. Sometimes a clumsy voter would accidentally knock over the jar, revealing all of the beans and allowing everyone to see the otherwise confidential votes.

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