"let the cat out of the bag" nghĩa là gì?


This idiom is used when one or more people learn new information that was meant khổng lồ stay hidden or unknown. It is often used when someone shares the secret information verbally, but it can also be used when the information is discovered in other ways.

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Origin of Let the cát Out of the Bag

The origin of this saying is disputed, but the most common explanation is that it came from a trick that was used in the past in English market places.

Apparently, at an earlier time in history, baby pigs were often sold at market. The seller would give the buyer the piglet in a bag. As a trick lớn save money, the seller would sometimes stick a mèo in the bag rather than a piglet. The buyer might not realize he had been cheated until the cat came out of the bag, và the trick was revealed.

Example of Let the cat Out of the Bag


Today, this phrase is most commonly used after a secret becomes known, & there’s no reason to hide it any more.

Here is an example conversation between family members, in which the child has been hiding a failing grade in his mathematics class.

Father: Hi, son. How was school today?

Son: Great! I’m getting really good grades in all my classes.

Mother: Really? Even in your math class?

Son: Yep! Especially in my math class.

Father: Son, your teacher called us today & told us you’re failing the math class. She let the mèo out of the bag. There’s no reason to lie any more.

Son: I’m sorry. I was just embarrassed & didn’t want khổng lồ tell you.

More Examples

Nets và Barclays Center CEO Brett Yormark let the mèo out of the bag Thursday morning at the groundbreaking of the renovation of Nassau Coliseum, saying there would be a “major announcement” about professional basketball coming to the Coliseum in the future. –New York PostWhen you ask Amazon, they will simply reply “no comment” to lớn the rumors that they’re planning to xuất hiện 300 to lớn 400 brick-and-mortar bookstores. But is that because it’s not true or because the company isn’t ready lớn let the mèo out of the bag? When it opened its first brick-and-mortar bookstore in Seattle, the process was kept very, very quiet. –LA Times

Pronunciation in American English


This idiom is generally heard in conversations rather than seen in writing. Therefore, it’s important khổng lồ realize how it is commonly pronounced.

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The two words “out of” often get blended together in speech. Once blended, this part of the phrase sounds like “outta.” The whole phrase together sounds like, “He let the cat outta the bag.”

Also, if you don’t know who told the secret, you can simply say, “The cat’s outta the bag.”


The idiom let the cat out of the bag is a great phrase khổng lồ use when you want to lớn let someone know that previously secret information is no longer a secret.

Let the cat out of the bag is a common saying that means lớn make a secret known.

Example: James was planning khổng lồ surprise his wife with a trip to lớn Japan, a place she’s been wanting to lớn visit. He was supposed lớn keep this a secret until next week, but he let the mèo out of the bag early because he was so excited và wanted her khổng lồ know.

Synonyms / Similar Phrases:


The Origin Of ‘Let The cát Out Of The Bag’

Where does this idiom come from? The origin of the phrase let the cat out of the bag is not certain; however, there are theories about how it originated:

One theory has to vị with merchants who were looking to make some coin by selling piglets.When a customer bought a young pig from them, the merchant would put it into a bag & give it to lớn them. However, the more dishonest merchants hadother plans in mind. While out of the customer’s view, these dishonest merchants would swap out the piglet with a cat. Why? Maybe pigs were more valuable, so by switching them, it saved money. Regardless, the customer, being none the wiser, would take the bag and go home. There, they would let the cát out of the bag and the merchant’s trick would be discovered.

Now, there are a few problems with this theory. For one, what if the customer immediately looked in the bag after the transaction? I guess the bag could have been tied at the đứng top to prevent that, but even so, the customer would eventually find the cat in their bag. Then wouldn’t they simply return lớn the merchant & complain? The merchant would ruin their reputation và business in no time!

2. The second theory has to do with a multi-tailed whip that was called a “cat o’ nine tails,” the shortened size being “the cat.” This whip was used for the physical punishment of sailors who broke certain rules (such as theft, I think). This whip, or “cat” was kept in a bag, perhaps lớn keep the leather from drying out. Anyway, if a time came for a sailor khổng lồ receive punishment, “the cat” was taken out of the bag, hence the phrase.

So those are two theories I’ve heard about this phrase’s origin. Keep in mind that they are merely theories and it’s possible the expression did not originate from either.

What about its earliest known appearance in print? The earliest I could find it used as an idiom is from The London Magazine, January 1760:

“We could have wished that the strange genious, tác giả of this piece, had not let the cát out of the bag; for it is such a mad, ranting, swearing, caterwauling pus*, that we fear no sober family will be troubled with her.”

This means that the phrase is at least over 250 years old.

Example Sentences

​Was this supposed to lớn be a surprise for Jessica? I might have let the cát out of thebagwhen I spoke khổng lồ her earlier today.

Similar Example:

She spilled the beans & told him everything that happened.

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Tip: This phrase is related to animals, specifically, cats! If you want khổng lồ see others lượt thích it, we have a danh mục of mèo sayings on here that you can kiểm tra out.