English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We have them everywhere. And I'm looking for the term to refer to them.

These are the people who cannot keep any matter to themselves. Irrespective of the degree of seriousness of the matter, they'll simply spit it out in front of others. In short, they are not eligible to say the idiom I'll carry this to my grave!

In my school/college days, we had a very informal term for them. We used to call such people 'the BBC'! That's because if you have told anything to them, they'll spread the word for sure.

There could be more than one word. I'll be happy to have the closest term for it though.

share|improve this question
urbandictionary.com/… – Freddy Aug 22 '14 at 6:39
Related english.stackexchange.com/questions/183214/… – Freddy Aug 22 '14 at 6:40
i normally use "town crier." I could put this in proper format and put this as answer, but don't have too much time:(. Anyone is free to put this as answer.:) – Freddy Aug 22 '14 at 6:43
I like the word loquacious, but the meaning it more someone that talks a lot, instead of someone that doesn't keep secrets. – stephenbayer Aug 22 '14 at 15:52
up vote 13 down vote accepted
  • a big mouth - if you have a big mouth, you talk too much, especially about things that should be secret
  • loose lip - The practice or characteristic of being overly talkative, especially with respect to inadvertently revealing information which is private or confidential.
share|improve this answer

Probably the word that closest fits your description is "blabbermouth". The dictionary definition of blabbermouth is "one who talks too much or indiscreetly" so it seems to be perfect for your needs.

Otherwise you could call them a gossip or an idiomatic expression would be that they "have a big mouth"

share|improve this answer
Yes, +1 for big-mouth. Blabbermouth won't fit exactly. I know the meaning of that word. – Maulik V Aug 22 '14 at 6:57
Based on that comment, your question is not posed clearly, for blabbermouth fits it exactly. Beyond that, big mouth does not mean only indiscreet, but loose lip does. IOW, big mouth matches the question as posed least, of these three answers. – Drew Aug 22 '14 at 14:53
@Drew show me the definition/source where you find blabbermouth fits my context. – Maulik V Aug 23 '14 at 6:09
@MaulikV: Go for it. It is someone who gossips indiscreetly, someone who cannot keep a secret,... – Drew Aug 23 '14 at 6:14
@MaulikV: I have no problem with it - choose any answer you like. To me, a big mouth is more general - applies in more contexts. To me it simply means someone who talks too much, not particularly who cannot keep a secret. – Drew Aug 23 '14 at 6:37

If you're at the school age ( that doesn't seem so ;) ), I think the word "tattletale" would be the most proper word, However as an adult, I think the word that best fits your descriptions is "big-mouth" as mentioned in the other post.

share|improve this answer
Yes, I checked that word as well. As a synonym. It's a good word. 'Up' for it. :) – Maulik V Aug 22 '14 at 7:20

Generally in a social and office environment the term "Gossip" can be used to describe the act and the person.

From The OxfordDictionaries:

A conversation about other people; an instance of gossiping: she just comes round here for a gossip.
A person who likes talking about other people’s private lives*.

(*) It is marked as chiefly derogatory in the dictionaries.

share|improve this answer
+1. As I was not aware of gossip noun, I mean I can call someone gossip. Thank you. – Maulik V Aug 23 '14 at 7:32

I was once accused of being a "sieve" when I blabbed a secret, and when I've subsequently used it to describe others, everyone seemed to understand what I meant. Oxford Dictionaries doesn't seem to carry this definition but dictionary.reference.com has

a person who cannot keep a secret.

(The primary definition, of course, is that kitchen utensil with the mesh bottom for separating finer powders from coarser ones, like flour, etc.)

share|improve this answer
Thanks for the new word. +1 – Maulik V Aug 23 '14 at 7:34

Someone accused of possessing this trait, especially in relation to a specific, could be considered a grass or (colloquially, if not already) a grasser.

Common to Scotland and UK, it is often preceded by a standard expletive and tends to refer to an event where someone squealed.

To 'tell on someone' is to grass, though someone who is a blabbermouth (+1), or a gossip may not necessarily be a grass - but will likely to be known (and labelled as) a grasser.

The word renders someone definitely not eligible to carry the idiom i'll carry this to my grave.

share|improve this answer

As Peramia says, the informal term is "blabbermouth".

A more formal word would be to say that the person is "indiscreet".

If you ask someone to keep a secret and they don't, you can say they are "untrustworthy". But this word can also be used to describe someone who breaks promises or cheats or steals, so you may have to make clear what you mean in context.

If they talk about other people's personal lives they are a "gossip".

If a child tells about minor misdeeds of other children, he's a "tattletale". If someone tells the authorities about actual crimes committed by his friends or associates, he's a "stool pigeon" or a "stoolie". Those might not be quite what you had in mind.

share|improve this answer
+1 for 'stoolie'. I wasn't aware of it. – Maulik V May 22 '15 at 5:09

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.