I've realized when you know something you're trying to keep secret, there is usually one person whom you most want to not know -- that if they found out, would be more disastrous for you than any other person finding out. What would we call that one person?

(If you're trying to not tell, it's important to know who that one person is, so you can concentrate your efforts on not telling them. I once let something slip in front of such a person, being caught off-guard; and was much embarrassed as a result.)

Please don't edit or XY this question. An answer that doesn't specifically address the question as asked is no answer.

  • @jonathanjo noted and corrected
    – Jennifer
    Apr 25, 2019 at 11:20

1 Answer 1


The most common expressions typically heard are:

George is the one ...

  • who's not supposed to know
  • who mustn't know
  • we mustn't tell
  • I'm/we're trying not to tell
  • is the one we're trying to keep in the dark
  • who we're keeping the secret from

These are typically verbal, not written. "Mustn't" is quite UK.

  • You're the only one who bothered to try to answer the question, so I'm giving the check mark to you. But if there isn't a word, I'll just make up an acronym: PITOFO, or Primary Individual That Oughtn't Find Out.
    – Jennifer
    May 2, 2019 at 15:17
  • Looking at this again, I decided I don't like the acronym. I'll try to find a different one.
    – Jennifer
    May 10, 2019 at 9:04
  • I finally found an acronym I'm happy with. PITAKU -- Primary Individual To Always Keep Uninformed. Example: if someone in a position of authority says "you can tell me, I won't tell anyone else", you can be sure the first thing they will do is tell the PITAKU.
    – Jennifer
    Jun 2, 2019 at 10:22

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