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.


7 Answers 7

  • 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.

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"

  • Yes, +1 for big-mouth. Blabbermouth won't fit exactly. I know the meaning of that word.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 6:57
  • 6
    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
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 14:53
  • @Drew show me the definition/source where you find blabbermouth fits my context.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 6:09
  • 1
    @MaulikV: Go for it. It is someone who gossips indiscreetly, someone who cannot keep a secret,...
    – Drew
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 6:14
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    @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
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 6:37

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.

  • +1. As I was not aware of gossip noun, I mean I can call someone gossip. Thank you.
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 23, 2014 at 7:32

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.

  • Yes, I checked that word as well. As a synonym. It's a good word. 'Up' for it. :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Aug 22, 2014 at 7:20

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.)


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.


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.

  • 1
    Interesting. I'm not from the UK but I had heard the term grass in various TV programs, usually in the context of informing the police that someone was planning to do - or had done - something criminal. It looks like the term is also used in a wider context to simply mean "reveal a confidence".
    – Henry
    Commented Apr 3, 2019 at 12:29

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