I know the expression putting foot in ones mouth and I'm not asking about its meaning. However, as I was verifying that I got the idiom perfectly correct, I stumbled upon the following example sentence and I'm surprised by it.

I put my foot in it by telling John's secret; he found out.

Is it also a proper way to use the idiom or is it a mistake?


Yep! Both phrases mean the same thing.

See Wiktionary:

To make a mistake in public, or a social blunder, that is embarrassing, or offensive.

And The Free Dictionary:

put your foot in it (British, American & Australian informal) also put your foot in your mouth (American)
to say something by accident which embarrasses or upsets someone
I really put my foot in it with Julie. I didn't realise she was a vegetarian.

As a corollary, this is also referred to as "Foot in mouth disease". Someone with foot in mouth disease has a tendency to put their foot in their mouth on a regular basis

* Not to be confused with "foot and mouth disease", an infectious disease affecting hooved animals.

  • Actually, it might be the case that the expression is indeed related to the disease, after all. At least of you trust some peoples' theories. Also, +1 for links and sources. – Konrad Viltersten Dec 6 '15 at 20:59
  • @KonradViltersten Oh, it's certainly referential to it... but it's not actually the illness.. which I don't believe humans are susceptible to. – Catija Dec 6 '15 at 21:01

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