vendre la mèche

The French expression “vendre la mèche” translates literally to “to sell the fuse”. English meanings include:

  • to let the cat out of the bag
  • to spill the beans
  • to give the game away

The idea behind the expression is that the fuse on a bomb isn’t supposed to be discovered. A French definition of the expression is “trahir un secret”, which means to give away a secret.

here’s an example sentence:

Nous avons voulu faire une fête-surprise pour l’anniversaire de maman mais Marie lui a vendu la mèche. We wanted to make a surprise birthday party for mom but Marie spilled the beans.

Speed up your learning with an app

Many of our students have greatly enhanced their learning by using an app. On these pages we've examined the top-30 apps for learning French. On this pages we've written comprehensive reviews for Pimsleur (great for people struggling with pronunciation), Rosetta Stone and FrenchPod101 (both great for visual learners).

Here are some synonymous expressions for vendre la mèche:

  • cracher le morceau – Literally to spit the piece
  • se mettre à table – Literally to sit down at the table

main expressions page

If you've found this post useful you might want to considering looking at our post covering the best apps for learning French. We've looked a total 33 apps and have written comprehensive reviews of Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur and FrenchPod101.

Sign Up For A FREE Trial French Lesson On Skype And Get Instant Access To My French Pronunciation Crash Course.

Get the French Pronunciation Crash Course!