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.
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