[Music] Hey, there, this Mark, in Akita, from The Everyday Language Podcast. Today I want to talk about the idiom “a little bird told me”.
So, do you know any little birds who can talk? Hmm, maybe not, right?
But actually this idiom isn’t about real little birds that talk, it’s actually, a[n] idiom that is used when – you are trying to hide, or you don’t want to tell the identity of someone who told you some information.
So you’ve heard a rumour at work that, um, the boss is gonna get sacked. Yeah like the horrible boss, who you don’t like. You heard a rumour from somebody, who you don’t want to tell others about. You know, you don’t want to tell others who told you that rumour.
So you can tell your other colleague, “Hey, did you know what? The boss is gonna get sacked? Yes, I, I love it, I hate the boss.”
And, er, your colleague says, “Yeah, but who told you that? But that can’t be right? That’s rubbish, right? That’s all lies.”
“No, no, no no, it’s true, it’s true,” , “I’ve got it on good authority, it’s a true piece of information”.
And then your colleague, you know, keeps insisting, like, “tell me, tell me, who it was, I want to know”. You can just say, “Sorry, can’t tell you, it was a little bird that told me.”
Okay, or if your not at work maybe, you’re a student, maybe, you’re a student at university or, a school, high school, and so you’ve got student worries. Such as, you know, the girl you like, or the boy you like.
And a friend comes up to you and says, “You know what? I heard that, that girl you like, she likes you too!” , “Why don’t you say something to her? Like, ask her out for a drink.”
You’ll be like, “What, what do you mean?” And, um, “Yeah, that’s all lies mate, she doesn’t like me.”
And your friend says, “No, no she does, like, a little bird told me, you know, she likes you, you should ask her out for a drink!”
So again your friend is hiding that information from you. You know for some reason, maybe he is teasing you, maybe he’s made it up [is lying] for a joke, or maybe he has really heard that this girl likes you.
Okay, that’s it for today’s idiom “a little bird told me”. Please try and make some sentences with “a little bird told me” and write something in the comment section of this podcast episode.
And remember please check out the everyday language.net website where, where you can see a, a transcript of what I’ve just talked about.
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Ok thanks very much, and see you next time. Ok, cheers, Bye.
If you want an easy to read reference dictionary about English idioms this is my recommendation:
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If so you can have lessons with me on italki.
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Thank you, Setuniman, for use of your music.
Intro music: Happy by Setuniman, see his work on Pond5.com. Royalty-free licence.
Outro music: Right Wrong ‘Un by Me
Image from Pablo by Buffer.