blurt out: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘blurt out’ mean?

An idiom commonly used in English, "blurt out" means to say something suddenly and without thinking, often revealing information or opinions that were not intended to be shared. It implies a lack of control or thoughtfulness in one's speech.

Idiom Explorer

A Verbal Outburst

'Blurt out' is a commonly used idiom in American English. It means to speak suddenly and without thinking, often revealing something that was meant to remain secret or private. The phrase originated in the mid-19th century and has been in consistent use since then.

The term 'blurt' is derived from the Middle English word 'blert,' which means to bark or cry out loudly. Adding 'out' intensifies the action of blurting, emphasizing the sudden and uncontrolled nature of the speech. Native English speakers widely understand this idiomatic expression.

The usage of 'blurt out' often implies a lack of forethought or restraint in one's speech. It suggests a spontaneous, impulsive act of communication that may lead to unintended consequences. The phrase is typically applied in situations where someone unintentionally reveals information or expresses an opinion without considering the potential ramifications.

This idiom is most commonly used in informal or casual contexts, such as everyday conversations, but it can also be found in more formal settings. 'Blurt out' is relatable to many individuals, as most people can recall instances where they spoke without thinking and regretted their words afterwards.

While the origins of the idiom are clear, its usage and interpretation can vary depending on the context. It is important to consider the tone, body language, and overall context in which 'blurt out' is used, as it can affect the meaning and implications of the phrase.

Blurt out the phrase you want to speak.

Now, let's explore some related idioms that convey a similar idea to 'blurt out.' These idioms are 'spit out,' 'blast out,' and 'come out.'

The idiom 'spit out' also refers to speaking suddenly and without thinking. It carries a sense of forceful and abrupt speech, similar to 'blurt out.' The phrase 'spit out' can be used interchangeably with 'blurt out' in many situations.

Similarly, 'blast out' is another idiom that conveys the idea of speaking suddenly and without restraint. It implies a loud and forceful manner of communication. While it may have slightly different connotations than 'blurt out,' both phrases share the common theme of impulsive and uncontrolled speech.

The idiom 'come out' also aligns with the concept of speaking without thinking. It suggests a disclosure or revelation of information, often unintentionally. Like 'blurt out,' it implies a lack of forethought and can lead to unintended consequences.

These related idioms, 'spit out,' 'blast out,' and 'come out,' share a commonality with 'blurt out' in terms of the sudden and impulsive nature of speech. While they may have slightly different nuances and connotations, they all convey the idea of speaking without thinking or with little restraint.

Overall, 'blurt out' is a well-established idiom that captures the essence of impulsive and unrestrained speech. Its usage has remained consistent over the years, demonstrating its enduring relevance in the English language. By examining this idiom and its related phrases, we gain insight into the complexity of human communication, the power of words, and the importance of thoughtful expression.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "blurt out" can be used in a sentence:

  1. She blurted out her secret to her best friend.
  2. He couldn't control his anger and blurted out an offensive remark.
  3. The student blurted out the answer before the teacher finished asking the question.

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