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definition of the word a_little_bird_told_me

by the Wiktionnary

and many other minor variations

The phrase has a somewhat contentious origin: some attribute it to Ecclesiastes 10:20 "for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter", while others believe that it originates from the Dutch saying Er lif t'el baerd "I should betray another." A third explanation is a simple allusion to carrier pigeons or other such messenger birds.

a little bird told me

  1. (idiomatic) Of information which was gathered from a source not to be overtly exposed.
    Let's just say I know because a little bird told me.

This phrase is often used more comically than seriously, especially when the source of the information is obvious to both parties but neither is willing to say.

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