Let the cat out of the bag

What does "Let the cat out of the bag" mean?

Today it means: Let out a secret or you've been caught doing wrong; but read on.

The cat refers to the "cat of nine tails"; a whip used to punish sailors and kept in a bag placed on the main mast for all to see. The saying usually means that someone has done something wrong and "let the cat out of the bag". In other words, someone was in for some punishment.

See also: Not enough room to swing a cat  and: The cat 

By SailingQuiz November 2019   Category: Nautical Saying              

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There are 423 other nautical phrases, sayings and sailing terms listed on this website today. "Let the cat out of the bag" is just one of them. Many have been around for years and have entered our everyday use; but do you know what they mean and where they came from? This is where you find out.

Nautical sayings and phrases

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What does Let the cat out of the bag mean?

What is the nautical origin of the phrase "Let the cat out of the bag"?

Definition of the nautical phrase "Let the cat out of the bag".

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