Learn English Online - Idiomatic Expressions

Definition of Idiomatic Expressions


What does a little bird told me mean?

Meaning of idioms with examples...

a little bird told me


This idiom is used when you don't want to reveal the source of your information.


Pigeons, and birds in general, have always been used to carry messages. There are many religious accounts in the Bible and the Quran of birds that deliver messages. In Ecclesiastes 10-20 (King James Version):
"Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter."
In Islam, the hoopoe (a bird) was, according to the Quran, the messenger and envoy of the prophet Sulayman. One day when Sulayman took attendance of the birds, he found the hoopoe missing. When the bird arrived later, it had an excuse for being late and told the prophet:
I have discovered what you have not discovered, and I have arrived to you from the "Land of Sabah" where I found a wealthy woman with wonderful throne ruling over people – An-Naml, Āyah 20 – 24.
Over the centuries, many authors referred to birds delivering messages to people.


1. Alan: "How did you hear about the news?"
Jane: "Oh, a little bird told me."
2. A little bird told me that you're getting married very soon.

This idiom is in the animals category

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