loose lip

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search


US WWII poster


loose lip (plural loose lips)

  1. (idiomatic, often pluralized) The practice or characteristic of being overly talkative, especially with respect to inadvertently revealing information which is private or confidential.
    • c. 1940, Slogan used by US government during World War II:
      Loose lips might sink ships.
    • 1985 June 3, Richard Schickel, "Cinema: Gliberated in Dreamland Fletch," Time:
      In the classic dramas of private investigation, the cheeky quip is the tough guy's challenge to toughness. In Fletch the quick, smartly paced gags somehow read as signs of vulnerability. . . . Every minute you expect the hero's loose lip to be turned into a fat one.
    • 1996 Aug. 25, Donald E. Westlake, "Tough Guys Don't Shut Up," New York Times (Retrieved 29 May 2011):
      Poor fellow, he had "cemented my reputation forever as a guy who tells too much truth." . . . But his loose lip has ultimately worked out for him.


Derived terms[edit]

See also[edit]