The idea is the secret was explosive because of the surprise it would have created, but the surprise is not necessarily negative. See the following examples:French: explosive discovery of the truth (with risks)
The origin of se ha descubierto el pastel is said to date back to times in which the cake makers (sometimes) didn't insert as much filling as anounced (or any at all) so clients asked them to cut the cake to discover if it had the anounced filling.does the truth taste good???
Interesting. German is more like Italian than Dutch in this regard: die Katze aus dem Sack lassen.Italian: (act., causative) "far uscire il gatto del sacco", just the same as in the other Romanic languages...
Just BTW: we do not have "to let the cat out of the bag", only the (static/dynamic) conclusion: "the cat comes out of the bag". it might be interesting to distinguish them in our answers: causative (let) vs. spontaneous/..."...
I guess it is technically fine in both cases.The idea is the secret was explosive because of the surprise it would have created, but the surprise is not necessarily negative. See the following examples:
Je voulais faire une surprise à ma copine pour son anniversaire et l'inviter au restaurant, mais sa mère a vendu la mèche.
(I wanted to surprise my girlfriend for her birthday and invite her to the restaurant, but her mother let the cat out of the bag)
Les terroristes voulaient commettre un attentat mais leurs complices ont vendu la mèche, et ils ont été arrêtés avant.
(The terrorists wanted to carry out an attack but their accomplices let the cat out of the bag, and they were arrested before they did)
I don't know if the English expression suits in both cases.
In Macedonian we have that saying too:Curiosly, in Russian "a tomcat in the bag/sack" (кот в мешке, "kót v meshké") means something of unknown qualities, but the expression about letting the cat out of the bag is absent.
Curiosly, in Russian "a tomcat in the bag/sack" (кот в мешке, "kót v meshké") means something of unknown qualities
Same in Hungarian: zsákbamacska (sack-in + cat)In Macedonian we have that saying too:
мачка во вреќа (mačka vo vreḱa) "a cat in a sack"
It's all about general marking of gender for cats, actually. Two main questions are 1) what is the default gender of a generic animal from some species and 2) what is the situation with morphological marking of that gender. In Russian cats are generically feminine, but it's also female cats which take additional morphological marking (cf. f. "koshka" vs. m. "kot"; -t in "koshka" was removed according to an old diminutive/augmentative morphological pattern). So it's natural that tomcats sometimes take precedence.I happen to notice now: it is a tom-cat in some cases, but it would be odd to refer to a tom-cat in our expression in Dutch.
How would you define the Hungarian idiom? Because I think it means something different. It seems cat's out of the bag means a secret has been revealed, so they are rather "false friends". But I bet the thread opener did not want exact translations just similar interesting phrases. While I have got the feeling the Dutch phrase means what the Hungarian one means, but I speak little Dutch, so....But here are no definitions, no contexts, so...There are no cats or monkeys in the Hungarian phrase, we say "the nail came out of the sack" (= the sharp point made a hole in the fabric):
Kibújt a szög a zsákból. - literally: out-stuck the nail the sack-from
Yes, you're right that the meaning of the Hungarian phrase is somewhat different, but I'd say it's still pretty close to the "cat" phrase:How would you define the Hungarian idiom? Because I think it means something different. It seems cat's out of the bag means a secret has been revealed, so they are rather "false friends".