Home -> Idioms -> English Idiom: Hear (sth) through/on the grapevine

English Idiom: Hear (sth) through/on the grapevine

I am going to talk about an English idiom which is related to humans. The idiom is: Hear it on the grapevine, so notice the following conversational example to know its meaning:

Jane: Did you hear about manager’s new decision?
Ava: No. What’s that?
Jane: Sally said he is going to give us a promotion?
Ava: Do you really Hear it on the grapevine?

Jane : Did you hear about Tom?
Angela: No. What happened?
Jane: I heard he found a new girlfriend.
Angela: Who did tell you that?
Jane: I heard it on the grapevine this morning.
Angela: Then we can’t be sure that it is true.
Jane : Yes, you’re right.

As you can notice from the above example, Jane is giving an information about Tom to Angela while she is not sure about that information and it seems to be something like a rumor. So Jane uses the idiom “heard it on the grapevine” to show Angela regarding her words about Tom.

Idiom #245

Hear (sth) through/on the grapevine:

Meaning: to hear rumors’ about something or someone.

English Idiom: Hear it on the grapevine
English Idiom: Hear it on the grapevine

To know more about this idiom let’s check the definition of this idioms in some great dictionaries:

hear it on the grapevine
hear it / sth through the grapevine
to hear something on/through the grapevine

Oxford:

Informal- It is used to refer to the circulation of rumors and unofficial information.

Cambridge:

To hear news from someone who heard the news from someone else.

Wikipedia:

It is to learn of something informally and unofficially by means of gossip or rumor. The usual implication is that the information was passed person to person by word of mouth, perhaps in a confidential manner among friends or colleagues.

Origin

The origin of the idiom “hear it on the grapevine” goes back to the time of American Civil War when people used to call the telegraph system by the nickname of `the grapevine telegraph’ due to wires which tangled together and it was known as the people of grapevines. During the American Civil War, the telegraph system was used to communicate propaganda and false news about war. That’s why anything heard on the `grapevine’ was likely to be unreliable and a rumour.

The following meanings are understood from this idiom based on many dictionaries:

  • to hear rumours about something or someone
  • to hear some news (false or true) from someone who heard that from someone else
  • to learn something informally, usually verbally and from someone else
English Idiom: to hear something on/through the grapevine
English Idiom: to hear something on/through the grapevine

Let’s take a look at some examples about this idiom to understand it better:

I’d heard on the grapevine that the business deal will be started next Monday.

I heard through the grapevine that she got divorced last week.

He heard on the grapevine that the manager will go to London on his vacation.

I heard through the grapevine that Emily and David are going to get marriage soon.

A: “How do you know they are going to bankruptcy?”
B: “My co-worker heard it through the grapevine.”

I heard through the grapevine that he wants to go to New York for continuing his studies – is it true?

I heard on the grapevine that she was being promoted, but I don’t know much more about her.

We keep hearing it on the grapevine that there was an agreement between US and North Korea, but they are not saying anything.

We heard on the grapevine that she had an affair with Trump before he became the US President.

I heard on the grapevine that she is pregnant while she doesn’t seem so.

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