American Idioms – Idiom Wizard Lists Over 5,500 Idioms & Slang Descriptions

Open secret

DEFINITION

Commonly known fact that is not openly acknowledged. ‘Secret’ implies that it is information or gossip which is desired to be hidden from public knowledge, but as it is ‘open’ it has not remained hidden. A common occurrence in small towns and villages where most people know what everyone else is doing.¬† (Compare to Word on the street or Through the grapevine. (Contrast with Air one’s dirty laundry in public.)

“It’s an open secret around town that your husband has a girlfriend, didn’t you know?”

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