Manger le morceau

Manger le morceau
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Familiar French Expression

Meaning to talk, spill the beans, come clean
Literally to eat the piece
Register familiar
Pronunciation French sound files [ma(n) zhay leu muhr so]
IPA   [mã ʒe lə mɔʁ so]

Usage notes: The French expression manger le morceau is a little weird, using the idea of eating/swallowing something to indicate movement in the opposite direction. Unless maybe the morceau is meant to be a piece of some sort of truth serum. The variations seem more logical:

  • casser le morceau – literally, "to break the piece"
  • cracher le morceau – "to spit (out) the piece"
  • lâcher le morceau – “to let go of the piece”

Par exemple…

Il ne voulait pas me dire ce qui s’était passé, mais il a enfin mangé le morceau.   He didn’t want to tell me what happened, but he finally came clean.
Allez, dites-moi la vérité, mangez le morceau !   Come on, tell me the truth, spill the beans!

 Be sure to use the definite article, as the indefinite changes the meaning completely: manger un morceau – “to have a bite to eat.”

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Il a mangé le morceau
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