Many idioms and phrases circulate in English that might need a bit of clarification. Lucky for you, we’re here to help. This article will explain what “talking out of the side of your mouth” means and how you can use it correctly.
What Does “Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth” Mean?
“Talking out of the side of your mouth” means that you are lying or speaking privately. It has two meanings associated with it, one of which comes from the extended idiom “speaking out of both sides of your mouth.” Lying is the most common meaning associated with the word.
When someone is speaking out of the side of their mouth, it often means that they are saying one thing to you, but something completely different to another person. This is akin to lying, and it often doesn’t take much to figure out that these people aren’t honest.
On the flip side, if someone is talking out of both sides of their mouth, then they are trying to say something privately. They are basically whispering by talking out of the side of their mouth so that nobody else can hear them.
The two meanings are very different, and you should not use them interchangeably. Since lying is more commonly associated with this idiom, it’s best to stick to “taking out of the side of your mouth” as a lying idiom.
If you would like to know how to use this idiom in a sentence, you can refer to the following:
- You’re doing nothing but talking out of the side of your mouth. What makes you think I’m going to believe you.
- Stop speaking out of the side of your mouth. It isn’t a good look, and I can already tell that you’re not consistent with what you say.
- If you’re going to talk out of the side of your mouth, maybe you should come up with a better lie than that one.
- I have got to speak out of the side of my mouth right now. I don’t want anybody else to hear what I have to say, but it’s very important.
- You’re not going to keep talking out of the side of your mouth, are you? I can’t keep up with all the deceit!
- Talking out of the side of your mouth isn’t ideal in this family. If you’ve got something to say, you should just be honest and say it.
- I didn’t mean to speak out of the side of my mouth, but I really didn’t think it was wise for anyone else to hear that.
You can use the phrase to reference somebody’s lying. It often calls them out for being deceitful or malicious when telling a lie. Many people won’t know how to respond if you use an idiom like this because they’ll know they’ve been caught out.
Variations of “Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth”
There are some variations of this idiom that you might have come across as well. Check out some of these to see if you’re familiar:
- Talking out of the side of your neck
- Talking out of the corner of your mouth
- Talking out of both sides of your mouth
All of these variations are used in very similar ways. You’ll often find them being used when referring to someone that is clearly lying:
- Do you have to keep talking out of the side of your neck? I already know that you’re full of it!
- He is talking out of the corner of his mouth, and I can’t quite understand why he would do that.
- Stop talking out of both sides of your mouth already. I’m already wise to you and your antics!
“Talking Out of the Side of Your Mouth” – Synonyms
Perhaps you’d also like to check out a few synonyms that you might be able to use:
- Lie through your teeth
- Pull the wool over my eyes
- Nothing but smoke and mirrors
- Bend the truth
- Pull a fast one
“Talking out of the side of your mouth” means that you or someone else is lying. You will often say one thing to someone but a completely different lie to another person. It could signify that you are speaking privately, but this meaning is much less common.
You may also like: 10 Words For Someone Who Lies All The Time
Martin holds a Master’s degree in Finance and International Business. He has six years of experience in professional communication with clients, executives, and colleagues. Furthermore, he has teaching experience from Aarhus University. Martin has been featured as an expert in communication and teaching on Forbes and Shopify. Read more about Martin here.