Idioms

Learn idioms with comprehensive meaning, examples and origin details.

Idioms

keep schtum

keep schtum

Meaning

  • To be quiet when one knows that if the wrong thing is said then there will be more trouble.
  • To not say something to anyone.
  • To keep a sensitive matter a secret.
  • To not divulge any information.

Example Sentences

  1. I can’t tell you because you will not be able to keep schtum about it.
  2. She can keep schtum about such a sensitive thing, you can trust her.
  3. My aunt loves to gossip, she is not going to keep schtum if she ever finds out.
  4. The whole college kept schtum about the incident, nobody said a word about what happened there that day, it is truly remarkable.
  5. To keep schtum is a virtue that not everyone can carry.
  6. The prisoner kept schtum for years to keep his comrades safe. ‎

Origin
The word ‘stumm’ in the German language means to be silent. The phrase in question originates in the United Kingdom and comes from the criminal world. Frank Norman used the phrase in his book “Bang to rights: an account of prison life” in the year 1958. The phrase is mostly used in the United Kingdom itself.

Synonyms

  • keep stumm
  • keep shtoom
  • keep shtum

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