Spilling the Tea

Contents: Meaning | Origin | Spread


What does Spilling the Tea mean?

Spilling the tea is a relatively new idiom, used as an analogy for spreading rumors or gossip.

The phrase was especially common in black drag communities, until it got widely spread, thanks to the “none of my business” meme, featuring Kermit the frog.

via MEME

Origin of the meme

Where does Spilling the Tea come from?

The first use of the term in print appeared in 1991, when the book titled One of the Children: An Ethnography of Identity and Gay Black Men was published by William G. Hawkeswood.

In the book a quoted person is comparing the two different worlds of gay and straight men and says, that gays are at an advantage, since they ‘give you dance and great tea’.

The term tea here is also used as a term for gossip.

Spread of the meme

How did Spilling the Tea spread?

Urban Dictionary’s first definition was written on the subject in 2003, which led to further spread of the phrase.

What truly moved the slang expression forward though, was the aforementioned “none of my business” meme, where good old Kermit is sipping some tea, to wash town some tasty gossip.

The meme had spread far and wide across the internet, to meme sites and social media groups, devoted to memeing.

In 2016, a bunch of memes were shared to Buzzfeed with the title “everyone who loves spilling the tea.”

Further information/Sources

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Published: 06/24/2020 | Last updated: 09/16/2020 | 284 views | Report error

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