above prep.
If something is above, it is at a higher level than something else.
→He straightened the sign that was above the crowd.

ahead adv.
If something is ahead of something else, it is in front of it.
→The blue car drove on ahead of us.

amount n.
An amount is how much there is of something.
→Can I use my card to pay for the entire amount?

belief n.
A belief is a strong feeling that something is correct or true.
→A preacher or priest should have a strong belief in God.

center  n.
The center of something is the middle of it.
→The center of a dart board is the most important spot.

common adj.
If something is common, it happens often or there is much of it.
→It is common for snow to fall in the winter.

cost v.
To cost is to require expenditure or payment.
→These designer shoes cost more than the regular ones.

demonstrate v.
To demonstrate something is to show how it is done.
→She demonstrated her plan to her co-workers.

different adj.
Different describes someone or something that is not the same as others.
→Each of my sisters has a different hair style from one another.

evidence n.
Evidence is a fact or thing that you use to prove something.
→He used the pictures as evidence that UFOs are real.

honesty n.
Honesty means the quality of being truthful or honest.
→A courtroom should be a place of honesty.

idiom  n.
An idiom is a phrase with a meaning different from its words.
→The idiom “ when pigs fly ” means that something will never happen.

independent adj.
If something is independent, it is not controlled by something else.
→She chose to live an independent life in the country.

inside  n.
Inside means the inner part, space or side of something.
→The inside of the box was empty.

master n.
A master is a person who is very good at something.
→My brother is a master of taekwondo.

memory n.
A memory is something you remember.
→The memory of my first time in the city will always be the best.

proper adj.
If something is proper, it is right.
→It is not proper to throw your garbage on the road.

scan  v.
To scan something is to look at it very carefully.
→You must scan each person closely.

section  n.
A section is a part of something larger.
→The green section of the graph is the most important part.

surface  n.
The surface of something is the top part or outside of it.
→The surface of the moon is very rough.

Cats and Secrets

In English, there is a common idiom “ let the cat out of the bag.” It means to tell a secret. But where did this idiom start?

It came from a section of England. Long ago, people there went from town to town to sell things like vegetables, clothes, and pigs. They had strong beliefs about honesty. They didn’t like lying. One day, a man went to the section’s center to sell things.

“I have a baby pig for sale! It won’t cost much,” he said. He held the animal above his head. His style was different from honest people’s style. He was a master of tricking people and lying.

A woman named Beth scanned his pig. He offered her the pig for one gold coin. That was a very small amount. Beth gave him the coin. He put it in his pocket. He walked ahead of Beth to get the pig.

He gave her a closed bag and said, “ Here’s your pig.” He then left very quickly.

Beth looked at the bag’s surface. It was moving. She opened it to let the pig out. A cat was inside! “ He tricked me! That isn’t proper,” she said.

Later, the man returned to trick more people. Beth saw him and the memory of the cat came back. She told her friends. They stopped him. But no one knew what to do next.

Someone said, “We need an independent and fair person to decide that.” They went to the judge. Beth told him about the cat in the bag.

The judge asked, “ Is there evidence? Can you demonstrate how he did it?”

“ Look in his bag,” said Beth. She opened it and let a cat out of the bag. They learned the man’s secret, and he went to jail.

That’s how the idiom “ let the cat out of the bag” came to mean to tell a secret.