What Does Between You, Me, and the Bedpost Mean?

Between You, Me, and the Bedpost Meaning

Definition: What comes next is a secret.

This idiom is said before a secret is told. The message here is that whatever is said next should not be repeated to anyone else.

If something is between you, me, and the bedpost, only two living people (you and me) know the secret, and the only other things that can hear the secret are non-living objects like the bedpost. The idea is that no other living beings should hear whatever the secret contains.

Origin of Between You, Me, and the Bedpost

 just me and you and you and meHundreds of years ago, a post meant any wooden stake, such as a fence stake. There are many variations of the phrase, including between you, me, and the fencepost and between you, me, and the gatepost that all refer to the same idea of secrecy between two people.

The earliest example of between you, me, and the bedpost comes from the book Eugene Aram, in which a character tells a secret by saying, “between you and me and the bed-post – young master’s quarreled with old master.”

Examples of Between You, Me, and the Bedpost

between you me and the gatepostToday, most people shorten this phrase to “between you and me” because the words bedpost, gatepost, and fencepost are rarely used now.

In any form, this phrase is always used as an introduction or concluding statement. For example, someone might begin a sentence with “between you and me” and then proceed to tell a secret, or he may tell a secret and then conclude with, “but that’s just between you and me.”

More Examples

  • This extraordinary museum describes itself as “between war and peace, between distress and well-being, between religious faith and secularism, between reality and hope, between you and me. –USA Today

Summary

The phrase between you, me, and the bedpost is said before telling a secret.