a sign, an indication of something, a clue, an appearance befitting a specific situation or event.
how did she know you were hot for her?
err, that clue was a serious tell tale, I guess
by yuviken May 5, 2010
A saying that has existed for a long time, but wasn't extremely popular until it became famous through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, in which a pirate-ish skull and crossed bones on the wall utters this very phrase, among other things. Basically, what it means is that to keep something quiet, kill anyone who knows about it and, since that person is dead, it would be pretty much impossible for them to tell your secret. A similar saying is "Three can keep a secret if two are dead," invented by Benjamin Franklin.
So, you don't want anyone to find out that you're secretly a Hilary Duff fan? Just kill everyone who already knows--after all, dead men tell no tales.
by lollylollylollyPOP!!! June 27, 2007
When you are holding a fart in, quite suspensefully until eventually you release it, hoping no one realizes that it has come from you.
Narrator: “Villians! dissemble no more! I admit the deed! here, here! — it is the smell of my tell-tale fart!”
by Anonymous 4734902 November 9, 2021