This got me thinking of all the idioms in English that refer to the tongue, when communicating. Here is a list from the site learn-english-today.
|bite your tongue||If you bite your tongue, you stop yourself from saying|
what you really think.
Often a very hard exercise that may or may not be helpful.
Probably it's better to hold what you really want to say for
a better time or a better way of saying what maybe needs
to be said. Enough said!
get your tongue around
If you are able to pronounce a difficult word or phrase,
you can get your tongue round it.
|give rough edge|
|If you give the (rough) edge of your tongue, you|
scold someone severely or speak to them very
aggressively or rudely.
Helpful when you have to tear a strip off a person.
|hold your tongue||If you hold your tongue, you stay silent and|
This is a bit like biting your tongue only maybe
not as painful :)
|keep a civil tongue||People who keep a civil tongue express|
themselves in polite terms.
I often fail this one when speaking to the civic
employees at city hall.
|slip of the tongue||A slip of the tongue is a small spoken error|
Probably similar to a Freudian slip - calling
someone by the wrong name, for example.
It's often the fatal error in spy movies!!
|on the tip of your |
|To say that a word or answer is on the tip of your |
tongue, means that you're sure you know it but
have difficulty finding it.
A very graphic expression for a very irritating situation.
|tongue in cheek||If you describe a remark as 'tongue in cheek' you|
mean that it is not meant to be taken seriously;
it is meant to be funny or ironic.
I like the term but hate the gesture. Tongues can
be so expressive.
|tongue-lashing||When you scold someone severely, you give|
them a tongue-lashing.
Again similar to giving the rough edge, but
presumably the body remains in tact, just
beaten up badly.
|tongue-tied||If you are tongue-tied, you have difficulty in|
expressing yourself because you are nervous
Another graphic expression. It's often better to change
the topic, as in "Oh what lovely Geraniums you have" - then
trying to un-knot the moment.
|tongues are wagging||When tongues are wagging, people are beginning|
to spread gossip or rumours, often about someone's
This always reminds me of a dog. Fortunately they
rarely spread gossip!!
Other terms not included in this list are:
Speaking with a forked tongue - telling lies or trying to deceive someone. Possibly an illusion to being two-faced or speaking out of both sides of your mouth. I always think of snakes, as in the snake-oil salesman.
Speaking with a silver tongue - Maybe not a snake-oil monger, but probably a politician. It means speaking eloquently so that people will follow you.
Cat got your tongue - obviously the opposite of the dog image - go figure. Remaining silent or refusing to speak, withdrawn.
Find tongue - finding a way to say something.
Loosen one's tongue - take someone out for a drink to get some inside information. Get the person relaxed in an informal setting. It's a deceit, but so many of these expressions are about being deceptive.
Mother Tongue - one of my favourites, though I envy those who can speak in many tongues!
I think, though, that Ogden Nash said it best:
I hope my tongue in prune juice smothers,
If I belittle dogs and mothers.
Have a great day