The tongue is the muscle inside the mouth that helps us taste and talk. The plural is ‘tongues’.


FUN FACT – The vowel ‘o’ is pronounced more like the vowel ‘u’. It’s another one of those little quirks of the English language. Vowels can be pronounced in many different ways. You can find out the rules here.

tongue idioms list

Let’s look at some popular body idioms that contain the word ‘tongue’.

  • bite one’s tongue
    meaning – stop yourself saying something bad/offensive/inappropriate
    example – Mia was talking about how wonderful her husband is. I had to bite my tongue.
  • cat got one’s tongue
    meaning – a comment you make to someone when they are quiet
    example – I think the cat has got Harry’s tongue; he hasn’t said a word all morning.
  • mother tongue
    meaning – one’s native language
    example – French is my mother tongue, but I also speak English, Spanish, and German.
  • on the tip of one’s tongue
    meaning – can almost remember a word/phrase/name etc. but not quite
    example – I know this song! It’s on the tip of my tongue.
  • slip of the tongue
    meaning – say something you didn’t mean to say
    example – I called Noah by his brother’s name. It was a slip of the tongue, but he wasn’t pleased.
  • tongue in cheek
    meaning – something is said as a joke although it may seem real
    example – Dave said he loves Donald Trump; I hope it was a tongue in cheek comment.
  • tongue-tied
    meaning – you can’t speak due to embarrassment, nervousness, or shyness
    example – Kelly is a main part in the school play. I hope she doesn’t get tongue-tied.

tongue idioms list with pictures

Here’s some real life picture examples.

idiomatic expressions with body parts - tongue
tongue idioms - bite one’s tongue
tongue idioms - cat got one’s tongue
tongue idioms - mother tongue
tongue idioms - on the tip of one's tongue
tongue idioms - slip of the tongue
tongue idioms - tongue in cheek
tongue idioms - tongue-tied

You can download a table of ‘tongue’ idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more body idioms by clicking on the links below.