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.
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.
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.