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Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Learn 8 Expressions in English with ‘Tongue’

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You know what this is?

This is a "tongue".

Do you have a tongue?

I hope so.

If you didn't, you couldn't talk.

Today I'm going to teach you some expressions or some idioms about the word "tongue".

So, first of all, the pronunciation of this word is a little crazy; a little difficult.

It looks like: "tongue", but it's actually just: "tong".

So, practice that at first: "tongue".

Don't say the "u" or the "e"; just say: "tong".

Stick out your tongue.

Most people don't like it when you stick out your tongue, so do it all the time;

annoy people.

I'm going to teach you expressions using this.

And I usually am not a fan of idioms; I think idioms are usually outdated, which means they're old,

and we don't use them, but these ones we do use and they're kind of fun.

And interestingly enough, you might have the same expressions in your language.

So, let's do a little culture quiz, shall we?

Let's see how many of these you have in your language, or how they're different.

So, the first one, someone might say to you: -"Hey.

Has the cat got your tongue?"

-"I don't have a cat.

What are you talking about?

Why would a cat get my tongue?"

So, this expression: "Has the cat got your tongue?"

means you don't talk.

So, they're asking you: "Why are you not talking?

Why are you not answering me?

Has the cat got your tongue?"

I don't know why it's a cat.

Why isn't it a dog?

So, it just means you aren't talking.

There's a reason - you don't want to.

-"Has the cat got your tongue?"

-"Meow" would be a good reply.

The next one: If someone has a "silver" or a "smooth tongue", this means they are able

to speak very well; they have a good way with words, you can also say.

For example, you can say: "She is a great salesperson because of her silver tongue."

If you have a silver tongue, you are able to speak to people; you can maybe sell them things;

you are charismatic, which means you can talk to people, you can charm them.

Do you have a silver tongue?

Mine's just a normal tongue.

If your tongue was silver, I'd try and steal it and sell it.

No I wouldn't.

Next one: "Bite your tongue".

When you do this, it really hurts.


You're eating: "Ow!

Ow, what happened?

Oh, I bit my tongue.

That was stupid.

Why did I...?"


So, biting your tongue is actually a literal thing, but as the idiom, it means that

you don't speak on purpose.

So, you want to tell someone something, but you bite your tongue to prevent you from speaking.

Example: "I had to bite my tongue in the meeting because if I spoke or if I said what I thought,

I probably would have gotten fired."

So, if you bite your tongue it's you prevent yourself from speaking, probably because you're

going to say something that someone doesn't like.

But don't bite your tongue; it really hurts.

Bite a sandwich or something.

This is good for you guys that are learning to speak English: "Slip of the tongue".

Oo, that sounds a little dangerous; a little slip of the tongue.



So: "a slip of the tongue" means you make a small mistake when you speak.

Oh, hey, there's an expression for this.

So, guess what?

When you're learning English and you're trying to speak English, even if you make a small

mistake, it's okay.

It's called "a slip of the tongue".


I do this all the time.

So, instead of going: "Oh my god!

Wow, my English is terrible", you can say: "Ah, it was just a slip of the tongue.


I used the past tense instead of the past perfect.

That's fine.

It was a slip of the tongue."

Sometimes you can use it like this: "Oh, I was embarrassed by my slip of the tongue."

So maybe you said something that was wrong, and you felt embarrassed.

But, again, you shouldn't feel embarrassed; it's just a mistake.

Everyone makes mistakes.


No one's perfect.

No, no one.

This is interesting, too, for you guys: "mother tongue".

So, what?

Why is my mother here?


Your mother tongue, this makes sense.

Your "mother tongue" is your native language.

So, for example, if you're from France, you could say: "French is my mother tongue."

This makes sense because it's what your mother spoke.

Now, I don't know why it's not your "father's tongue".

Oh, because they have different tongues.

I don't know.

So, it's called your "mother tongue".

English is my mother tongue.

Maybe you have three mother tongues.


But we usually use one of them.

This is interesting, too: "to speak in tongues".

This has a very, very old religious meaning.

Back in the day, which means a long time ago, a lot of people were charged or believed to

be possessed by the Devil.

And when someone was possessed by the Devil, they would speak a demonic language.

So, maybe your mother tongue is French, and all of a sudden you become very sick or a

little bit crazy, and you begin to speak Japanese.

This is a very mysterious thing because if you speak in tongues, you mysteriously speak

another language that you didn't learn.

So, a long time ago people believed that if someone did this, they were possessed by the

Devil, and...

Well, just kill them.

Go ahead.

Today we still use this in a religious way.

So: "He spoke in tongues; we didn't understand."

If I have my understanding of this correctly, there are a lot of evangelists on TV.

So, "evangelists" means people who preach the Bible.

So, they like to tell you things and they like to have your money.

I'll have your money.

And they get into a trance, and they feel the power of God, and they start to say some

really strange things.

It's not real; they're just: "[Mumbles].

Give me money.


Give me money to God to help you", and magically the people in the audience who were in wheelchairs

can get up and walk again.

It's amazing.

If you'd like to donate money to me, I can make you walk again.

Yeah, that'll happen.

I promise.

So, "to speak in tongues" means you speak another language that you've never learned.

Interesting, off topic-that's what I do-when my great-aunt was dying, she didn't speak

English, she spoke Gaelic because that was her mother tongue.

So, she was born in Scotland, and when she was losing her mind as people do when they

die, she spoke Gaelic.

And I was like: "Minnie, I...

What are you saying?

I don't understand you."

Because her brain reverted back to her mother tongue.


I wanted to learn, but she died.

Now I guess I can study myself, then.

Interesting story.

And this is a really good one: If "someone's tongue is hanging out for something"-usually

beer-it means you really, really want something; usually food or drinks.

So, you will hear people: "Oh my god, my tongue was hanging out for a beer."

Or like a dog.

When a dog's thirsty, they sweat, their tongue hangs out.

They want water; not beer, though.

So, we usually use this for beer, but you can say: "Oh, my tongue was hanging out for

a hamburger."

Or: "Oh, my tongue was hanging out for a glass of water", because you're really, really thirsty.

You really want something.

So, the next time someone speaks in another tongue, you can bet that they're possessed

by Satan, and maybe you can help them.

I don't know.

Ta-ta for now.

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