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Tongues are a muscular organs on the floors of the mouths of most vertebrates, which manipulate food for mastication. The tongue is the primary organ of taste, and in humans a secondary function of the tongue is phonetic articulation.


  • Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
  • Speak to me in many voices
    Make them all sound like one
    Let me see your sacred mysteries
    Reveal to me the Unknown Tongue.
And then she took her father's razor
And watched it cut into her palm
She put her hand up to her mouth
To taste the blood so holy and warm.
  • Reveal to me the Unknown Tongue Cultosaurus Erectus, by Blue Oyster Cult, lyrics by A. Bouchard, David Roter
  • Better the feet slip than the tongue.
  • My tongue, though not my heart, shall have his will.
  • Is there a tongue like Delia's o'er her cup,
    That runs for ages without winding up?

Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations[edit]

Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 808-09.
  • The first vertue, sone, if thou wilt lerne,
    Is to restreyne and kepen wel thy tonge.
  • The stroke of the tongue breaketh the bones. Many have fallen by the edge of the sword; but not so many as have fallen by the tongue.
    • Ecclesiasticus, XXVIII. 17. 18.
  • He rolls it under his tongue as a sweet morsel.
  • The windy satisfaction of the tongue.
    • Homer, The Odyssey, Book IV, line 1,092. Pope's translation.
  • The tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil.
    • James, III. 8.
  • Though wickedness be sweet in his mouth, though he hide it under his tongue.
    • Job, XX. 12.
  • Lingua mali pars pessima servi.
    • The tongue is the vile slave's vilest part.
    • Juvenal, Satires, IX. 120.
  • In her tongue is the law of kindness.
    • Proverbs, XXXI, 26.
  • From the strife of tongues.
    • Psalms, XXXI, 20.
  • Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile.
    • Psalms, XXXIV, 13.
  • My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
    • Psalms, XLV, 1.
  • Since word is thrall, and thought is free,
    Keep well thy tongue, I counsel thee.
    • James I of Scotland, Ballad of good Counsel, quoted by Scott in Fair Maid of Perth, Chapter XXV.
  • So on the tip of his subduing tongue
    All kind of arguments and question deep,
    All replication prompt, and reason strong,
    For his advantage still did wake and sleep;
    To make the weeper laugh, the laugher weep,
    He had the dialect and different skill,
    Catching all passions in his craft of will.

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