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Related to civil: Civil services

a civil question deserves a civil answer

If someone asks a reasonable question, then it warrants an answer. Often used as a reprimand. Why won't you answer me, Alice? A civil question deserves a civil answer! All Jim did was ask about your day. Come on, a civil question deserves a civil answer.

keep a civil tongue (in one's head)

Fig. to speak decently and politely. Please, John. Don't talk like that. Keep a civil tongue in your head. John seems unable to keep a civil tongue.
See also: civil, keep, tongue

keep a civil tongue in your head

  (slightly formal)
if you tell someone to keep a civil tongue in their head, you are telling them to be polite, especially after they have said something rude (often an order) Try to keep a civil tongue in your head. We want him on our side.
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue

keep a civil tongue in one's head

Speak politely, as in The teacher won't allow swearing; she says we must keep a civil tongue in our heads. This expression uses tongue in the sense of "a manner of speaking," a usage dating from the 1400s. An early cautionary version was "Keep a good tongue in your head, lest it hurt your teeth" (1595).
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue

civil serpent

n. a civil servant. You have no idea the kinds of things “civil serpents” have to put up with.
See also: civil, serpent
References in periodicals archive ?
Addressing the gathering, Minister of State for Home Affairs Shri Kiren Rijiju said Civil Defence is service to the nation and we should improve and strengthen the civil defence concept.
This report from visiongain is a completely fresh market assessment of the civil helicopter sector based upon the latest information.
Is this draft law a step forward for supporters of civil marriage in Lebanon?
The contribution of blacks in several facets of the Civil War is just one topic discussed in the growing compendium of books on the subject.
The horror of battle, however, punctured sailors' naive beliefs that the Civil War would be a grand adventure.
Same-sex marriages and civil unions intersect with some of the more fundamental questions of family life--care of children, the stability of relationships, and family resources.
The psychologically tumultuous postwar lives of Civil War combat veterans strikingly resemble the lives of Vietnam combat veterans, who have high rates of mental disorders, remarks psychiatrist Roger K.
Parks's refusal--50 years ago next month--to comply with city and state segregation laws was a pivotal moment in the civil rights struggle.
Parts of that Act--both permanent provisions and those that are scheduled to sunset later this year--have become lightning rods for debate around balancing civil liberties with homeland security.
As the son of parents active in civil rights and the local NAACP chapter of his hometown of Camden, New Jersey, Gordon is both literally and figuratively a child of the civil rights movement.
The Federal Reserve Board announced on April 21, 2005, the issuance of a consent order of assessment of a civil money penalty against the Irwin Union Bank, Columbus, Indiana, a state member bank.
Spain is just one of a half dozen countries worldwide that have made crucial strides toward marriage rights--or at least civil union-like protections--during the past year.
Faith-based institutions," he told fellow House members, "should be required, like all other recipients of federal funds, to adhere to basic civil rights laws, and I cannot even begin to count the number of institutions that have contacted my office in the last few days asking to be held to those same standards.
A new kind of civil disobedience came to Missoula, Montana, recently.