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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.
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.
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).
n. a civil servant. You have no idea the kinds of things “civil serpents” have to put up with.