have a forked tongue

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have a forked tongue

To make empty or false promises; to speak duplicitously or beguilingly. Likened to having the tongue of a serpent, a traditional symbol of deceit and dishonesty. That's the last time I lend Brian any money, that guy has a forked tongue! He learned quickly that having a forked tongue was an effective way of getting ahead in business.
See also: forked, have, tongue
References in periodicals archive ?
Monitors have forked tongues, making them the only reptiles other than snakes to possess the characteristic.
So baby monitor lizards - which look almost exactly like alligators, except they have forked tongues - were used instead.