talk someone's arm off

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talk someone's arm off

Also, talk someone's ear or head or pants off ; talk a blue streak; talk until one is blue in the face; talk the bark off a tree or the hind leg off a donkey or horse . Talk so much as to exhaust the listener, as in Whenever I run into her she talks my arm off, or Louise was so excited that she talked a blue streak, or You can talk the bark off a tree but you still won't convince me. The first four expressions imply that one is so bored by a person's loquacity that one's arm (or ear or head or pants) fall off; they date from the first half of the 1900s (also see pants off). The term like a blue streak alone simply means "very quickly," but in this idiom, first recorded in 1914, it means "continuously." The obvious hyperboles implying talk that takes the bark off a tree, first recorded in 1831, or the hind leg off a horse, from 1808, are heard less often today. Also see under blue in the face.
See also: arm, off, talk
References in classic literature ?
I believe you'd talk the hind leg off a donkey, Athelny," she answered calmly.
Whereas my husband Lincoln has masses of energy, can't stand still and, like me, can talk the hind leg off a donkey, Duncan is the complete opposite.
HE can talk the hind leg off a donkey and chatty Dermot O'Leary reckons his new job is the closest he's ever going to get to being a big-money signing footballer.
AS Dot Cotton, she's the chain-smoking gossip of EastEnders who can talk the hind leg off a donkey.
Sandra was eventually able to do simple household tasks and make cups of tea, could talk the hind leg off a donkey, knit for England and cross-stitched many a beautiful picture.
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