tickle

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tickle (someone's) funny bone

To make someone laugh; to be humorous or amusing to someone. There's this silly statue on campus that never fails to tickle my funny bone when I walk past it. David has such wit that he can tickle the funny bone of anyone he meets.
See also: bone, funny, tickle

tickle the dragon's tail

To do something risky or dangerous. You know dad has a temper, so why are you antagonizing him? Stop tickling the dragon's tail unless you want to be grounded for weeks! Rob is definitely tickling the dragon's tail with his new interest in skydiving.
See also: tail, tickle

tickled pink

Very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my fiance as much as I do, so they were just tickled pink to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled pink that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
See also: pink, tickle

tickled to death

Very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my boyfriend as much as I do, so they were just tickled to death to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled to death that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
See also: death, tickle

be tickled pink

To be very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my fiancé as much as I do, so they were just tickled pink to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled pink that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
See also: pink, tickle

slap and tickle

A euphemism for mild sexual activity. Primarily heard in UK. My flatmates were having a bit of slap and tickle in the sitting room when I came home last night. It was awkward, to say the least.
See also: and, slap, tickle

tickle (one's) fancy

To be appealing or pleasant to someone; to be intriguing or of interest to someone. A: "Do you want to go to a movie later on?" B: "I don't know, there's nothing that really tickles my fancy in theaters right now." I'm not going to declare my major until I've had a couple years in college to see what ends up tickling my fancy.
See also: fancy, tickle

be tickled to death

To be very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my boyfriend as much as I do, so they were just tickled to death to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled to death that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
See also: death, tickle

tickle someone pink

Fig. to please or entertain someone very much. Bill told a joke that really tickled us all pink. I know that these flowers will tickle her pink.
See also: pink, tickle

tickle someone's fancy

to interest someone; to make someone curious. I have an interesting problem here that I think will tickle your fancy. This doesn't tickle my fancy at all. This is dull and boring.
See also: fancy, tickle

tickle someone to death

 
1. Fig. to tickle someone a great deal. Bobby nearly tickled Tim to death. Tim was left breathless. We got him down and tickled him to death.
2. and tickle someone to pieces Fig. to please someone a great deal. (See also tickle someone pink.) What you told her just tickled her to death! That story just tickles me to pieces.
See also: death, tickle

tickle the ivories

to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice. She sat down to tickle the ivories for a while.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickled pink

Fig. very much pleased or entertained. I was tickled pink to have you visit us. We were tickled pink when your flowers arrived.
See also: pink, tickle

tickled pink

Also, tickled to death. Delighted, as in I was tickled pink when I got his autograph, or His parents were tickled to death when he decided to marry her. The first term, first recorded in 1922, alludes to one's face turning pink with laughter when one is being tickled. The variant, clearly a hyperbole, dates from about 1800.
See also: pink, tickle

tickle one's fancy

Appeal to one, be to one's liking, as in That joke tickled my fancy. This term uses fancy in the sense of "liking" or "taste." [Second half of 1700s]
See also: fancy, tickle

tickle the ivories

Play the piano, as in He went on tickling the ivories until three in the morning. This expression alludes to a piano's keys, traditionally made of ivory. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle the ivories

INFORMAL
If someone tickles the ivories, they play the piano. Peter Brown tickles the ivories tonight at the Mercury Lounge alongside bassist Chris Breitner.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickled pink

INFORMAL
If you are tickled pink about something, you are extremely pleased about it. As a developer, I'm tickled pink by the dropping prices. Her dressmaker would just be tickled pink if we put one of her outfits in the magazine. Note: This expression may refer to someone's face becoming pink or redder when they are being tickled.
See also: pink, tickle

tickle (or tinkle) the ivories

play the piano. informal
The ivories are the white keys of the piano, traditionally made of ivory.
See also: ivory, tickle

slap and tickle

physical amorous play. British informal
See also: and, slap, tickle

be tickled pink (or to death)

be extremely amused or pleased. informal
1992 Guy Vanderhaeghe Things As They Are She made a big show of not being taken in by him, but I could see that all six feet…of her was tickled pink by his attentions.
See also: pink, tickle

catch/take/tickle somebody’s ˈfancy

(informal) please or attract somebody: Mary seems afraid some other girl will catch Alan’s fancy.She saw that the picture had taken my fancy and insisted on giving it to me as a present.
See also: catch, fancy, take, tickle

(a bit of) slap and ˈtickle

(old-fashioned, British English, informal) kissing and cuddling between lovers: We used to do anything to get a bit of slap and tickle when we were young lads.
See also: and, slap, tickle

be tickled ˈpink

(also be tickled to ˈdeath) (old-fashioned, informal) be very pleased or amused: My grandmother will be tickled pink to get an invitation to the wedding. OPPOSITE: (as) sick as a parrot
See also: pink, tickle

tickle the ivories

tv. to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickled (pink)

mod. amused; utterly delighted; pleased. I am tickled pink you could come this evening.
See also: pink, tickle

tickled

verb
See also: tickle

tickled pink

Informal
Very pleased; delighted: I was tickled pink by the compliment.
See also: pink, tickle
References in periodicals archive ?
To test the theory, they re-timed the tickling machine so that self-administered tickles came a fraction of a second later than the volunteers expected.
Researchers postulated that if humor and tickling are related, and the warm-up effect applies to both, then subjects should laugh more when tickling follows humor or humor follows tickling.
But if tickling is indeed a reflex, that raises an even more perplexing question: Why can't people tickle themselves?
Tickling and laughter are universal among humans and can even be found among chimpanzees, suggesting that they serve some serious evolutionary purpose.
Mrs Bennett added: "The Squire of Knotty Ash is always a big hit with the children - especially when he brings his tickling stick.
The lawyer said: "There was deliberate touching under the guise of tickling.
While tickling may be harmless, too much sensation can be more painful than pleasurable.
Researchers used a special tickling device to see how it affected volunteers by monitoring their brain activity.
They found that when someone else did the tickling, it went to the part of the brain linked to pleasure.
Extreme tickling can be stimulating to the point of pain and your girlfriend may enjoy the sensation of you dominating her.
But as with all fetishes it's important the tickling doesn't become more important than her relationship with you.
He's even given me a special feather tickling stick to help.
The skin around the genitals and breasts is rich in touch-sensitive nerve endings that come alight with light stroking or tickling.
He loves tickling me, especially the soles of my feet.