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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 uness 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

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 to death

very pleased We were tickled to death that she finally got the Tony award for best actress.
See also: death, tickle

tickle the ivories

to play the piano She writes and produces her own music, and also tickles the ivories on her new album.
Usage notes: usually refers to playing the piano informally rather than in a concert
Etymology: from the literal meaning of ivories (piano keys)
See also: ivory, tickle

take/tickle somebody's fancy

if something takes someone's fancy, they suddenly think it seems interesting She's got enough money to buy whatever takes her fancy.
See also: fancy, take

tickle/tinkle the ivories

to play the piano
Usage notes: The parts of a piano that you press to play it used to be made of a hard white substance called ivory.
Grandma could tickle the ivories like a professional.
See also: ivory, tickle

slap and tickle

  (mainly British old-fashioned, humorous)
sexual activity that is not serious They were having a bit of slap and tickle on the sofa when I walked in.
See also: and, slap, tickle

be tickled pink/to death

to be extremely pleased about something Val was tickled pink when Susan asked her to be bridesmaid at her wedding.
See also: death, 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

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


See also: tickle

tickled pink

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.