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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

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

tickle/tinkle the ivories

  (humorous)
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

give somebody a tinkle

  (old-fashioned, informal)
to telephone someone Okay then, I'll give you a tinkle when I get home.
See tickle the ivories
See also: give, tinkle

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

tinkle

1. in. to urinate. (Mostly juvenile use. Usually objectionable.) Jimmy, be sure and tinkle before we leave.
2. n. urine. (Essentially juvenile. Usually objectionable.) There’s tinkle on the bathroom floor.
References in classic literature ?
Often, the whole colony were playing at blindman's buff, magistrates and all, with their eyes bandaged, except a single scapegoat, whom the blinded sinners pursued by the tinkling of the bells at his garments.
When he returned for it he heard, to his relief and surprise, the tinkling of a Mozart Sonata.
My pistol was not cocked before the crash came that I was counting on, and with it a shower of small glass driving across the six-foot sill and tinkling on the flags.
It was about ten o' clock at night; I had been dining by myself at a restaurant, and having returned to my small apartment, was sitting in my parlour, reading I heard the cracked tinkling of the bell, and, going into the corridor, opened the door.
Of course it was impossible, and he might ring and ring, but she would never open the door; and then while she was waiting for the tinkling of the bell, all nerves, suddenly he stood before her.
The prince hurried down to the front gate where the party were settling into the troikas, all the bells tinkling a merry accompaniment the while.
At last he came to where a little stream spread across the road in a shallow sheet, tinkling and sparkling as it fretted over its bed of golden gravel.
Dalloway, mingling with the soft rustling of her skirts, and the tinkling of her chains.
After dinner, when Celia was playing an "air, with variations," a small kind of tinkling which symbolized the aesthetic part of the young ladies' education, Dorothea went up to her room to answer Mr.
He waved a thorny hand and at once the tinkling of bells was heard, playing sweet music.
So they sang to a joyous, tinkling melody as follows:
Gradually the Thing sank lower and nearer to the ground until at length it came to rest within the beautiful gardens of Glinda, settling upon a velvety green lawn close by a fountain which sent sprays of flashing gems, instead of water, high into the air, whence they fell with a soft, tinkling sound into the carved marble basin placed to receive them.
The Scarecrow wore the blue dress of the Munchkins, in which country he was made, and on his head was set a peaked hat with a flat brim trimmed with tinkling bells.
I hearkened and hearkened the ministers, and read an' read at my prayer-book; but it was all like sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal: the sermons I couldn't understand, an' th' prayer-book only served to show me how wicked I was, that I could read such good words an' never be no better for it, and oftens feel it a sore labour an' a heavy task beside, instead of a blessing and a privilege as all good Christians does.
The tinkling of glasses and the sort murmuring of whispered conversation had ceased during Francis' story.