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mouthful of marbles

A phrase used to describe the speech of someone who mumbles when talking. I have such a hard time understanding him—he always sounds like he has a mouthful of marbles.
See also: marble, mouthful, of

give (one) a mouthful

To scold or yell at one in anger. Primarily heard in UK. I'm definitely going to give Pete a mouthful for not finishing the report on time.
See also: give, mouthful

say a mouthful

Fig. to say a lot; to say something very important or meaningful. When you said things were busy around here, you said a mouthful. It is terribly busy. You sure said a mouthful, Bob. Things are really busy.
See also: mouthful, say

You (really) said a mouthful.

Inf. Fig. You said exactly what needed to be said.; What you said was very meaningful and had great impact. Bill: Did you hear what I said to her? Jane: Yes. You said a mouthful. Was she mad? Bill: This is the worst food I have ever eaten. It is either stale, wilted, dry, or soggy! Tom: You said a mouthful!
See also: mouthful, said

say a mouthful

Utter something important or meaningful, as in You said a mouthful when you called him a fine musician. This term is often used to express agreement, much as you can say that again is. It was first recorded in 1790.
See also: mouthful, say

give someone a mouthful

talk to or shout at someone in an angry, abusive, or severely critical way; swear at someone. British informal
See also: give, mouthful, someone

say a mouthful

make a striking or important statement; say something noteworthy. North American informal
See also: mouthful, say


1. n. a true statement. You said a mouthful, and I agree.
2. n. a tirade. Paul really gave me a mouthful. I didn’t know I hurt his feelings.
References in classic literature ?
According to their account, the tree on which it hung was guarded by a terrible dragon, who never failed to devour, at one mouthful, every person who might venture within his reach.
But, in my view of the matter, the dragon is merely a pretty large serpent, who is not half so likely to snap me up at one mouthful as I am to cut off his ugly head, and strip the skin from his body.
And Orpheus (whose custom it was to set everything to music) began to harp and sing most gloriously, and made every mother's son of them feel as if nothing in this world were so delectable as to fight dragons, and nothing so truly honorable as to be eaten up at one mouthful, in case of the worst.
I have heard," rejoined the youth, "that a dragon lies beneath the tree on which the prize hangs, and that whoever approaches him runs the risk of being devoured at a mouthful.
And therefore, though he would gladly have seen Jason snapped up at a mouthful, he was resolved (and it was a very wrong thing of this wicked potentate) not to run any further risk of losing his beloved Fleece.
Indeed, it had heretofore been a great inconvenience to these poor animals, that, whenever they wished to eat a mouthful of grass, the fire out of their nostrils had shriveled it up, before they could manage to crop it.
So we crept into the cave, which did not appear to be very big, and huddling ourselves together for warmth, swallowed what remained of our brandy--barely a mouthful each--and tried to forget our miseries in sleep.
My tongue, cheeks and even my forehead erupted and waves of panic accompanied the bravado mouthfuls that followed.
According to Sin Chew Daily, the two-minute video clip posted on YouTube showed Chen taking three mouthfuls of slimy stuff from a paper container while in a toilet.
David Libin, 65, collapsed after a couple of mouthfuls.
But after a closer look, biologist Tony Martin of the Sea Mammal Research Unit in the United Kingdom realized that only male dolphins were carrying and waving around mouthfuls of weeds.
I'll be sharing some of my favourite recipes using local ingredients to create my own MidWales Mouthfuls.
Terrific an actor as he is, verbal mouthfuls and deep drama have never been Depp's strengths, and those are precisely the gifts that Wilmot calls for.
In September 1995 he came just a few mouthfuls short of drinking half a gallon of vindaloo, and in December 1996, he succeeded in drinking two pints of Phaal sauce for Snowball.
Out came the tweezers so the family could dissect the offending mouthfuls.