bite your tongue


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bite (one's) tongue

1. Literally, to accidentally pinch one's tongue with one's teeth. My daughter started crying after she bit her tongue.
2. To stop oneself from saying something (often something potentially inappropriate, hurtful, or offensive). I had to bite my tongue as my sister gushed about her new boyfriend yet again.
See also: bite, tongue

Bite your tongue!

Stop talking! An expression of frustration with what someone is saying, often because it is pessimistic. A: "Oh, I don't think I'm going to get the job." B: "Bite your tongue! You don't know that for sure."
See also: bite

bite your tongue

COMMON If you bite your tongue, you do not say something that you would like to say. All I can do is to bite my tongue if I want to keep my job.
See also: bite, tongue

bite your tongue

make a desperate effort to avoid saying something.
See also: bite, tongue

bite your ˈtongue

stop yourself from saying something that might upset somebody or cause an argument, although you want to speak: I didn’t believe her explanation but I bit my tongue. OPPOSITE: give somebody a piece of your mind
See also: bite, tongue

bite your tongue

Hope that what you just said doesn’t come true. This imperative is a translation of the Yiddish saying, Bays dir di tsung, and is used in informal conversation. For example, “You think it’ll rain on their outdoor ceremony? Bite your tongue!” A much older but related phrase is to bite one’s tongue, meaning to remain silent when provoked—literally, to hold it between one’s teeth so as to suppress speaking. Shakespeare had it in Henry VI, Part 2 (1.1): “So Yorke must sit, and fret, and bite his tongue.” See also hold one's tongue.
See also: bite, tongue
References in periodicals archive ?
Maggie said: "With a seizure, you can wet yourself and bite your tongue and these were the two facts that they seemed to find most hilarious as I had wet myself and had blood down my front.
Either bite your tongue and accept or risk losing her and any grandchildren that arrive.
WELCOME to the real world, Jose, a world where you have to doff your cap, bite your tongue and mind every P and Q.
If your bud has habits that just won't quit, should you bite your tongue or bite her head off?
BITE your tongue until she's not so hung up on her ex.