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Related to civil: Civil services

a civil question deserves a civil answer

proverb If someone asks a reasonable question, then it warrants an answer. Often used as a reprimand. Why won't you answer me, Alice? A civil question deserves a civil answer! All Jim did was ask about your day. Come on, a civil question deserves a civil answer.

civil serpent

An unhelpful or otherwise disagreeable bureaucrat. A humorous play on the phrase "civil servant"; serpents are typically depicted as evil or villainous. I can't deal with any more civil serpents—they just keep sending me from office to office.
See also: civil, serpent

keep a civil tongue

To speak kindly and politely; to refrain from using harsh, insolent, or rude language. I don't want any outbursts between you and your sister during this dinner, so please keep a civil tongue, understood? I know that this is a heated topic, but I would ask that all participants in the debate please keep a civil tongue.
See also: civil, keep, tongue

keep a civil tongue in (one's) head

To speak kindly and politely. Please try to keep a civil tongue in your head the next time you talk to Mary, instead of arguing with her, OK?
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

keep a civil tongue (in one's head)

Fig. to speak decently and politely. Please, John. Don't talk like that. Keep a civil tongue in your head. John seems unable to keep a civil tongue.
See also: civil, keep, tongue
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

keep a civil tongue in one's head

Speak politely, as in The teacher won't allow swearing; she says we must keep a civil tongue in our heads. This expression uses tongue in the sense of "a manner of speaking," a usage dating from the 1400s. An early cautionary version was "Keep a good tongue in your head, lest it hurt your teeth" (1595).
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

keep a civil tongue in your head

speak politely and calmly, without rudeness.
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

civil serpent

n. a civil servant. You have no idea the kinds of things “civil serpents” have to put up with.
See also: civil, serpent
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Dr Wan Azizah said the unfair merger of the two services had resulted in the perception of a lack of efficiency, but added that this might be derived from large number of civil servants.
The Civil Protection renders assistance to citizens in cases of disasters and other accidents, thus it is necessary it disposes of specialized equipment.
Moreover, Federal Civil Defence Training School, Quetta trained 15 participants as Civil Defence Specialist Instructor (Rescue Service).
According to the union, the civil service which is a sub-set of the entire Public Service,is made up of line Ministries such as Ministries of Agriculture, Budget and National Planning, Communication, Defence, Education, Labour Environment, Federal Capital Territory, Environment, and Employment, and others.
The incumbent senior civil judges became senior civil judges (judicial).
The documents reads senior civil judge Rawalpindi Azeem Akhtar has been transferred to Sargoda, senior civil judge Saleem Mirza has been transferred in Rawalpindi and senior civil judge Mohammad Awais Khan in Attock, besides senior civil judges from Sargoda, Chakwal and Jhelum have been transferred.
Another difficulty is that a civil servant just cannot go out and get back in the civil service as he/she wants.
In this regard, he pointed out that "the construction of the future of the Tunisian administration for future generations requires the establishment of good governance, noting that the civil service department within the UGTT is following the development of the civil service reform issue.
In his speech, the mayor highlighted the importance of civil defense and appreciated the duties of civil defense volunteers.
Civil society is also critically important for making people aware of the need and value of the rule of law, as well as apprising government institutions and functionaries of the state about the importance and their respective role(s) in ensuring the rule of law.
This is stipulated by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's decree on application of the law "On Amending the Law on Civil Service", dated Dec.
In a democracy, civil society groups have respect for the law, the rights of individuals and the rights of other groups to express their interests and opinions.
Civil society, besides being an avenue of volunteer association for pragmatic efforts, is a public sphere for deliberation over issues and concerns of the citizens with the aim to safeguard against policies and decisions that are harmful to their rights and interests.
The Roots and Consequences of Civil Wars and Revolutions: Conflicts That Changed World History