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Related to civilly: conferred, reconfirm, prospectively

a civil question deserves a civil answer

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.

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, huh?
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue

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

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

keep a civil tongue in your head

speak politely and calmly, without rudeness.
See also: civil, head, keep, tongue

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
References in periodicals archive ?
California's sexual-predator law received a boost in February when a trial judge rejected the first challenge to the legislation, ruling the law properly allowed the state to civilly commit a serial rapist once his prison term was over.
English diplomacy played a remarkable role both in permitting the Swiss to solve their conflict alone and in encouraging them to do it so civilly
There is only one way, Havel adds, "to strive for decency, reason, responsibility, sincerity, civility, and tolerance, and that is decently, reasonably, responsibly, sincerely, civilly, and tolerantly.
banks a complete and permanent separation in law so that these banks can be relieved of any remaining BCCI taint and operate free and clear of this controversy; and to ensure that all wrongdoers are prosecuted civilly and criminally to the extent provided by law.
The new definition makes it clear that senior corporate management, and not line operation and maintenance personnel, are to be held civilly and criminally liable for violations.
Unfortunately, most high school age kids believe they are invincible and don't understand the devastating consequences bad driving can lead to and how their parents can be held responsible - civilly and criminally - for their actions.
Service restoration of conditions of road safety compromised as a result of the occurrence of traffic accidents on the roads of the Province of Pesaro and Urbino in subrogation of the civilly responsible dell~eventuo harmful.
Although the SEC has decided to sue Bekkedam and Ballamor civilly regarding the Rothstein investment, Bekkedam is in the process of responding to and clarifying these allegations as well.
Amid controversy over the placement of dangerous sex offenders who have completed their prison sentences, the presiding member of a board that oversees a little-known agency that manages civilly committed violent sex offenders resigned on Tuesday.
31, of San Miguel basketball team, and Aquino were civilly married in 2005 and separated in 2010.
Encouraging in that at least one woman, a pastor and a cardinal are talking civilly about her place in the diaconate.
The lawsuits, seeking over e1/42 million in damages from the Republic, also name President Demetris Christofias, government ministers and state officials as civilly liable.
On the city council boss who swore at a rival on email The head of Children's Services who will chastise others over their performance or attitude, who can't control his own temper and obviously can't discuss things civilly when challenged is a disgrace and should resign.
These men must be held accountable civilly and morally for their inaction.
Currently, a person with mental illness would only be barred from purchasing or possessing a gun if they had previously been found guilty except for insanity of a crime, been civilly committed to the Oregon Health Authority, or been found mentally ill by a judge and prohibited by court order from purchasing or possessing a firearm.