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

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 (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 ?
In virtually all other states besides New Hampshire and Massachusetts, people who are civilly committed remain under the care of their state's department of mental health, not corrections, according to the nonprofit Treatment Advocacy Center of Arlington, Va.
A relatio, or early draft document released on October 13, included a section titled "welcoming homosexual persons" and an instruction that the church should approach those in "irregular" relationships--meaning divorced and civilly remarried--by "appreciating the positive values they contain.
Instead, the authors conclude that the Church's consistent teachings about marriage is itself rooted in a merciful, loving approach to those who are civilly divorced and remarried.
BEIRUT: The first child of the first civilly married couple in Lebanon was born last month, his parents announced over the weekend.
Now, how about civilly paying your fare and campaigning at Nexus/DB Regio for them to make travel affordable instead of attacking ordinary working class people for doing a job that their employers pay them to do.
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.
American artist Lindsay Eanet said: "What we want are photos of couples - married, unmarried, civilly partnered, straight, gay, of all ages and nations and circumstances, or maybe best friends, or people with their children or pets.
Bishop John Chapman has given a church in the diocese of Ottawa permission to begin offering a rite of blessing to same-gender couples who are civilly married.
Forni discourages this reaction and shows ways to civilly answer an inconsiderate action or remark.
civ*il*ly adverb <You must treat the other team civilly, at least.
If they are involved in a shooting, win or lose the gig criminally or civilly, the taxpayers pay the bill, not the officer involved in the shooting, in almost all cases.
The European Commission decided, on 16 October, to take the United Kingdom to the European Court of Justice for failing to transpose into its national law Directive 2005/35/CE, which obliges member states to sanction - criminally and civilly - people responsible for polluting discharge at sea.
This year, when interest in elections has skyrocketed and voter turnout is expected to set new records, our work to register voters, answer questions about election policies and procedures, and conduct forums where candidates can discuss substantive issues civilly is sought more than ever.