find (one's) tongue

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find (one's) tongue

To regain the ability to speak, especially after feeling frightened, nervous, or at a loss for words. It took him a minute, but Pete found his tongue again after we startled him at his surprise party. The little boy, who had been huddled nervously at the back, found his tongue and told the detectives what happened.
See also: find, tongue
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

find one's tongue

Fig. to be able to talk; to figure out what to say. Tom was speechless for a moment. Then he found his tongue. Ann was unable to find her tongue. She sat there in silence.
See also: find, tongue
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

find your tongue

If you find your tongue, you begin to talk, when you have been too shy, frightened, shocked or embarrassed to say anything before. All four men stared at him. It was Livingstone who found his tongue first.
See also: find, tongue
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

find your ˈvoice/ˈtongue

(informal) finally be able to speak after being too nervous or shy to do so: He sat silent through the first half of the meeting before he found his tongue.
See also: find, tongue, voice
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in classic literature ?
At last the fear struck man found his tongue, and, though his eyes never left the menacing figure of the grim, iron-clad outlaw, he addressed the master of Leybourn; shrieking in a high, awe emasculated falsetto:
Jones, though perhaps the most astonished of the three, first found his tongue; and being immediately recovered from those uneasy sensations which Molly by her upbraidings had occasioned, he burst into a loud laughter, and then saluting Mr Square, advanced to take him by the hand, and to relieve him from his place of confinement.
Kit, in the relief of having made his proposition, found his tongue loosened, and spoke out in its favour with his utmost eloquence.
our silent clerk has found his tongue," said one of the woodmen.
"And there's more, besides," went on Horne Fisher, who seemed to have suddenly found his tongue. "If we want country people to vote for us, why don't we get somebody with some notion about the country?
"It's an awfully big frog," he said, glad that he had found his tongue again.
No wonder, then, Newcastle United's manager found his tongue when asked about Taylor's performance against Manchester City which defied rational belief.
The meal commenced and the conversation began with "It surely has been hot this summer, hasn't it?" This was followed by the usual response by everyone that, "Yes, it surely has!" Reggie found his tongue and asked, "Is it usually this hot here in August?"
Malcolm voted to support the Scottish Executive in favour of the Iraq war one day, but found his tongue in opposition a few days later when it made absolutely no difference.
Suddenly, he has found his tongue again and is waxing lyrical about the FA's new pounds 30m National Football Centre in East Staffordshire.
The Great Lie by Myrrha Stanford-Smith 'Come to the fire, sir, you must be shrammed with cold.' Her voice was low and pleasant, and Nick was relieved of cloak and cap and settled in a chair by the fire before he had found his tongue.
After landing on neighbouring Harris, he found his tongue and launched into a tirade of abuse against the BBC.