hold (one's) tongue

(redirected from hold my tongue)

hold (one's) tongue

To stay quiet despite wanting to say something If you want to say something rude to my girlfriend, please hold your tongue, all right?
See also: hold, tongue

hold one's tongue

Fig. to refrain from speaking; to refrain from saying something unpleasant. I felt like scolding her, but I held my tongue. Hold your tongue, John. You can't talk to me that way!
See also: hold, tongue

hold one's tongue

Also, hold or keep one's peace . Keep quiet, remain silent, as in If you don't hold your tongue you'll have to go outside, or Jenny kept her peace about the wedding. The idiom with tongue uses hold in the sense of "restrain," while the others use hold and keep in the sense of "preserve." Chaucer used the first idiom in The Tale of Melibus (c. 1387): "Thee is better hold thy tongue still, than for to speak." The variant appears in the traditional wedding service, telling anyone who knows that a marriage should not take place to "speak now or forever hold your peace." [First half of 1300s] Also see keep quiet.
See also: hold, tongue

hold your tongue

If you hold your tongue, you do not speak. Douglas held his tongue, preferring not to speak out on a politically sensitive issue. Note: People sometimes say hold your tongue as an angry way of telling someone to be quiet. `Hold your tongue, woman,' he had warned her furiously.
See also: hold, tongue

hold your tongue

remain silent. informal
See also: hold, tongue

ˌhold your ˈpeace/ˈtongue

(old-fashioned) say nothing; remain silent although you would like to give your opinion: We don’t want anyone to know what’s happened, so you’d better hold your tongue — do you understand?I didn’t want to start another argument, so I held my peace.
See also: hold, peace, tongue
References in classic literature ?
But I can do one thing, Lammle, I can hold my tongue.
If you don't believe I would hold my tongue about what I have seen here, for your sake, you may be certain that I would for--"
You must be wilfully deaf then, for anyone will tell you that; but I shall only anger you by repeating it, I see, so I had better hold my tongue.
I will hold my tongue like a stone or a piece of iron; furthermore let me say, and lay my saying to your heart, when heaven has delivered the suitors into your hand, I will give you a list of the women in the house who have been ill-behaved, and of those who are guiltless.
I have a great deal of vivacity in my own way, but I really must be allowed to judge when to speak and when to hold my tongue.
He said: "I was impressed I managed to hold my tongue, you can hear me on the horn.
Summary: The sheer luxury of being a passenger and not having to deal with the maddening traffic is enough to make me hold my tongue
I couldn't hold my tongue and complained to my sisterin-law, who then told her mum, and now I'm in the doghouse.
I couldn't hold my tongue and complained to my sister-in-law, who then told her mum, and now I'm in the doghouse.
Having never learned to hold my tongue or my liquor, radio in Atlanta is likely to get interesting very quickly.
Rooney said: "Last year I was winning races and beating good European athletes, whereas this year I have had to hold my tongue a bit more.
s "Last year I was winning races and beating good European athletes whereas this year I've had to hold my tongue a bit more," Rooney said.
So, in future, I shall hold my tongue when the banging and hammering wakes me on a Friday morning and just be glad that the workers are still here and building our future.
Normally I would call them every name under the sun for holding the country to ransom, but given the fact that Her Indoors would probably carry out a DIY vasectomy on me, I think I'll hold my tongue.
I usually hold my tongue and don't comment on the actions of police officers.