language


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artificial language

A language devised for a specific purpose, such as computer programming. We need to develop an artificial language for this coding project.
See also: language

be in plain language

To be in clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated English. A:" Chronic atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries has stopped oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart, leading to a myocardial infarction." B: "Doctor, come on, I need that to be in plain language." I wish these software agreements would be in plain language, rather than this legalese gobbledygook.
See also: language, plain

body language

Any gesture, posture, or movement of the body or face to nonverbally communicate emotions, information, or emphasis. His voice was calm and steady, but his body language was quite hostile and threatening. Many US presidents develop signature body language that one can easily recognize when they are speaking in public.
See also: body, language

in plain language

In clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated English. Chronic atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries has stopped oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart, leading to a myocardial infarction. In plain language, you've suffered a heart attack. I wish these software agreements would be written in plain language, rather than this legalese gobbledygook.
See also: language, plain

language that could/would fry bacon

Extremely coarse, vulgar, offensive, or profane language. My grandmother was the sweetest lady alive, but when she got angry, she could use language that would fry bacon. I'm usually pretty even-tempered, but as soon as I get behind the wheel of a car I start spouting language that could fry bacon.
See also: bacon, could, fry, language, that

language that would make a sailor blush

Very profane language. (An allusion to the rough language presumed to be used by military personnel.) My grandmother was the sweetest lady you'd ever meet, but boy howdy could she use language that'd make a sailor blush!
See also: blush, language, make, sailor, that

loaded language

Words that are used in an attempt to sway someone, often by appealing to their emotions. Once you're able to recognize loaded language, you'll be far less likely to be fooled by commercials and politicians.
See also: language, loaded

mind (one's) language

To speak politely, without using profane, obscene, or rude language. Often used as an imperative. You mind your language, young lady, or you'll be grounded for the weekend! We've been trying to mind our language around the kids. They're at the age now where they'll start repeating everything we say!
See also: language, mind

private language

1. A way of communicating that is shared between and understood by only a few people. My sister and I have had our own private language ever since we were girls—our brothers still can't understand it! After working together for so many years, Ellen and I have a private language that is all our own.
2. philosophy A type of inner language only comprehensible to a single person. The concept was introduced by Ludwig Wittgenstein, who argued that it could not exist. The concept of private language is still a topic of debate among philosophers, especially due to its potential ramifications for metaphysics.
See also: language, private

put (something) into plain language

To express something in clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated English. A:" Chronic atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries has stopped oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart, leading to a myocardial infarction." B: "Doctor, I need you to put all that into plain language." I wish these software developers would put their agreements into plain language, rather than this legalese gobbledygook.
See also: language, plain, put

say (something) in plain language

To say something in clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated English. A: "Chronic atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries has stopped oxygen-rich blood from reaching the heart, leading to a myocardial infarction." B: "Doctor, I need you to say all that in plain language."
See also: language, plain, say

speak (one's) language

To say something or communicate in a way that aligns with one's preferences, desires, motivations, etc. A: "Look, I know all this technical jargon is pretty boring. Why don't we finish early for the day and go out for pizza?" B: "Oh yeah, now you're speaking my language!" A: "I'm a little worried about pitching my idea to the board of directors tomorrow." B: "Just focus on how your plan will boost profits, and you'll be speaking their language."
See also: language, speak

speak the same language

To share and/or understand one another's opinions, values, beliefs, tastes, etc. Likened to literally speaking the same language as another person and therefore being able to communicate fluently. A: "I say we stop here and get some ice cream." B: "You and I are speaking the same language." Bill and my dad are getting along very well together. They're both obsessed with hockey, so they speak the same language.
See also: language, same, speak

use foul language

To say obscene, vulgar, or lewd things when one speaks. I used to use foul language all the time, but I really reined it in when my kids started talking. He got sent to his room for using foul language at the dinner table.
See also: foul, language, use

use strong language

To say things that are somewhat offensive, obscene, vulgar, or threatening. My dad was pretty mild-mannered when we were growing up, so you could always tell when he was mad because he'd start using strong language. I think the fact that she used such strong language during her appeal really hurt her chances of having the decision overturned.
See also: language, strong, use

watch (one's) language

To speak politely, without using profane, obscene, or rude language. Often used as an imperative. You watch your language, young lady, or you'll be grounded for the weekend! We've been trying to watch our language around the kids. They're at the age now where they'll start repeating everything we say!
See also: language, watch

watch (one's) tongue

To be very mindful or cautious about what one says; to keep a check on one's language or control what one says. You'd better watch your tongue around these parts, mister, or you'll find yourself on the wrong end of someone's fist! After being threatened with expulsion for my vulgar remarks in class, I knew had to watch my tongue for the rest of the semester.
See also: tongue, watch

write (something) in plain language

To write something in clear, straightforward, and uncomplicated English. I wish these software developers would write their agreements in plain language, rather than this legalese gobbledygook.
See also: language, plain, write
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*in plain language

 and *in plain English
Fig. in simple, clear, and straightforward language. (*Typically: be ~; put something [into] ~; say something ~; write something ~.) That's too confusing. Please say it again in plain English. Tell me again in plain language.
See also: language, plain

language that would fry bacon

Rur. profanity; swearing; curse words. ("Hot" language.) He carried on in language that would fry bacon. I was shocked when I heard that sweet little girl use language that would fry bacon.
See also: bacon, fry, language, that

speak someone's language

Fig. to say something that one agrees with or understands. I gotcha. Now you're speaking my language. Mary speaks Fred's language. They get along fine.
See also: language, speak

speak the same language

 
1. Lit. [for two or more people] to communicate in a shared language. These two people don't speak the same language and need an interpreter.
2. Fig. [for people] to have similar ideas, tastes, etc. Jane and Jack get along very well. They really speak the same language about almost everything. Bob and his father didn't speak the same language when it comes to politics.
See also: language, same, speak

use foul language

Euph. to swear. There's no need to use foul language. When she gets angry, she tends to use foul language.
See also: foul, language, use

use strong language

Euph. to swear, threaten, or use abusive language. I wish you wouldn't use strong language in front of the children. If you feel that you have to use strong language with the manager, perhaps you had better let me do the talking.
See also: language, strong, use

Watch your mouth!

 and Watch your tongue! Watch your language!
Inf. Pay attention to what you are saying!; Do not say anything rude! Hey, don't talk that way! Watch your mouth! Watch your tongue, garbage mouth!
See also: watch
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

speak the same language

Understand one another very well, agree with each other, as in Negotiations went on for days, but finally both sides realized they weren't speaking the same language . This term, alluding to literal understanding of spoken words, dates from the late 1800s.
See also: language, same, speak
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.

speak the same language

If people speak the same language, they have the same views about things or want to achieve the same things. Like Castle, Wilson had been brought up in a similar way, and they spoke the same language. We have to make sure that the seller and the customer are both speaking the same language.
See also: language, same, speak
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

speak the same language

understand one another as a result of shared opinions and values.
1990 New Age Journal I translate between Greenpeace-speak and record industry-speak, because the two groups just don't speak the same language.
See also: language, same, speak
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mind/watch your ˈlanguage

be careful about what you say in order not to upset or offend somebody: Watch your language, young man!
See also: language, mind, watch

speak/talk the same/a different ˈlanguage

share/not share ideas, experiences, opinions, etc., that make real communication or understanding possible: Unions and managers are at last beginning to speak the same language.Artists and scientists simply talk a different language.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

speak someone’s language

tv. to say something that one agrees with or understands. I gotcha. Now you’re speaking my language.
See also: language, speak

Watch your mouth!

and Watch your tongue!
exclam. Pay attention to what you are saying!; Do not say anything rude! Hey, don’t talk that way! Watch your mouth! Listen, potty-mouth! Watch your tongue!
See also: watch
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

body language

Gestures, posture, and other movements made by a person that unconsciously convey his or her feelings or attitude. The term dates from about 1960 and, some authorities believe, originated as a translation of the French langage corporel. Tennis commentators on television often point to a player’s body language, usually inferring a discouraged or negative attitude. The term is also used for performers (actors, singers) who consciously use gesture and movement for their presentations.
See also: body, language

speak the same language, to

To understand one another perfectly. Figuratively, this term dates from the late nineteenth century. Joseph Conrad used it in Victory (1915): “You seem to be a morbid, senseless sort of bandit. We don’t speak the same language.” See also on the same page.
See also: same, speak
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
In this and other ways the understanding of a word often comes to be quite free from imagery; but in first learning the use of language it would seem that imagery always plays a very important part.
But it is unnecessary to prolong the catalogue of the uses of language in thought.
It is easy, however, to be misled by grammar, particularly if all the languages we know belong to one family.
Sayce maintained that all European philosophy since Aristotle has been dominated by the fact that the philosophers spoke Indo-European languages, and therefore supposed the world, like the sentences they were used to, necessarily divisible into subjects and predicates.
In the German it is true that by some oversight of the inventor of the language, a Woman is a female; but a Wife (Weib) is not--which is unfortunate.
There are some exceedingly useful words in this language. SCHLAG, for example; and ZUG.
"ALSO!" If I had not shown that the German is a difficult language, I have at least intended to do so.
It seems to me that the Germans could do worse than import it into their language to describe particularly tremendous explosions with.
Having pointed out, in detail, the several vices of this language, I now come to the brief and pleasant task of pointing out its virtues.
For instance, those which describe lowly, peaceful, and affectionate home life; those which deal with love, in any and all forms, from mere kindly feeling and honest good will toward the passing stranger, clear up to courtship; those which deal with outdoor Nature, in its softest and loveliest aspects--with meadows and forests, and birds and flowers, the fragrance and sunshine of summer, and the moonlight of peaceful winter nights; in a word, those which deal with any and all forms of rest, respose, and peace; those also which deal with the creatures and marvels of fairyland; and lastly and chiefly, in those words which express pathos, is the language surpassingly rich and affective.
There are people in the world who will take a great deal of trouble to point out the faults in a religion or a language, and then go blandly about their business without suggesting any remedy.
These are perhaps all I could be expected to name for nothing; but there are other suggestions which I can and will make in case my proposed application shall result in my being formally employed by the government in the work of reforming the language.
But our bards are no more,'' he said; ``our deeds are lost in those of another race our language our very name is hastening to decay, and none mourns for it save one solitary old man Cupbearer!
It is impossible for language to describe the bitter scowl of rage which rendered yet darker the swarthy countenance of the Templar.
The Templar smiled sourly as he replied, ``Beshrew thee for a false-hearted liar!'' and passing onward, as if disdaining farther conference, he communed with his Moslem slaves in a language unknown to the bystanders.