set tongues (a-)wagging

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set tongues (a-)wagging

To be a source of gossip or idle speculation. Just when the dust of his previous scandal had begun to settle, the governor committed a new faux pas to set tongues a-wagging across the country. Being such a media celebrity means that anything one does, no matter how banal, is enough to set tongues wagging.
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set tongues (a)wagging

Fig. to cause people to start gossiping. The affair between the boss and her accountant set tongues a wagging. If you don't get the lawn mowed soon, you will set tongues wagging in the neighborhood.
See also: set, tongue, wag

set tongues wagging

If something that you do or say sets tongues wagging, it makes people talk about you. The pop singer set tongues wagging by arriving with a mystery man. Note: You can also say that something starts tongues wagging or that tongues start wagging. Tongues started wagging when Claudia moved from her native Germany to Monaco earlier this year. Note: If people are talking about someone, you can say tongues are wagging. They spent an evening together at his Knightsbridge flat. He said they played cards but added: `No doubt tongues will be wagging.'
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set tongues wagging

be the cause of much gossip or rumour.
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set ˈtongues wagging

(informal) cause people to start talking about somebody’s private affairs: A careless remark about his family really set tongues wagging.
See also: set, tongue, wag