speak with a forked tongue

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speak with a forked tongue

To make empty or false promises; to speak duplicitously or beguilingly. Likened to having the tongue of a serpent, a traditional symbol of deceit and dishonesty. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the senator spoke with a forked tongue during his campaign. He learned quickly that speaking with a forked tongue was an effective way of getting ahead in business.
See also: forked, speak, tongue

speak with a forked tongue

Fig. to tell lies; to try to deceive someone. Jean's mother sounds very charming, but she speaks with a forked tongue. People tend to believe Fred because he seems plausible, but we know he speaks with a forked tongue.
See also: forked, speak, tongue

speak with forked tongue

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speak with a forked tongue

If someone speaks with forked tongue or speaks with a forked tongue, they are lying or trying to trick people. He speaks with forked tongue. I don't trust him and I don't like him. This shows that the minister has been speaking with a forked tongue. Note: People sometimes use talk instead of speak. Everybody in this business is talking with forked tongue.
See also: forked, speak, tongue
References in periodicals archive ?
The increasingly arrogant and out-of-touch David Cameron adds insult to injury by speaking with a forked tongue.
tradition of speaking with a forked tongue is long and dishonourable, as the actions taken by the U.
And even though Obama campaigned on "hope" and "change", and then made a sort of wonderfully conciliatory speech in Cairo (and the world knows what is happening their and elsewhere in the Arab world) he too has accepted as part of his worldview that speaking with a forked tongue works well in the world of U.
Having stood for parliament in Denbigh, I resigned my candidature and party membership because I felt Labour was speaking with a forked tongue to the governance of Wales.