set tongues 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.'
See also: set, tongue, wag

set tongues wagging

be the cause of much gossip or rumour.
See also: set, tongue, wag

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
References in periodicals archive ?
And yesterday, in a gesture set to start tongues wagging, Prince William accepted a babygro from a wellwisher during a walkabout and declared: "I'll keep that.
None of which makes her a lesbian, but all of which will start tongues wagging that she is, as was the case in Bend It Like Beckham.
This disclosure will no doubt start tongues wagging.
The country doctor is certain to start tongues wagging in sleepy Tannochbrae when he decides to go skinny dipping - and there's a flash of Finlay's naked bum on the screen