tickle the ivories

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tickle the ivory/ivories

To play the piano. An allusion to its white keys, which were formerly made of ivory. My father used to love tickling the ivories after dinner. My friends asked if I would tickle the ivory at their wedding reception.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle the ivories

to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice. She sat down to tickle the ivories for a while.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle the ivories

Play the piano, as in He went on tickling the ivories until three in the morning. This expression alludes to a piano's keys, traditionally made of ivory. [Colloquial; first half of 1900s]
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle the ivories

INFORMAL
If someone tickles the ivories, they play the piano. Peter Brown tickles the ivories tonight at the Mercury Lounge alongside bassist Chris Breitner.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle (or tinkle) the ivories

play the piano. informal
The ivories are the white keys of the piano, traditionally made of ivory.
See also: ivory, tickle

tickle the ivories

tv. to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice.
See also: ivory, tickle
References in periodicals archive ?
SUMMER VIBES This summer, there's even more reasons to visit Liverpool ONE, with the return of the much-loved Tickle the Ivories piano festival.
The school celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and some of their students helped kick off the Tickle The Ivories festival - which runs until September 8.
He said: "The station got in touch with me and asked if I'd be happy for Tickle the Ivories to be given a broadcast slot - and with around half a million viewers in America for the documentary, I was delighted to say yes.
And yesterday, James and Jeremy returned to the home to tickle the ivories kindly provided by Mike and the band.
We heard moments of brilliance from the man himself and it was a pleasant surprise when he reached for the guitar, allowing his brother (Christopher Holland) to tickle the ivories.
Events including piano festival Tickle the Ivories and The Beach on Chavasse Park contributed to visitor numbers throughout the summer.
PIANISTS have just two more weeks to tickle the ivories in Liverpool One.
Liu began playing piano five years ago, often practicing for seven hours a day, training his toes to tickle the ivories and shot to fame as a contestant on China's Got Talent.
A SUPERSTAR organist is to tickle the ivories at Llandaff Cathedral.
PIANISTS were given the chance to tickle the ivories on a world-famous piano at a North East prep school.
anyone who wants to immerse themselves in learning and creating music will soon have a new place to tickle the ivories or sing out a tune.
As well as guitarists and singer-songwriters, the bar occasionally has a pianist who comes in to tickle the ivories of the pub Joanna with some jazz-flavoured numbers.
YOUNG keyboard players in Coventry will get the chance to tickle the ivories en-masse this summer - and record a special composition.
Although he's been around pianos most of his life, he says the running joke is that he doesn't tickle the ivories.