tickle the ivory/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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
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.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

tickle the ivories

tv. to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice.
See also: ivory, tickle
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
See also: