tickle(redirected from tickling)
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tickle (someone's) funny bone
To make someone laugh; to be humorous or amusing to someone. There's this silly statue on campus that never fails to tickle my funny bone when I walk past it. David has such wit that he can tickle the funny bone of anyone he meets.
tickle the dragon's tail
To do something risky or dangerous. You know dad has a temper, so why are you antagonizing him? Stop tickling the dragon's tail unless you want to be grounded for weeks! Rob is definitely tickling the dragon's tail with his new interest in skydiving.
Very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my fiance as much as I do, so they were just tickled pink to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled pink that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
tickled to death
Very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my boyfriend as much as I do, so they were just tickled to death to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled to death that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
be tickled pink
To be very pleased with someone or something. My family loves my fiancé as much as I do, so they were just tickled pink to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled pink that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
slap and tickle
euphemism Mild sexual activity. Primarily heard in UK. My flatmates were having a bit of slap and tickle in the sitting room when I came home last night. It was awkward, to say the least.
tickle (one's) fancy
To be appealing or pleasant to someone; to be intriguing or of interest to someone. A: "Do you want to go to a movie later on?" B: "I don't know, there's nothing that really tickles my fancy in theaters right now." I'm not going to declare my major until I've had a couple years in college to see what ends up tickling my fancy.
be tickled to death
To be very pleased with someone or something, perhaps to the point of giddiness. My family loves my boyfriend as much as I do, so they were just tickled to death to hear that we're getting married. Your mother is really tickled to death that you've decided to go to her alma mater.
tickle the 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 ivories at their wedding reception.
tickle someone pink
Fig. to please or entertain someone very much. Bill told a joke that really tickled us all pink. I know that these flowers will tickle her pink.
tickle someone's fancy
to interest someone; to make someone curious. I have an interesting problem here that I think will tickle your fancy. This doesn't tickle my fancy at all. This is dull and boring.
tickle someone to death
1. Fig. to tickle someone a great deal. Bobby nearly tickled Tim to death. Tim was left breathless. We got him down and tickled him to death.
2. and tickle someone to pieces Fig. to please someone a great deal. (See also tickle someone pink.) What you told her just tickled her to death! That story just tickles me to pieces.
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.
Fig. very much pleased or entertained. I was tickled pink to have you visit us. We were tickled pink when your flowers arrived.
Also, tickled to death. Delighted, as in I was tickled pink when I got his autograph, or His parents were tickled to death when he decided to marry her. The first term, first recorded in 1922, alludes to one's face turning pink with laughter when one is being tickled. The variant, clearly a hyperbole, dates from about 1800.
tickle one's fancy
Appeal to one, be to one's liking, as in That joke tickled my fancy. This term uses fancy in the sense of "liking" or "taste." [Second half of 1700s]
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]
tickle the ivoriesINFORMAL
If someone tickles the ivories, they play the piano. Peter Brown tickles the ivories tonight at the Mercury Lounge alongside bassist Chris Breitner.
If you are tickled pink about something, you are extremely pleased about it. As a developer, I'm tickled pink by the dropping prices. Her dressmaker would just be tickled pink if we put one of her outfits in the magazine. Note: This expression may refer to someone's face becoming pink or redder when they are being tickled.
tickle (or tinkle) the ivoriesplay the piano. informal
The ivories are the white keys of the piano, traditionally made of ivory.
slap and ticklephysical amorous play. British informal
be tickled pink (or to death)be extremely amused or pleased. informal
1992 Guy Vanderhaeghe Things As They Are She made a big show of not being taken in by him, but I could see that all six feet…of her was tickled pink by his attentions.
catch/take/tickle somebody’s ˈfancy(informal) please or attract somebody: Mary seems afraid some other girl will catch Alan’s fancy. ♢ She saw that the picture had taken my fancy and insisted on giving it to me as a present.
(a bit of) slap and ˈtickle(old-fashioned, British English, informal) kissing and cuddling between lovers: We used to do anything to get a bit of slap and tickle when we were young lads.
be tickled ˈpink(also be tickled to ˈdeath) (old-fashioned, informal) be very pleased or amused: My grandmother will be tickled pink to get an invitation to the wedding. OPPOSITE: (as) sick as a parrot
tickle the ivories
tv. to play the piano. I used to be able to tickle the ivories real nice.
mod. amused; utterly delighted; pleased. I am tickled pink you could come this evening.
See tickled pink
See also: tickle
Very pleased; delighted: I was tickled pink by the compliment.