tickle the ivory/ivories

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Related to tickling the ivories: tinkle the ivories

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 ?
He's tickling the ivories and hitting notes to suggest he's not started shaving yet but their voices work together, giving this a sound typical of those cinema adverts with the coloured balls bouncing down hills in San Francisco.
Myrtle: ``Here's Gordon, he's going to be tickling the ivories, tonight.
Andy, from Oxhill, near Warwick, will be tickling the ivories and singing the Barry Manilow-penned hit Could It Be Magic.
Going from picking cotton for his master to tickling the ivories for high society, "The Ballad of Blind Tom'' is a fascinating character study of a simple-minded black man who grows up to be a piano wizard during the Jim Crow-era.
Jean's talents range from tickling the ivories of a concert grand piano, coaxing the keys and pedals of a modern electronic organ, to pitting her skills against the temperament of one of the Mighty Wurlitzers on the concert circuit.
The live music kicks off in The Victoria Bar about 3pm with Terry Moore (keyboards) and Andy McDade (in my opinion, one of the best guitarists in Scotland), before moving on to Hardie's with Robert Wishart tickling the ivories and James Grant on vocals.
Performer Billy Geraghty will also be tickling the ivories as rock and roller Jerry Lee Lewis.
On this wonderful, newly unearthed collection, Longhair is captured in his element, tickling the ivories first in a neighborhood bar for a boisterous hometown crowd in 1947 and later during his 1970 comeback.
PERFORMING obviously comes easily to the 19-year-old if this baby snap of her tickling the ivories is anything to go by.
Jools, 41, is expected to start tickling the ivories at 11.
Freed, a longtime pianist and music director, doesn't remember what song he was tickling the ivories with when he suddenly collapsed during an audition for singers in September 1994.
Tickling the ivories as vigorously and as passionately as he did with Muddy Waters in the Seventies, everyone at the Queens Hall felt they were witnessing something special.