tongue-tied


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tongue-tied

1. Having the mobility of one's tongue restricted by an abnormally short frenum that binds it to the floor of the mouth. We couldn't figure out why our baby was having such trouble breastfeeding, until a specialist finally realized that he was mildly tongue-tied. Your son is severely tongue-tied, a condition that could impact his ability to speak properly if it is not treated soon enough.
2. Incapable of or having difficulty speaking, as due to fear, confusion, shyness, embarrassment, etc. I had a great pitch ready for the board of directors, but I found myself totally tongue-tied when I stepped into the room in front of them. The poor child gets awfully tongue-tied whenever she is confronted by an adult. The shocking event left everyone in the room tongue-tied.
3. Having trouble saying words clearly due to difficult alliteration or pronunciation, as found in tongue twisters. The doctor said the condition is called aceruloplasminemia. Just trying to say it out loud leaves me tongue-tied! In the game, you see who can say the silly rhyming phrase the fastest without getting tongue-tied.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tongue-tied

1. mod. unable to speak from fear or confusion. (Standard English.) Why do you get tongue-tied in front of a crowd?
2. mod. alcohol intoxicated. He was tongue-tied and couldn’t stand up.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Hogan et al (2005) found 10.7% of babies born during their research appeared to be tongue-tied but only 44% of those experienced feeding problems.
"After he had been diagnosed, I went to see my family and my mother said she had been tongue-tied as a baby as well and I never knew."
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These include tongue-tied parents explaining the facts of life, adolescent chat-up lines, weird hospital speak, learning a foreign language, and an extended selection of song lyrics that range from the lazy through surreal to the ridiculous.
I was dumbstruck, tongue-tied, unable to say even "hello" to the great man.
The 36-year-old actor got tongue-tied when asked to do the Midland accent for a play.
It tells the story of shy Tim, too tongue-tied to declare his love to the girl of his dreams.
THE book Tongue-Tied was produced by four disabled friends.
But even the somewhat tongue-tied Lister was made to look like a babbler by John Mullins when he got the mike unexpectedly thrust at him.
Experts blame the trend for women getting tongue-tied on TV shows, films, music videos and Britney and Madonna's infamous clinch at last year's MTV music awards.
John Russell Brown writes on devices in Shakespeare that convey sexual arousal in performance, such as tongue-tied first meetings or clumsy words, evasions, or nonsensical speech.
And Steve, of Plantshill Crescent, Tile Hill, certainly doesn't plan to be tongue-tied when it comes to promoting his unique talent.
The actors expertly manage to track simultaneously the ever-shifting emotional underscore and the stream of non sequiturs that pass for conversation between love-starved people too tongue-tied to ask for what they want.