A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)



It’s not the tongue.

Never was.

It’s them damned,

Yes, them dammed words.

So literal we are.

We think that

Harelip holds just the tongue

Never understanding

The knots, that tie up

Are Inarticulate…

Just as them words are.

They have no

Credit to pass

Risk zones of

Frissons of fissures.

The gap is too wide

To stretch meaning.

Better to let meaning be.

Better to let them think you dumb.

Better, best, yet is



Them words.


22 April, 2017

Day#22 of #NaPoWriMo 2017, National Poetry Writing Month, 2017. As absurd as they come, today.




(From Quora 🙂 ) Tongue-tied, etymology. 🙂

Originally, “tongue-tied” was a metaphorical expression that described a very specific physical abnormality, just like “clubfoot” or “harelip”. It meant that someone had an unusually thick and long piece of tissue connecting the underside of their tongue to the base of their mouth.

Obviously, that would probably make it difficult to speak clearly, so it’s easy to understand how “tongue-tied” has come to more generally mean “struggling to express yourself”.

On a broader note, though, I’ve always found this kind of expression really interesting on two fronts:

1) “Tongue-tied” is just one example of our fascinating tendency to describe physical conditions with metaphors that are simultaneously very poetical and very blunt. Even just in English — and it’s definitely not limited to English — there are so many. “Harelip”, “clubfoot”, “lazy eye”, “pinhead”, “dropsy”, “webbed fingers”…the list goes on and on.

2) We’re even more inclined to take concrete physical conditions, and expand them into figurative terms of speech that are used much more broadly. Beyond “tongue-tied”, “crippled”, “blind” and “lame” are just some of the most common examples.

Author: Usha Pisharody

A rambler, pretends to be a teacher, loves to dream, and go on Quixotic Quests in the Realm of Romance With Life...

3 thoughts on “Tongue-tied

  1. First, she long-lectures on laughter and teeth
    Then, o’er dammed words she doth seethe
    She’s ne’er tongue-tied
    That’s her bright side
    And last, she quietly slips metaphors underneath!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Gratitude | A Quest on Overdrive ... :)

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