Is it possible to speak clearly with your tongue in your cheek?


A few weeks ago, I shopped at the “Used Book Sale” in the Ellen Brooks West Memorial Library (joint public and school library), and although I am now in the “get rid of stuff” mode, I purchased a few books I just could not “live without.” One of these is 2107 Curious Word Origins, Sayings & Expressions with words and drawings by Charles Funk and Tom Funk. The contents go “way back,” so I knew this had to be HISTORICAL—and possibly “hysterical.”

One entry describes my disclaimer every-once-in-a-while in my old classroom when, before or after class (and sometimes in the middle), we would pause to spend five or ten minutes talking about/discussing “IMPORTANT STUFF.” And, invariably, I would mention that I reserved the right to speak “tongue in cheek” without fear of recrimination.

So, just what does my new book say about the “tongue in cheek” expression?


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