Tongue-tied

Idiom

Tongue-tied

Definition

Used to describe someone who is unable to express themselves clearly or speak at all due to being very nervous, embarrassed, or shocked.

Origin

Believed to have originated in the early 17th century, as a reference to the medical practice of curing stuttering or other speech impediments by literally tying one’s tongue in a knot.

Examples

She was so tongue-tied that she couldn’t get a word out in front of the audience

He was so tongue-tied that he just stood there without saying anything

FAQs

question

How can someone overcome being tongue-tied?

answer

By taking deep breaths and speaking slowly, one can eventually overcome the feeling of being tongue-tied.