tongue in cheek

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - tongue in cheek

"tongue in cheek"


to say something jokingly while appearing to be serious


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - tongue in cheek

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I really like that new candidate we saw on TV last night. He seems like an honest politician. I think he will get my vote.

Friend 2:  Are you serious?  An honest politician?

Friend 1:  Of course I was speaking tongue in cheek.  There is no such thing as an honest politician.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - tongue in cheek

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  This new company work ethic is great. I love working sixty-hour weeks for no extra pay. It really builds character. And what a great experience to put on a resume.

Colleague 2:  Sounds tongue-in-cheek.

Colleague 1:  Of course I am not serious. This heavy work load is terrible.

tongue in cheek - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   2,855   click for frequency by country

tongue in cheek - Gerund Form:

There is no gerund form for tongue in cheek.

tongue in cheek - Examples:

1)  Although I said that with a little tongue in cheek I don't intend any disrespect. 

2)  His wife actually encouraged Cohen to write this book and it is tongue in cheek hilarious.

3)  Obviously my examples are tongue in cheek but, as ridiculous as that all sounds, ...

4)  But it is very amusing, considering it's not tongue in cheek at all. It's tone is straightforward and very serious.

5)  You know, he said it tongue in cheek, but I took the caution to heart.

6)  She saw the tongue in cheek request I posted on my wall and decided to do a little match making.

7)  ... totally get that the article is meant to be a little tongue in cheek and I think it's all in good fun.

8)  ... the CDC has been making available to the public, but with some tongue in cheek humor added to make it a little more enjoyable and get the public attention.

9)  Some of you don't get the point that the article was tongue in cheek fun showing off a useful service.

10)  Expectedly, the silly premise is presented in a tongue in cheek sort of way, but don't expect gripping layers of terror ...

11)  ... and I do want to point out that it's meant to be tongue in cheek.

12)  Roger was great but too tongue in cheek, Shaun brilliant, but too old fashioned.

13)  ... gets in the way of my spa-like home. (This is totally tongue in cheek, as my house currently resembles a Monday morning frat house ...

14)  ... recordings were made in completely in earnest, while others were made with tongue in cheek. All of them are enjoyable, though.

15)  A remark intended as a tongue in cheek joke I'm sure, but probably not far from the truth.

16)  I know this is supposed to be tongue in cheek and humo(u)rous but as a Brit I don't find this funny at all.

17)  ... some people still don't get Todd's tongue in cheek humor.

18)  With tongue in cheek and wit honed, let's shoot down a few representative comments, ...

19)  The comment about "preserving some pure-bred specimens" was tongue in cheek, hence the smiley.

20)  Those Poles sure provoked Hitler, you know (tongue in cheek).