(to be) tongue-tied

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - tongue-tied

"(to be) tongue-tied"

to be unable to speak due to shyness, embarrassment or astonishment


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - tongue-tied

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Well, did you ask the boss for a raise?

Colleague 2:  I tried but I couldn't.

Colleague 1:  What do you mean, you couldn't?

Colleague 2:  The boss makes me so nervous that I become tongue-tied and can't express what I really want to say.

Colleague 1:  Maybe you need some practice.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - tongue-tied

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  Did you ask her out?

Friend 2:  I really tried.

Friend 1:  But?

Friend 2:  I like this girl so much that whenever I am near her, I get terribly tongue-tied and am just able to stammer out incoherent noises.

Friend 1:  That's too bad. You two would make a nice couple.

(to be) tongue-tied - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   543   click for frequency by country

(to be) tongue-tied - Gerund Form:

Being tongue-tied with amazement, she was unable to accept his proposal.

(to be) tongue-tied - Examples:

1)  ... attracted to Rosalind as she to him at the wrestling match, Orlando is too tongue-tied to reply to Rosalind's gracious and encouraging hints of love interest. 

2)  Not that I'm anti-social, but I really sometimes get tongue-tied with strangers, making small talk.

3)  ... the latter, becoming tongue-tied and awkward, appeared completely foolish and dim-witted.

4)  My doubts came flooding in and I became tongue-tied with my explanation of what I can offer my clients.

5)  I loved hearing you read from the book, and was too tongue-tied to say so properly.

6)  When you first start explaining, you may feel rushed, tongue-tied and not sure where to start. Just start talking and it will flow out ...

7)  When I finally met him, I was petrified and tongue-tied.

8)  ... the courage to talk to the girl of your dreams, but you feel completely tongue-tied and awkward once the conversation gets going.

9)  For anyone who's ever felt tongue-tied or immobilized at a party, here's a survival guide.

10)  ... worrying about what the other person is thinking about you, causing yourself to feel tongue-tied.

11)  He is extremely shy and tongue-tied when it comes to speaking in public.

12)  He is an absolutely awful public speaker for such a smart man. Absolutely tongue-tied.

13)  She anticipated the question I was too tongue-tied to ask.

14)  Now and then you don't say it very elegantly. And you get tongue-tied or you mix it up and you say something you don't exactly mean.

15)  There's nothing more embarrassing than seeing an activist grow tongue-tied when asked to elaborate on an issue.

16)  Someone will cry, the bride and/or groom will get tongue-tied while repeating their vows, ...

17)  Explain your faux pas with grace. Rather than getting tongue-tied with apologies, over-explaining, or trying to evade the situation, ...

18)  They're just a bit tongue-tied at first and need some time to warm up to the people they're with ...

19)  Gerald rattled off feeling his cheeks flush for the third time. Tongue-tied, he stopped and closed his eyes and tried to focus.

20)  ... if you ask me to communicate my thoughts through spoken word I feel like a tongue-tied buffoon.