Idiom:  be tongue-tied

A man sticks his tongue (which is tied in a knot) out of his mouth.


be tongue-tied:  Not able to speak or having difficulty speaking because you are afraid, embarrassed, confused, etc.


—  My locker is right next to the prettiest girl's in the school but I am too tongue-tied to even say hello to her.

—  Why are you always tongue-tied when they ask for comments? You have better ideas than anyone.

  The problem is that I'm so tongue-tied I avoid any possible situation where I'd have to speak English. I'm even afraid to take private conversation lessons!

—  It's natural to be tongue-tied when someone calls on you to speak about something you haven't prepared for in advance.

—  What's going on? You're not normally tongue-tied.

—  I was tongue-tied when I met my girlfriend's mother and she demanded to know when I would propose marriage to her daughter.

—  You are so confident. Have you ever been tongue-tied in your life?

—  We all felt embarrassed with Emma when her fiancé was tongue-tied at her wedding and couldn't manage to say, "I do." 

—  These five speaking strategies and techniques will help you overcome any situation where you might normally be tongue-tied.

—  I was completely tongue-tied for 15 seconds and finally, Samantha asked ME if I wanted to go to the dance with her. I was so relieved I just nodded my head to say yes.

—  For once, I wasn't tongue-tied when the teacher called on me because I was sure I knew the answer. Not only was I wrong but the entire class laughed hysterically at me.


  • at a loss for words
  • unable to get a word out
  • Cat got your tongue?

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