Monday, 12 December 2011


The WOTD is: 'lengua' = tongue

In Spanish, the noun 'lengua' is a feminine noun of Latin origin, the main meaning of which is tongue (the organ). The Spanish noun 'lengua' may also be used to refer to a structured system/ method for oral and written human communication (language).

Some expressions containing the word 'lengua' in them are:
  • Aflojar la lengua (to say something unintentionally/ to spill the beans).
  • Andar en lenguas (to be the subject of gossip).
  • Comerle a alguien la lengua los ratones (to have lost the tongue).
  • Con la lengua fuera (really tired/ dead beat).
  • Con la lengua de un palmo (really tired/ dead beat).
  • Darle a la lengua (to chatter/ talk/ gossip a lot).
  • Desatársele la lengua a alguien (to become very talkative).
  • Hablar con lengua de plata (to grease someone's palm).
  • Irse de la lengua (to say something unintentionally/ to spill the beans).
  • Lengua azul (bluetongue-disease in sheep and less frequently in other ovines and cattle).
  • Lengua bífida (poisonous tongue-person).
  • Lengua de escorpión (poisonous tongue-person).
  • Lengua de estropajo (mumbling).
  • Lengua de fuego (tongues of fire).
  • Lengua de hacha (poisonous tongue-person).
  • Lengua de oc (Languedoc old language).
  • Lengua de oíl (Langue d'oil old French language).
  • Lengua de serpiente (forked tongued person).
  • Lengua de sierpe (poisonous tongue-person).
  • Lengua de tierra (spit of land).
  • Lengua de trapo (baby talk).
  • Lengua de víbora (1) (fossil shark's tooth).
  • Lengua de víbora (2) (poisonous tongue-person)
  • Lengua franca (lingua franca).
  • Lengua madre  (mother tongue of a language).
  • Lengua materna (mother tongue of a group of people).
  • Lengua muerta (dead language-no longer in use/ spoken).
  • Lengua natural (mother tongue of a group of people).
  • Lengua popular (mother tongue of a group of people).
  • Lengua santa (Hebrew language).
  • Lengua serpentina (poisonous tongue-person).
  • Lengua viperina (poisonous tongue-person).
  • Lengua viva (alive language-language in current use).
  • Lenguas hermanas (languages sharing a common mother tongue).
  • Largo de lengua (shameless/ reckless talking).
  • Ligero de lengua (unrestrained talking).
  • Mala lengua (gossip).
  • Malas lenguas (the grapevine).
  • Media lengua (tongue related speech impediment and person suffering from it).
  • Morderse la lengua (to bite one's tongue).
  • Parecer que alguien ha comido lengua (said when someone goes on and on).
  • Sacar la lengua a alguien (to stick the tongue out to somebody).
  • Ser alguien lengua sucia (to be a foul mouth).
  • Soltar la lengua (to spill the beans).
  • Suelto de lengua (unrestrained talking).
  • Tener alguien la lengua gorda (to be drunk/ inebriated).
  • Tener mala lengua (to be a foul mouth/ poisonous tongue-person).
  • Tener mucha lengua (to be talkative/ chatty/ gossipy in excess).
  • Tirar de la lengua a alguien (to pull/ drag things out of somebody).
  • Trabarse la lengua (tongue twisting/ speech impediment).
  • Trabarlenguas (tongue twister).

Examples of the use of the word 'lengua' are:
  • A Pedro el vino le aflojó la lengua (wine caused Pedro to spill the beans).
  • Lo que hicieste anoche anda en lenguas por ahí (what you did last night is the subject of all gossip).
  • ¿Te comieron la lengua los ratones? (have you lost your tongue?/ has the cat got your tongue?).
  • Llegamos con la lengua fuera (we were dead beat when we arrived).
  • ¡Deja de darle a la lengua y vamonos! (stop chatting, lets go!).
  • Hablando con lengua de plata quizás consigas algo (greasing someone's palm you might get somewhere).
  • Espero que no te vayas de la lengua (I hope you don't spill the beans).
  • El latín es la lengua madre del español (Latin is the mother tongue of Spanish).
  • El español es la lengua materna de los españoles (Spanish is the mother tongue of the Spaniards).
  • El italiano y el español son lenguas hermanas (Italian and Spanish are languages which share a common mother tongue).
  • Parece que has comido lengua, ¿por qué no paras un poco? (you are going on and on, why don't you give it a rest?).
  • ¡No me saques la lengua, que es de mala educación! (don't stick your tongue out to me, it is bad manners!).
  • ¡Cuidado con tirarme de la lengua! (be careful, don't make me talk!).
  • Ese trabalenguas es muy bueno (that is a very good tongue twister). loves the word 'lengua' in the follwing YouTube clip: Las Malas Lenguas - Santiago y Luis Auserón
For more on the word 'lengua', visit: Lengua

*NB 'Click' on the speaker icon next to the word “lengua” in the link to hear the word pronounced. 

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