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Last updated at 09:07 BST, Tuesday, 09 July 2013

A sharp tongue

A man pushes a sword across his tongue

Ouch! Don't try this at home. Photo: AFP/ Sam Panthakysam

Today's Phrase

If someone is described as having a sharp tongue it means they say things that are critical and harsh.

Examples:

Don't worry about what the boss says, he has a sharp tongue.

Stephen's sharp tongue meant that nobody would ask him for advice.

Take note

If someone tells you to hold your tongue it means stop talking, particularly because they don't like what you are saying.

Example:

I'm always upsetting people at the meeting so next time I'm going to hold my tongue.

Interesting fact

The photo shows an Indian man pushing a sword across his tongue in a ritual for Qudri Rafai Junoon Ali Sai, a local Sufi saint who died in 1971.

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