Little Known Factoid:

The tongue is a very useful thing. It is a very strong muscle in most people's mouths. People with no tongue have a hard time eating or talking.

We can see that the tongue is a very useful body part and should be protected. Piercing can cause damage to this sensitive tissue mass. Hot liquids also can cause extreme discomfort and even blisters.

Commonly offered meat filling option for tacos and burritos. Less popular than carne asada, more popular than brains. AKA "lengua".

\    BBB    /
 |  BB BB  |
 |O       O|
 |OO     OO|
 \OOO   OOO/
  |A     A|
  |A     A|
S: Sweet
A: Salty
O: Sour
B: Bitter

This diagram is the result of research done over 100 years ago. It has largely been abandoned by modern biologists, although it remains published in science textbooks. The gist is that the taste buds are localized in specific areas of the tongue, and that sensitivity to specific tastes are much higher in those areas. More recent research states that these tastes are distributed over the entire tongue, although certain areas might be slightly more sensitive to certain tastes than others. As such, the "new taste" of umami has not been placed on the map.

Personally, I give a little more credit to the tongue map than is the current scientific opinion. This stems from my personal "research" into the subject. I was coding one night with a 1 lb. paper bag of sour fruit salad on my desk. Piece after piece of acid-coated sugar globules found their way into my mouth. After a while, I realized I had eaten about 3/4 lb. of it. I also noticed that my tongue was in considerable pain. For a week afterwards, I had painful red sores on the sides of my tongue, precisely where the tongue map shows the sour taste buds to be. I refuse to deny the validity of this plain-as-day evidence. Ever since then, I purchase my sour fruit salad in four separate 1/4 lb. bags.

A Scientific American article was published recently on the subject:

More in-depth info can be found at:

Tongue enough for two sets of teeth : said of a talkative person.

As old as my tongue, and a little older than my teeth ; a dovetail in answer to the question, How old are you?

Tongue pad ; a scold, or nimble-tongued person.

The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

Tongue (?), n. [OE. tunge, tonge, AS. tunge; akin to OFries. tunge, D. tong, OS. tunga, G. zunge, OHG. zunga, Icel. & Sw. tunga, Dan tunge, Goth. tug, OL. dingua, L. lingua. 243 Cf.Language, Lingo. ]

1. Anat.

an organ situated in the floor of the mouth of most vertebrates and connected with the hyoid arch.

⇒ The tongue is usually muscular, mobile, and free at one extremity, and in man other mammals is the principal organ of taste, aids in the prehension of food, in swallowing, and in modifying the voice as in speech.

To make his English sweet upon his tongue. Chaucer.


The power of articulate utterance; speech.

Parrots imitating human tongue. Dryden.


Discourse; fluency of speech or expression.

Much tongue and much judgment seldom go together. L. Estrange.


Honorable discourse; eulogy.


She was born noble; let that title find her a private grave, but neither tongue nor honor. Beau. & Fl.


A language; the whole sum of words used by a particular nation; as, the English tongue.


Whose tongue thou shalt not understand. Deut. xxviii. 49.

To speak all tongues. Milton.


Speech; words or declarations only; -- opposed to thoughts or actions.

My little children, let us love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 1 John iii. 18.


A people having a distinct language.

A will gather all nations and tongues. Isa. lxvi. 18.

8. Zool. (a)

The lingual ribbon, or odontophore, of a mollusk.


The proboscis of a moth or a butterfly.


The lingua of an insect.

9. Zool.

Any small sole.


That which is considered as resembing an animal's tongue, in position or form.

Specifically: --


A projection, or slender appendage or fixture; as, the tongue of a buckle, or of a balance.


A projection on the side, as of a board, which fits into a groove.


A point, or long, narrow strip of land, projecting from the mainland into a sea or a lake.


The pole of a vehicle; especially, the pole of an ox cart, to the end of which the oxen are yoked.


The clapper of a bell.

(f) Naut.

A sort piece of rope spliced into the upper part of standing backstays, etc.; also. the upper main piece of a mast composed of several pieces.

(g) Mus.

Same as Reed, n., 5.

To hold the tongue, to be silent. -- Tongue bone Anat., the hyoid bone. -- Tongue grafting. See under Grafting.

Syn. -- Language; speech; expression. See Language.


© Webster 1913.

Tongue (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Tongued (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Tonguing.]


To speak; to utter.

"Such stuff as madmen tongue."



To chide; to scold.

How might she tongue me. Shak

3. Mus.

To modulate or modify with the tongue, as notes, in playing the flute and some other wind instruments.


To join means of a tongue and grove; as, to tongue boards together.


© Webster 1913.

Tongue, v. i.


To talk; to prate.


2. Mus.

To use the tongue in forming the notes, as in playing the flute and some other wind instruments.


© Webster 1913.

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