Tongues

The Italian is pleasant, but without sinews, as still fleeting water.

The French - delicate, but like an overnice woman, scarce daring to open her lips for fear of marriage her countenance.

Spanish - majestical, but fulsome, running too much on the letter o; and terrible, like the devil in a play.

Dutch - manlike, but withal very harsh, as one ready at every word to pick a quarrel.

We (the English), in borrowing from them, give the strength of consonants to the Italian; the full sound of words to the French; the variety of terminations of the Spanish; and the mollifying of more vowels to the Dutch. Thus, like bees, we gather the honey of their good properties and leave the dregs to themselves.

(Camden.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Tongues from Fact Monster:

  • Tongue Twisters - Tongue Twisters Twenty Tongue-Tying Tongue Twisters to Twist Your Tongue a Ton brought to you by ...
  • adder's-tongue - adder's-tongue adder's-tongue, name for a fern genus (Ophioglossum). Adder's-tongues ...
  • tongue - tongue tongue, muscular organ occupying the floor of the mouth in vertebrates. In some animals, ...
  • painted tongue - painted tongue: painted tongue: see salpiglossis.
  • Animal Arsenal - Animal Arsenal Animals' lives are not peaceful! They must be able to find food for themselves ...

Related Content