The tongue is a muscular organ in the mouth of most vertebrates that manipulates food for mastication, and is used in the act of swallowing. It is also necessary for forming many of the sounds used in human speech. It is usually moistened with salvia.
The action of passing the tongue over a surface is called licking.
In figurative contexts, a person's "tongue" is their way of speaking, which can refer to their language, dialect, accent, or word choice.
In erotic contexts
The tongue is used in a type of kissing called "tongue kiss" or "French kiss".
Sticking one's tongue out at someone is considered a childish gesture of rudeness and/or defiance in many countries. An onomatopoeia that goes with it is "nyah". The mouth can be either wide open, half open, or with the lips tightly sealed around the tongue. The gesture is related to cocking a snook, often combining them.
The gesture is found in emoticons and in the logo of Boyz Being Boyz.
A related act is called blowing a raspberry, a strawberry or making a Bronx cheer: it is made by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing to produce a sound similar to flatulence.
Another gesture involving the tongue is to communicate that something is sickening. The person makes a facial expression with eyebrows drawn down and a half-open mouth with the tongue out, as if needing to vomit, typically accompanied with the onomatopoeia "blah" or "bleh". Optionally, a finger can be pointed towards or into the throat.
The tongue can be made to suffer in mouthsoaping, a traditional punishment for "bad language" or for lying, and in forms of food punishment involving foul-tasting but non-toxic substances like Behavol.
In torture, the tongue, which is an extremely sensitive organ, can be tortured in many ways. One cruel method of corporal punishment, mainly a thing of the past, was to cut off an offender's tongue. A milder form of punishment involving the offender's tongue was the scold's bridle.
In BDSM, the tongue can be punished with clamps, or with pervertibles like clothespins or chopsticks and rubber bands. The tongue is also an important organ to consider in the design of gags for both fit and disabling the forming speech sound.
A very long red tongue is one of the attributes of Krampus.
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