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The idiom tongue-in-cheek is used about a statement that is funny or sarcastic. It is not meant to be taken seriously.

History[change | change source]

The phrase first meant contempt. By 1842, it got its modern meaning.[1][2] Early users of the phrase include Sir Walter Scott in his 1828 The Fair Maid of Perth.

References[change | change source]

  1. Chay, H., Contrastive metaphor of Korean and English revealed in 'mouth' and 'tongue' expressions
  2. Zoltan, I. G. (2006). "Use Your Body". Philologia.