roll off the tongue

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

roll off the tongue (third-person singular simple present rolls off the tongue, present participle rolling off the tongue, simple past and past participle rolled off the tongue)

  1. (idiomatic, of words, speech, etc.) To proceed into oral expression in a manner which is fluent, appealing, or glib.
    • 1914, Julian Hawthorne, The Subterranean Brotherhood, ch. 5:
      "Coddling criminals"—the alliteration makes it roll pleasantly off the tongue!
    • 1915, Joseph A. Altsheler, The Rock of Chickamauga, ch. 14:
      [H]e repeated under his breath: "The Rock of Chickamauga! The Rock of Chickamauga!" It rolled resoundingly off the tongue, and he liked it.
    • 1978 Nov. 20, "Dance: Fungus, Fantasy and Fun," Time:
      Pilobolus is a word so fine and fat as it rolls off the tongue that, like a kitten or a May morning, it needs no meaning.
    • 2012 July 14, Kate Murphy, "Eric Stonestreet," New York Times (retrieved 14 Aug 2012):
      I’m a fan of Aaron Sorkin. . . . I just like the way his dialogue rolls off the tongue. I like to hear people say the words he writes.

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