One tongue is enough for a woman

Possible interpretation: Some people think that women talk too much. If they already talk too much, they don't need another tongue. One tongue is sufficient (but see Origin below).

Note: tongue (noun) = large, movable fleshy part in the mouth that we use for talking and tasting

Origin: The 18th-century book A Complete Collection of English Proverbs says about this proverb: "This reason they give that would not have women learn languages." In other words, "tongue" was used in the sense of "language" (which it can still have today, though rarely); and the proverb was not against women speaking too much but learning too much.

Quick Quiz:

Someone who says that "one tongue is enough for a woman" is most likely to be

a. an ear, nose and throat doctor

b. a linguist

c. a misogynist

Saying of the Day

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Contributor: Josef Essberger