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cat got one's tongue

A comment made when someone is unaccountably or unusually quiet, as in We haven't heard from you all morning—has the cat got your tongue? Often put as a question, this term originally was used mainly with a child who did something wrong and refused to answer any questions. Today it is used more generally to ask anyone to speak. [ Mid-1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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