- tell a thing or two,
- tell apart,
- tell el amarna,
- tell it like it is,
- tell it to the marines
Origin of telling
verb (used with object), told, tell·ing.
verb (used without object), told, tell·ing.
- to separate from the whole and assign to a particular duty.
- Informal.to rebuke severely; scold: It was about time that someone told him off.
Origin of tell1
Examples from the Web for telling
Have a look at this telling research from Pew on blasphemy and apostasy laws around the world.
So she lies to the knight, telling him Madalena is sorry and wants him back.
French President François Hollande is telling the French people they should “not lump them together.”
Even before the shootings, New York policeman were telling the Mayor not to attend their funerals.
Either way, guests seeking a holiday getaway there can also enjoy a tingle of telling truth to power by posting their own reviews.Inside the ‘Surprisingly Great’ North Korean Hacker Hotel|Michael Daly|December 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Don was telling some of his adventures, and no one but Celestia Ann in the kitchen noticed the ringing of the door-bell.Mildred at Home|Martha Finley
A simple story, too, and yet there are so many ways of telling it!Henrietta Temple|Benjamin Disraeli
The official evidently was telling Argo something of importance.Tarrano the Conqueror|Raymond King Cummings
"There's no telling what she's going to do," Mrs. Baxter went on, with a gentle sigh.The Walking Delegate|Leroy Scott
There 's a set of fellows at work, all over the world, telling the people about their rights.The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I.(of II)|Charles James Lever
verb tells, telling or told
Word Origin for tell
Word Origin for tell
"mound, hill," 1864, from Arabic tall, related to Hebrew tel "mount, hill, heap."
Old English tellan "to reckon, calculate, consider, account," from Proto-Germanic *taljanan "to mention in order" (cf. Old Saxon tellian, Old Norse telja, Old Frisian tella "to count, tell," Dutch tellen "to count, reckon," Old Saxon talon "to count, reckon," Danish tale "to speak," Old High German zalon, German zählen "to count, reckon"), from root *talo (see tale). Meaning "to narrate, relate" is from c.1000; that of "to make known by speech or writing, announce" is from early 12c. Sense of "to reveal or disclose" is from c.1400; that of "to act as an informer, to 'peach' " is recorded from 1901. Meaning "to order (someone to do something)" is from 1590s. Original sense in teller and phrase to tell time. For sense evolution, cf. French conter "to count," raconter "to recount;" Italian contare, Spanish contar "to count, recount, narrate;" German zählen "to count," erzählen "to recount, narrate."
I tolde hyme so, & euer he seyde nay. [Thomas Hoccleve, "The Regiment of Princes," c.1412]
Telling "having effect or force" is from 1852.
In addition to the idioms beginning with tell
- tell apart
- tell a thing or two
- tell it like it is
- tell it to the Marines
- tell me
- tell off
- tell on
- tell someone where to get off
- tell tales
- tell time
- do tell
- kiss and tell
- show and tell
- something tells me
- there's no telling
- thing or two, tell a
- time will tell
- which is which, tell
- you never can tell
- you're telling me
Also see undertold.