'tongue-in-cheek': adj. or adv.?


Dictionaries say tongue-in-cheek is an adjective (’… but people see it as very tongue-in-cheek’ – this was the phrase, I heard yesterday and with that I started today’s morning :))

But now I see:

and so on
and am starting to have my doubts. :slight_smile:

Can it be used as an adverb? as a noun?

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Hi Tamara

There is no problem using tongue-in-cheek as an adverb.
It certainly would sound odd (and possibly leave people tongue-tied) if you attempted to add an -ly to tongue-in-cheek in an effort to build the adverb. :lol:

Although I don’t see it specifically listed as a noun in the dictionary entries I’ve checked so far, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that tongue-in-cheek might also be used as a noun (on rare occasions).

But the most frequent usage would be as an adjective.


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Thank you, Amy.
You know my painstakingness… :slight_smile:


P.S. Nice picture, indeed.
haloed :slight_smile:

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Or we could also call it a cameo picture, perhaps! In any case, it’s great to see your face again, Amy!

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Conchita, could you pronounce ‘cameoed’ :slight_smile: for me, please? (Just to protect me - this nice sunshiny Sunday - from irreversible tongue twisting :))

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Have you seen many people literally put their tongue in their cheek when joking? I only know a few who (unconsciously?) do that and, curiously, they are men. Don’t you find the ensuing lopsided smile cute?

It’s easier than it might seem: ['kamioud]

Beautiful Sunday, indeed!

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Going out :slight_smile: )

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