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Redirect to "Sarcasm"Edit

This article was created as a redirect to Sarcasm (which makes no mention of the phrase), but the two terms are far from identical. Sarcasm can be part of a tongue-in-cheek statement, but many tongue-in-cheek statements are simply amusing or done for general comic effect, without involving sarcasm. Furthermore, "sarcasm" is always used to describe a statement, whereas "tongue-in-cheek" can refer to an action, like a scene in a movie (or an entire movie, for that matter). Besides, this doesn't seem worthy of an encyclopedia article; it's more like Wiktionary material. I plan to write up a decent definition, replace this redirect with it, and then suggest it be moved to Wiktionary. — Jeff Q (talk) 11:59, 25 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Thanks to Coyote-37 for putting his/her money where my mouth was. ☺ ~ Jeff Q (talk) 22:52, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

Created stubEdit

I took the liberty of moving this from the old redirect, as it isn't really relevant to sarcasm. I could see this being moved to Wiktionary, but I'd like to see how people react to the page here first. One way it could be expanded is by finding out the origin of the term, which is currently a mystery to me! Coyote-37 11:18, 29 July 2005 (UTC)

I just added the origin of the term; I hope this solves your mystery --BorgQueen 20:57, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
Thanks BorgQueen, good work! I've just made some minor edits to the page. I've readded the stub template as this is certainly stub size- but perhaps we've said all there is to say! What do other users think? Coyote-37 10:30, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Here is the discussion from the Sarcasm talk page:


I was redirected here from 'tongue-in-cheek', but it's been removed in a previous edit and even that was only a passing reference. I feel it's worth having some mention of it, but I'm not sure whether it belongs as part of this page (I personally don't consider it a form of sarcasm, but others may disagree), or on a page of its own. Any thoughts? - Coyote-37 —Preceding undated comment added 11:18, 29 July 2005

I definitely think tongue-in-cheek requires its own page. It's quite different to sarcasm. However, Wikipedia is not a dictionary so I'm not sure how to sort it. --Mintie 01:37, 22 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I think it deserves its own page as well. It needn't be very long, but could be more than a dictionary entry by listing a few popular examples of the type of humour (ie: An American Werewolf in London). I'm happy to do it myself, but prob won't have the time until the weekend. I'm happy for someone else to take the batton. btw, does anyone know where the phrase comes from? - Coyote-37 —Preceding undated comment added 11:18, 29 July 2005
Ditto. Tongue-in-cheek is different than sarcasm and deserves its own page. Sarcasm can be mockery/derision while tongue-in-cheek can be banter/ribbing. -- cipher_nemo (talk) 15:08, 30 August 2010 (UTC)

Page Already linked from one or more other pages, includes origins and referencesEdit vote, for now, is to keep it here. Certainly, it deservees its own page, though, whether that page is on Wiktionary or Wikipedia, but I think keeping it here for now works. I don't know if anybody else has linked it from any of the pages they've worked on, but I figured the phrase would be on Wikipedia and did not find it odd or bad that it was after I looked it up to link it from another page (and was happy to find origins. I've always wondered where it came from!). Coincidentally, I think a reference to Buffy the Vampire Slayer here would also be good, as it was also often tongue-in-cheek (plus, all the references so far seem to be to feature films!). I'm also tempted to add a reference to The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (I'd say "and its sequel", but I'm having trouble finding information on "The Librarian 2"). It's a tad obscure compared to the "American Werewolf" movies or BtVS, but it's very, very tongue-in-cheek, pretty much in every scene and even the concept (I mean, the world's biggest nerd is the star character of the movie, and he's a librarian, literally! And his "brawn" bodyguard is a hot woman. It's hard to argue that the concept itself isn't tongue-in-cheek as well, especially when it semi-seriously features rickety bridges and "Mayan Death Traps" and such, but what do you guys think? There is a remarkably complete page for it here on the Wiki, after all. But, who says we have to rely on film, period? I'm pretty sure classical literature is chock full of tongue-in-cheek works, other than that one poem listed as the term's first time in print, right? 08:29, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Previous origins?Edit

I am finding references to the year 1748 for this phrase, which indicate that it was fashionable to show disdain or disrespect for someone by putting your tongue in your cheek. At least one of these cites Oxford Dictionary as their source but I'm unable to confirm that since I don't own a copy. It's reasonable it was used in literature, consistently (or at least most popularly) combined with some form of commendation or compliment and therefore understood as sarcasm. If someone has a copy of Oxford's "current english" dictionary and can look this phrase up, it'd be appreciated. Kryptx 15:20, 24 May 2006 (UTC)


Would it be possible to give examples of tounge in cheeck statements that have been used in popular culture? I can't think of one off of the top of my head, but the only small example this page shows is a couple of movies in the tongue and cheeck style. I think we could have more. Onlyabititalian 20:51, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

I've updated the ordering of the examples. Spy and Police-Thriller were switched.Gortok (talk) 14:20, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
My experience on other wiki pages is to be strongly against a list of any kind. If we add more then other users will feel the need to add their own favourite examples and the page will spiral out of control into yet another useless and unreadable list. Examples should be illustrative not exhaustive. Do you feel that the meaning of the term isn't made clear? If so then the page does need work, but more examples may not be the answer. Coyote-37 11:30, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

2 "first appearances in print"Edit

They cannot both be first. Is something ~else~ notable about the second claimed? 03:47, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I'm removing the second claim for now. If anyone has a reason for it being there, tell us and put it back. Scaper8 18:49, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
The article currently includes this: "The Oxford English Dictionary's earliest recorded use of the term was in 1933... One of the earliest records of the expression is in The Fair Maid of Perth, by Sir Walter Scott in 1828". Are we implying that the OED's etymology researchers only found references to this phrase going back to 1933 (missing those documented here from 1828 and 1845), or that it first appeared as an entry in the OED in 1933 (and in Webster's in 1934)? I think the statement is ambiguous. leevclarke (talk) 14:04, 3 December 2008 (UTC)


This inclusion is ridiculous.. It bears no elaboration, it is the creation of an individual and adds nothing to the article. it is mere opinion and does not belong in an academic critique of the subject6. It contains no references, and seems only to be an individual's take on the particular phenomenon — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:09, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Twist One Up and Bite ItEdit

As a amateur comic and one who loves the cockeyed-ness of the English language and how it (English) allows one to twist up sentences to convey multiple meanings, I would be surprised to not find some erotica sources for 'tongue-in-cheek'. Alternatively, try talking with one's tongue in one's cheek. Stick it between your teeth and try and talk: To use a 'tongue-in-cheek' expression, "you sound like a special person"... --Scot-1t 20:40, 27 January 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Scot-1T Norris (talkcontribs)

The reason for the red link in the see also section....Edit

-- (talk) 02:30, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Referencing Wikipedia?Edit

Wikipedia is only reliable when it cites outside references. It's stupid to have it referencing itself, as with the second reference on this page. (Sorry if I haven't edited this right, I'm not a frequent editor.) (talk) 14:35, 2 March 2010 (UTC)

Agreed... though it just might have been done tongue-in-cheek! (talk) 01:39, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Fixed. (talk) 07:16, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

Fifth Element is tongue-in-cheek?Edit

The article states that the move The Fifth Element is tongue-in-cheek fiction. It looks like this is vandalism to me. Does anyone object to removing it? (talk) 21:56, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

Also, the Scream Series is not exactly tongue-in-cheek; the sarcasm is a bit to obvious. (talk) 22:00, 25 August 2010 (UTC)

If this article is to keep examples, it should only keep examples that have been described as "tongue-in-cheek" in reliable sources. Powers T 15:57, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Broadening content about tongue-in-cheek humorEdit

This article mainly discusses the physical action of putting one's tongue in its cheek and the interpretation of this gestures. There is a brief attempt to discusses its history. However I believe the article is too limited in its scope and people researching tongue-in-cheek are not really wanting to learn about the gesture but more the style of humor. A best example is many film critics uses the term: tongue-in-cheek humor. Which had me questionning and wanting to know more and its exact meaning. This got me on this wikipedia page. I thought it would be a shame to delete it but we must realign its content inline with my comment above.

The urban dictionnary says [1]: "When a statement is "tongue in cheek" it is ironic, slyly humorous; it is not meant to be taken seriously, however its sarcasm is subtle. Though not meant to be taken seriously, it is not overt joking or kidding around, it is "gently poking fun". A "tongue in cheek" statement may have a double meaning, some sort of inuendo or is witty in some way, particularly to the speaker. The tone or the context of the statement may make it to be taken seriously by the listener. It's origin comes from when Spanish minstrels would perform for various dukes in the 18th century; these dukes would silently chastise the silliness of the minstrel's performances by placing their tongue firmly to the inside of their cheek. (A family goes out to dinner with their grandma at a restaurant called Dick's) Grandma: I love Dicks, they're so delicious. I think I need seconds. Kid (tongue in cheek): Hey grandma, why do you like Dicks so much? Grandma: Oh well I'm not sure, they just make my mouth happy!"

I think that us wikireaders could do a reasearched and enhanced version of this. However I had more question than knowledge when I came to this page so I don't think I'm the best one to write it...

As examples we could also had a list of movies, books, comedians, etc. that are good sources of tongue-in-cheek humor. Karameleios (talk) 08:21, 29 August 2010 (UTC)

American Journal of Psychology paper, 1896Edit

The facial expression typically indicates that one is joking or making a mental effort.[1]

  1. ^ Lindley, E. H. (1896). "A preliminary study of some of the motor phenomena of mental effort" (PDF). The American Journal of Psychology.

I removed this material from the article since it seemed too broad a generalization to make from this one 'preliminary study' from over 100 years ago. —Coconutporkpie (talk) 00:43, 11 October 2016 (UTC)

Natural gesture?Edit

I have an older relative who always put their tongue in their cheek as a sign of contempt (just as said in this article). It always struck me growing up. So much so, in fact, that I originally thought that the phrase "tongue in cheek" referred to what this article says was the original sense.

Is this simply a natural gesture that comes about in multiple environments on its own? Tharthan (talk) 04:35, 23 April 2020 (UTC)