The tongue is a muscular hydrostat on the floors of the mouths of most vertebrates which manipulates food for mastication. It is the primary organ of taste (gustation), as much of the upper surface of the tongue is covered in papillae and taste buds. It is sensitive and kept moist by saliva, and is richly supplied with nerves and blood vessels. In humans a secondary function of the tongue is phonetic articulation. The tongue also serves as a natural means of cleaning one's teeth. The ability to perceive different tastes is not localised in different parts of the tongue, as is widely believed. This error arose because of misinterpretation of some 19th-century research (see tongue map).
Famous quotes containing the word tongue:
“Well, well, perhaps I am a bit of a talker. A popular fellow such as I ammy friends get round mewe chaff, we sparkle, we tell witty storiesand somehow my tongue gets wagging. I have the gift of conversation. Ive been told I ought to have a salon, whatever that may be.”
—Kenneth Grahame (18591932)
“It was a maxim with Mr. Brass that the habit of paying compliments kept a mans tongue oiled without any expense; and that, as that useful member ought never to grow rusty or creak in turning on its hinges in the case of a practitioner of the law, in whom it should be always glib and easy, he lost few opportunities of improving himself by the utterance of handsome speeches and eulogistic expressions”
—Charles Dickens (18121870)
“The eye of man hath not heard, the ear of man hath not seen, mans hand is not able to taste, his tongue to conceive, nor his heart to report what my dream was!”
—William Shakespeare (15641616)