The English idiom tongue-tied describes someone who is speechless. Originally coined by Shakespeare, the expression is still commonly used today. There are many reasons that people sometimes feel tongue-tied, and being a native English speaker or an English student has nothing to do with it. Embarrassment, nervousness, surprise, or just plain old shyness are some of the psychological causes for feeling tongue-tied.
Do you need to see a doctor to speak better English? A small group of people in Korea think so. These people believe that Korean children have naturally shorter tongues than Americans, and this stops them from correctly pronouncing English sounds. These parents are so worried that their children won’t speak correct English that they bring them to the doctor to get an operation on their tongue. These operations are called frenectomies. During frenectomies, the doctors cut the tissue under the tongue. This is supposed to make the tongue more flexible and more able to pronounce English sounds.