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From tongue +β€Ž -age modelled after language; or a blend of tongue +β€Ž language.


tonguage (uncountable)

  1. Any activity involving the tongue; tonguing.
  2. (nonstandard, rare) Language; spoken language, as opposed to other forms of language (body language, written language, etc.).
    • 1890, Samuel Butler, Essays on Life, Art, and Science:
      Whether the ideas underlying them are expressed and conveyed by eyeage or by tonguage is a detail that matters nothing.
    • 1956, Edward Elgar, Percy Marshall Young, Letters of Edward Elgar and other writings:
      I like the French now but can't get on with the Italian tonguage (good word).
    • 1961, India. Office of the Registrar General, Census of India, 1961: Maharashtra:
      In all the districts of Maharashtra except Aurangabad and Bhandara, the number of persons who returned Hindi as a subsidiary language outnumber those with Hindi as mother tonguage.
    • 1973, Howard Paul Becker, Man in reciprocity:
      We have a language of social relations, even though we're not thoroughly aware of itβ€” but it isn't all "language" in the sense of "tonguage."