The tongue has long been viewed as a meaning-laden symbol as well as a flappy mouth muscle. In this episode we explore the history of the scold’s bridle – a tongue-based punishment usually used against women for talking out of turn. We also uncover the supposed historical causes of stuttering – from too much tickling to looking in a mirror.

And we explore some pleasant sounding tongue-related historical treatments – from sugar candy and wine drinking to cinnamon water and honey. Finally, a change from all the dung-based recipes we’ve been looking at!


Historical clip: Oesophageal speech after laryngectomy. Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0)