On tickling ivories

David Crystal latest blog post is entitled ‘On tickling ivories’.

A Northern Irish correspondent writes to say that he had recently been to the USA to visit a friend from his home country, and heard him use the phrase tickle the ivories [i.e. informally play the piano]; my correspondent had only ever heard tinkle the ivories. They found both on the Internet but no explanation of why there is a difference. Is there a British / American factor here, for instance?

On tickling ivories

David Crystal’s Blog

— Om Joshi

 

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