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    #1

    shut up like an oyster

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    He was talking quite freely till we mentioned his brother, then he shut up like an oyster.

    shut up like an oyster = become silent, dry up, hold one’s peace

    Thanks for your efforts.

    Regard,

    V

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    #2

    Re: shut up like an oyster

    Yes- like clam up.

  1. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: shut up like an oyster

    Perhaps it's worth adding - as some people may not know - that 'clam up' isn't just a random synonym. A clam is also a shellfish - the sort you get in spaghetti alle vongole.

    b

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    #4

    Re: shut up like an oyster

    A clam is also a person.

    clam(n) = a close-mouthed person, especially one who can keep a secret

    V.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: shut up like an oyster

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    A clam is also a person.

    clam(n) = a close-mouthed person, especially one who can keep a secret

    V.
    Yes, I thought you'd know vil , but I wanted to point out that a real bivalve was at the bottom of the original metaphor - and that includes the person as well as the process.

    b

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