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France French
"...almost everything else about president Obama's handling of Syria -- the fumbling and flip-flopping and marble-mouthing -- undercut his credibility."

I've thought to "langue de bois" but I'm not sure.
  • Randisi.

    Senior Member
    American English; USA
    It's not really a set phrase, but it makes me imagine someone who speaks as though their mouth were full of marbles, in other words, mumbling.

    Keith Bradford

    Senior Member
    English (Midlands UK)
    The idea of talking with your mouth with marbles dates from ancient Greece, and is referred to in the films My Fair Lady and The King's Speech. The aim was to enunciate clearly.

    Perhaps the writer thought that Obama over-enunciated?
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