pen lickin'

Really simple question: wassup with licking the point of a pen, ball-point or whatever, as a symbol of intense concentration, or getting ready to do
a lot of writing? I realize it’s partially cliché…seen mostly in older movies,
T.V., or cartoons, but does anyone know?


I’ve never seen anyone lick a pen.

Old pencils, depending on the hardness, would write darker when wet. I have a new #2 here and there does not seem to be any difference between the wet and the dry scribbles. When I was a kid I would sometimes lick a pencil to get a temporarily darker line, a sort of low tech boldface.

The only reason I can think of for licking a pen is maybe it has some affect on a quill pen.

If ‘meese’ was the plural of ‘moose’ then what would the plural of ‘mice’ be? :wink:

Doesn’t licking a biro that isn’t working get the ink flowing? I could be completely wrong, but I’m sure a friend of mine told me that years ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since

then again, i was always renowned for being completely gullible.

Well, I guess if the pen/biro tip was all grotty with dried ink, it might work. Mostly, though, you’d just get ink on your toungue.

Shaking the pen/biro works better, albeit temporarily.

Sometimes when I have a ball-point pen that goes dry on me in mid-word, I’ll put the tip into my mouth and apply suction, like you would to start siphoning something through a tube. (let’s all keep our disgusting comparisons to ourselves.) It almost always works if you apply enough suction, and there doesn’t have to be any direct contact with the tip of the pen.

Live a Lush Life
Da Chef

Okay. I’m literally putting my money where my mouth is. I just looked for and found a favourite pen that hasn’t worked well for a long time.

I licked it.

It now works.

But I got a funny taste in my mouth…

Sheesh! Instead of putting the pen in your mouth, try applying a small amount of heat in the form of, say, a lighter. Works every time. And it keeps the funny taste out of your mouth. I think.

If you buy pens/biros in quantity, they’re only 12 cents each.

If it doesn’t write, throw it out and get another one. Save the funny taste in your mouth for oral sex.