“Tongue-tied” means too shy, nervous, or embarrassed to speak. When Judge Judy asks you a question, you’d better be prepared to answer her. If you don’t answer, she’s merciless. “‘Ummm’ is not an answer,” she famously tells “tongue-tied” litigants on her show, or litigants that are too nervous to come up with an answer. The student was “tongue-tied” in the presence of her school principal.