it takes two to tango

Cultural Dictionary

It takes two to tango definition


Certain activities cannot be performed alone — such as quarreling, making love, and dancing the tango.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

it takes two to tango

The active cooperation of both parties is needed for some enterprises, as in We'll never pass this bill unless both parties work out a compromiseit takes two to tango. This expression dates from the 1920s, when the Latin American tango became a very popular dance. It was popularized by the singer Pearl Bailey in her 1952 hit song of that name written by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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