It takes two to tango

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It takes two to tango is one of many American idioms that originated in popular culture, and is one of the few idiomatic expressions with an exact point of origin. We will examine the definition of the expression it takes two to tango, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

It takes two to tango is a phrase that has several nuanced meanings. It takes two to tango is most often used to mean that it takes two people to contribute to an argument. In the case of a disagreement, both parties must bear the responsibility of the situation or the blame for the situation, and both must make the effort to work out a resolution. This admonition has a negative connotation. However, the expression it takes two to tango may also be used to simply mean that two people are necessary in order to perform a task. In this usage, there is no negative connotation to the phrase. Finally, it takes two to tango is sometimes used to mean that in order to engage in a successful relationship, two people must have the same level of interest in each other. In this case, the expression is a commentary on love and sexual attraction.

It takes two to tango is an idiom that is derived from a song of the same title, written by Al Hoffman and Dick Manning, and published in 1952. This popular song was recorded by Pearl Bailey, Louis Armstrong and Ray Charles. The song It Takes Two to Tango incorporates the rhythm of tango music, but is not as dynamic and passionate as most tango compositions. The tango is also a ballroom dance. Tango dancing originated among the poor, rural people along the Argentine border with Uruguay during the 1880s. By the turn of the century, the dance made its way to Buenos Aires, inspiring tango musical compositions. Not long after, the tango was introduced to Europe and a tango craze swept Paris. The tango dance involves the passionate interaction between two people, and is best when accompanied by an orchestra. Many different styles of the Latin dance, the tango, are performed on the dance floor. Different variations and approaches are favored by each instructor, depending on the dancer and the musical composition. Even amateurs are involved in this artistic dance, and many are involved in instruction in workshops and even master classes. The desire to dance is not limited to professionals. The origin of the word tango is in dispute, though most believe it is related to the word shangó, the Nigerian god of thunder, and tambor, the Spanish word for drum.


It takes two to tango, however, and his de-facto counterpart in Kosovo, Hashim Thaci, isn’t willing to dance, declaring that “there will be no partition of Kosovo and no autonomy for Serbs.” (Sputnik International)

It takes two to tango, and there’s no guarantee the Lions have an equally desirable asset to shop this offseason, but here are five players who could potentially draw interest. (The Detroit News)

You shouldn’t assume all of the responsibility—it takes two to tango, after all—but if you want the friendship to have a chance of moving forward then you’re going to have to own up to your part in the breakdown. (Brides Magazine)

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