It’s thought this term originated in the 1800s, and it is a known as a reference to the idea of someone pushing their tongue against their cheek to maintain a straight facial expression, or to prevent laughter which might give a joke away.
Pressing your tongue against the side of your cheek can help to hold back a smile, and it’s hard to talk with your tongue in pushing on your cheek. People don’t actually stick their tongues in their cheeks when saying a tongue in cheek joke,but sometimes they will state it is a “tongue in cheek” joke or situation.
So, here is what I called a “tongue and pole” situation. Good news is his tongue only lost a bit of skin and he was talking right away. I like the warning the EMT gave kids and all of us should heed it–dares are not funny! 8^)