This context comes from the movie "The Aviator" by Martin Scorsese.

"Well, if you're deaf you must own up to it. Get a hearing aid. Or see my father. He's a urologist but it's all tied up inside the body, don't you find? I keep healthy. I take seven showers a day to keep clean."

I'm supposed to provide some research but all of the definitions I found don't seem to fit the context whatsoever. The only thing I can think of is that she is using the literal sense of "tie up" and what she tries to convey is that it doesn't matter that her father is a urologist because all the things such as internal organs are tied up inside the body (metaphorically of course. Organs are not attached by strings of course), so essentially if one doctor can provide treatment or advice for one part of someone's body he is experienced enough to do the same for all of them. Is my reasoning sound?

  1. Lit. to bind someone or something securely. The sheriff tied the crooks up and took them to a cell. He tied up the bandit. I tied the package up and put a label on it.(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs.)
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    Yes, I assume the sense is 'all the systems in the body are interconnected', though it's surely stretching a point to suggest that the ears are anything to do with the urinary system! Jan 16, 2023 at 16:09
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    What @KateBunting said. Except that given the speaker says he "takes seven showers a day to keep clean", we can safely assume the context is one where "stretching the truth" is par for the course! Jan 16, 2023 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


"It's all tied up inside the body" means "everything is interconnected in the body". The organs are closely interlinked. To tie is to link, to connect, to bind. It can be done physically (e.g. with strings, or connective tissue), or chemically (e.g. by neurotransmitters).

I don't know if it's supposed to be a joke, but suggesting to check one's ears with an urologist is funny.

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    It's definitely a tongue-in-cheek context. Nobody "normal" takes 7 showers a day to keep clean! Jan 16, 2023 at 17:07

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