butterfly

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Related to Butterflys: butterflies in stomach

Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?

A rhetorical question referring to an excessive amount of force that has been applied to achieve something minor, unimportant, or insignificant. The line is a quotation from Alexander Pope's poem "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot." To "break upon a wheel" refers to a mode of torture, in which a victim has their bones broken while strapped to a large wheel. The government's use of drone strikes and artillery bombing on the town to wipe out a tiny faction of rebels is totally unjustifiable—who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
See also: break, butterfly, upon, who

break a butterfly on a wheel

To apply an excessive amount of force to achieve something minor, unimportant, or insignificant. The phrase appears in the rhetorical question, "Who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?" The line is a quotation from Alexander Pope's poem "Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot." To "break upon a wheel" refers to a mode of torture, in which a victim has their bones broken while strapped to a large wheel. The government's use of drone strikes and artillery bombing on the town to wipe out a tiny faction of rebels is totally unjustifiable—who breaks a butterfly upon a wheel?
See also: break, butterfly, on, wheel

butterflies in (one's) stomach

A feeling of nervousness. The butterflies in my stomach almost kept me from going on stage and performing.
See also: butterfly, stomach

have butterflies in (one's) stomach

A feeling of nervousness. I almost didn't go on stage and perform tonight because I had butterflies in my stomach.
See also: butterfly, have, stomach

*butterflies in one's stomach

a nervous feeling in one's stomach. (*Typically: get ~; have ~; give someone~.) Whenever I have to speak in public, I get butterflies in my stomach. She always has butterflies in her stomach before a test. It was not frightening enough to give me butterflies in my stomach, but it made me a little apprehensive.
See also: butterfly, stomach

*gaudy as a butterfly

fancy; colorful. (*Also: as ~.) Marie looked as gaudy as a butterfly in her new dress. Michael's scarf is gaudy as a butterfly.
See also: butterfly

butterflies in one's stomach

Fluttering sensations caused by a feeling of nervous anticipation. For example, I always get butterflies in my stomach before making a speech. This term likens a nervous feeling to that resulting from swallowing live butterflies that fly about inside one. [c. 1900]
See also: butterfly, stomach

butterflies in your stomach

If you have butterflies in your stomach, you feel very nervous about something that you have to do. He seemed so full of enthusiasm that I felt foolish still having butterflies in my stomach. Now I can go there as a competitor, I'm starting to feel the butterflies in my stomach already. Note: Butterflies is also used in many other structures and expressions with a similar meaning. Any jockey who says he doesn't get butterflies down at the start is telling lies. Carol felt butterflies tumbling in her guts.
See also: butterfly, stomach

be breaking a butterfly on a wheel

BRITISH, LITERARY
If you say that someone is breaking a butterfly on a wheel, you mean that they are using far more force than is necessary to do something. The Huglets have had their ideology combed over, examined, misinterpreted and rewritten. Talk about breaking a butterfly on a wheel. Note: This is a quotation from `Epistle to Dr Arbuthnot' (1735) by Alexander Pope. In the past, the wheel was an instrument of torture. A person was tied to it and then their arms and legs were broken or they were beaten to death. Compare with a sledgehammer to crack a nut.
See also: breaking, butterfly, on, wheel

social butterfly

A person who flits from event to event without a care in the world. This derogatory phrase is usually but not always applied to women who “live to party.” Going from one dinner party or ball or benefit to another, they are preoccupied with being the height of fashion and popularity. According to one wonderfully descriptive characterization, a social butterfly has a “brow unfurrowed by care or thought."
See also: butterfly, social
References in periodicals archive ?
Photo: (1 -- 2 -- color) A monarch butterfly alights on a sycamore tree at Pt.
In the Day Butterfly Center's 15,000-square-foot building, visitors can watch a butterfly documentary in the theater, walk through the lobby adorned with a handmade carpet embroidered with Georgia's state butterfly, and shop for souvenirs at the gift shop.
The center's focal point is the glass-enclosed octagonal butterfly conservatory -at 8,000 square feet, the largest of its kind in the world.
Most butterfly houses in Europe, the South Pacific, and America are primarily commercial showcases.
In the past 50 years, the butterfly has forfeited ground to sprawling regions of con- crete and steel in the United States.
These are not the only headaches butterfly lovers must bear without benefit of aspirin.
Butterflies, the world's second-leading pollinators, are now protected in the United States by the Endangered Species Act, through which a recovery plan is formulated for the conservation and preservation of the butterfly and its habitat.
William Barrick, became the Day Butterfly Center's project director.
Mezzo Anna Burford makes a strong impression as Suzuki, her support of Butterfly touching, her vocal skills outstanding.
Pinkerton, meets Cynthia Casey's Butterfly at the Palmdale Playhouse.
3--Ran in AV edition only) The Desert Opera Theater made an effort to include children in its production of Puccini's ``Madama Butterfly,'' as evident in this scene from the opera opening Friday.