serpent

(redirected from Serpentes)
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Related to Serpentes: Rhynchocephalia, Amphisbaenia, suborder Serpentes, Squamata, Viperidae, Sphenodontia

a serpent in (one's) bosom

Someone whom one has befriended, taken care of, or treated well but proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (A less common variant of "a viper in one's bosom." Used especially in the phrase "nourish/nurse/nurture a serpent in one's bosom.") Well, it turns out that Margaret was quite a serpent in my bosom. I put my neck on the line to get her a job in our company, and then she turns around and tries to get me fired! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a serpent in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, serpent

nurse a serpent in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (A less common variant of "nurse a viper in one's bosom.") I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nursed a serpent in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a serpent in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurse, serpent

nurture a serpent in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (A less common variant of "nurture a viper in one's bosom.") I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nurtured a serpent in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nurtured a serpent in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurture, serpent

nourish a serpent in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (A less common variant of "nourish a viper in one's bosom.") I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nourished a serpent in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nourished a serpent in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out, having run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nourish, serpent

civil serpent

n. a civil servant. You have no idea the kinds of things “civil serpents” have to put up with.
See also: civil, serpent
References in periodicals archive ?
The host list for Glypthelmins quieta includes five genera of anurans, Acris, Bufo, Hyla, Pseudacris and Rana; for Huematoloechus ion giplexus, two genera, Bufo and Rana; for Megalodiscus temperatus, four genera of anurans, Bufo, Hyla, Pseudacris, and Rana, five genera of Caudata, Ambystoma, Amphiuma, Desmognathus, Notophthalmus and Pseudotriton, and one genus of Serpentes, Coluber (Parker 1941; Catalano et al.
Notes on variation and range of the Louisiana pine snakes, Pituophis melanoleucus ruthveni, Stull (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae).
The ecology of the northern pine snake, Pituophis melanoleucus melanoleucus (Daudin) (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae), in southern New Jersey, with special notes on habitat and nesting behavior.
Observations on the behavioral ecology of three species of Imantodes (Reptilia, Serpentes, Colubridae).