ax to grind


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Related to ax to grind: get wind of, with bated breath

ax to grind

A selfish aim or motive, as in The article criticized the new software, but the author had an ax to grind, as its manufacturer had fired his son . This frequently used idiom comes from a story by Charles Miner, published in 1811, about a boy who was flattered into turning the grindstone for a man sharpening his ax. He worked hard until the school bell rang, whereupon the man, instead of thanking the boy, began to scold him for being late and told him to hurry to school. "Having an ax to grind" then came into figurative use for having a personal motive for some action. [Mid-1800s]
See also: ax, grind
References in periodicals archive ?
But Antigua also elicits bitter memories for our tour guide, who makes it clear she has an ax to grind in this short but powerful billyclub of a book.
He conveyed a clear sense of moral outrage on an issue about which he had no conceivable ax to grind.
Since working with homosexual patients is only part of their practice, it is probable that theirs is a less-thought-through position, but by and large their views are informed not by having an ideological ax to grind but by a wish to be helpful to the patient.
Temps are objective, don't have an ax to grind and most don't understand your office politics.
It's unfortunate that a vendor's former employee with an ax to grind can disrupt the company's business in this fashion.
Customers are far more likely to believe a neutral third party with no ax to grind when they certify your product is entirely open and portable.
Unlike ``The Daily Show,'' ``The Colbert Report'' so far has no political ax to grind.