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give (one) a bloody nose

1. Literally, to punch or otherwise strike someone in the nose hard enough to cause it to bleed. I'd stay away from that kid—he gave me a bloody nose just for looking at his bike!
2. To defeat something or someone, often temporarily. All right, so you gave me a bloody nose in this week's meeting. I'm just going to do more research and come back stronger in the next one!
See also: bloody, give, nose

bloody but unbowed

Fig. showing signs of a struggle, but not defeated. (Originally referring to the head. From the poem Invictus by William Earnest Henley.) Liz emerged from the struggle, her head bloody but unbowed. We are bloody but unbowed and will fight to the last.
See also: bloody, but, unbowed

cry bloody murder

Fig. to scream as if something very serious has happened, especially unnecessarily. Now that Bill is really hurt, he's crying bloody murder. There is no point in crying bloody murder about the bill if you knew the restaurant was expensive.
See also: bloody, cry, murder

scream bloody murder

 and yell bloody murder
Fig. to complain bitterly; to complain unduly. When we put him in an office without a window, he screamed bloody murder. There is something wrong next door. Everyone is yelling bloody murder.
See also: bloody, murder, scream

scream bloody murder

to shout or to complain very loudly Sometimes the baby screams bloody murder when we give her a bath. I'm so frustrated with the telephone company, I want to scream bloody murder.
Usage notes: sometimes holler bloody murder and yell bloody murder, with the same meaning
See also: bloody, murder, scream

bloodied but unbowed

harmed but not defeated by an unpleasant situation or competition I emerged bloodied but unbowed from my oral exam.
See also: bloody, but, unbowed

bloody minded

  (British & Australian informal)
someone who is bloody minded makes difficulties for other people, usually by arguing against their actions or ideas without a good reason There's no reason why we shouldn't do aerobics in the squash court - the sports committee are just being bloody minded.
See also: bloody, minded

give somebody a bloody nose

to defeat or damage someone, but not permanently or seriously The pro-Europeans gave their opponents a bloody nose in the debate.
See scream blue murder
See also: bloody, give, nose

scream blue murder

  (British, American & Australian informal) also scream bloody murder (American & Australian informal)
to shout or to complain very loudly Readers screamed blue murder when the price of their daily paper went up. Someone took the child's ice cream away and he started screaming bloody murder.
See also: blue, murder, scream

scream bloody murder

Angrily protest as loudly as possible, as in When Jimmy took her teddy bear, Lauren screamed bloody murder, or Residents are screaming bloody murder about the increase in property taxes. The scream here may be either literal (as in the first example) or figurative, which is also true of invoking murder as though one were in danger of being killed. Versions of this term, such as cry murder, date from the 1400s.
See also: bloody, murder, scream


mod. absolutely; emphatically. We are abso-bloody-lutely sick to death of your wishy-washy attitude.

scream bloody murder

tv. to scream very loudly; to complain or protest loudly. She screams bloody murder every time I get near her.
See also: bloody, murder, scream
References in periodicals archive ?
Four years later, Gulager directs the straight-to-DVD sequel, which is bloodier and more gruesome.
THE WAR TO END ALL WARS: THE STORY OF WORLD WAR I follows the major battles of the war, explaining why the nations fought the war and discovered a far bloodier conflict than the world had seen at that scale.
An even bloodier attack took place at a CIA base in Khost province near the Pakistan border, where a suicide bomber managed to get into the camp before blowing himself up.
BAGHDAD / Aswat al-Iraq: Politicians and security officials from Anbar have described recent attacks in the province as "a harbinger of bloodier days in the countdown to national elections in January," The Los Angeles Times said on Wednesday.
We had round one last year when Mrs Cole and Ms Minogue were first pitted against each and round two looks set to be even bloodier.
The four years of conflict had been far longer and bloodier than anyone on either side had expected.
And with second-hand car bible Exchange & Mart last week claiming it has seen an 11 per cent rise in buyers flooding from new into the used market over the last three years, that lunch-break battle is set to get all the bloodier.
Even more so was his invasion the next year of Chechnya, which, while failing to crush an independence movement, destroyed the republic, killed tens of thousands and set the stage for an even bloodier war by Mr.
an earlier and bloodier culture war: Karl Rove could focus his undivided attention on satisfying his base's hunger for decisive action against abortion, stem-cell research, contraception, and gay people.
Solomon speculates that, as the United States withdraws ground forces from Iraq, it will replace their efforts with the bloodier but safer (for U.
For the bloodier second half of the century and the advent of neo-classicism, Allan Braham's The Architecture of the French Enlightenment (1980) still provides the more readable and animated account.
But they quickly pulled out at Milosevic's behest--thus solidifying Milosevic's power and precipitating the far bloodier conflict in Bosnia.
As for the Bible's bloodier stories, Little Arc will sink the violence into metaphors.
The story is filled with graphic accounts of Caesar's killing other animals and eating them, the bloodier the better--all very matter-of-fact.
For, as the high street punch ups get even bloodier, the hungry hacks only need sit back, smile, swig another glass of private label Chardonnay, and wait for whacky tales to fall into their laptops.