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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

wave the bloody shirt

To encourage violence and animosity. The phrase was especially popular during the US Civil War. Primarily heard in US. A lot of people in our country are waving the bloody shirt right now, but I just can't support acts of violence, however justified they may be.
See also: bloody, shirt, wave

with bloody hand

Clearly guilty (as if one has been found with evidence of a crime or misdeed). The squire was found with bloody hand, sir— how do you want to punish him?
See also: bloody, hand

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 ?
SAVE OUR HISTORY: ALASKA'S BLOODIEST BATTLE tells the story of the Battle of the Aleutians, a little-known but crucial moment in American history, the only time in nearly two centuries that American forces have had to fight to win back a piece of their own soil.
The battle was one of the bloodiest of the war, when British and Polish paratroopers tried to take Arnhem Bridge over the Neder Rhine.
Once admired for its effective African-American organizations and its record of interracial co-operation, Detroit exploded in two of the bloodiest race riots of the twentieth century and by the 1980's was widely viewed as a prime specimen of the breakdown of urban America.
Maxwell (director of "Gettysburg" and "Gods and Generals") and written, directed and produced by multiple-award winner Robert Child ("Gettysburg: Three Days of Destiny" and "Gettysburg: The Boys in Blue and Gray"), "Lincoln and Lee at Antietam - The Cost of Freedom" vividly brings to life the story of America's fight for freedom during the bloodiest day in American History.
Summary: Twin car bombs rocked two government buildings in the Iraqi capital Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 132 people and wounding 600 others in the bloodiest attack the capital has seen in two
In the bloodiest day of the week-long festival, 13 people were taken to hospital, including a 23-year-old American and a 29-year-old Pole.
The Somme was one of the bloodiest battles in human history with more than a million casualties.
Today is the 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme in northern France, in which some 20,000 British soldiers fell on what was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army.
ONE of the bloodiest episodes in world history began in earnest on this day in 1933 when Adolf Hitler declared the Third Reich.
The film follows grizzled sergeant (Lee Marvin) as he leads four recruits through our time's bloodiest conflicts.
Her late husband, Lee, was one of the 20,000 troops wounded in one of the bloodiest battles in Marine Corps history.
The development of new weapons and the emergence of trench warfare made the Great War the bloodiest conflict the world had known.
The fighting comes a month after the government called off their longest and bloodiest offensive in which more than 6000 people died.
The Battle of Antietam altered our country in two ways: first, it is recognized by historians as the turning point in the Civil War; secondly, September 17, 1862 remains the single bloodiest day in American history.
Last week a suicide bomb killed more than 215 people in Baghdad, the bloodiest day since the 2003 invasion.