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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

bloodied but unbowed

Still willing to continue despite stress or setbacks. The troops emerged from the brutal battle bloodied but unbowed. We were bloodied but unbowed after the board rejected our first proposal—we just resolved to make a better pitch next time.
See also: bloody, but, unbowed

bloody but unbowed

Still willing to continue despite stress or setbacks. The troops emerged from the brutal battle bloody but unbowed. We were bloody but unbowed after the board rejected our first proposal—we just resolved to make a better pitch next time.
See also: bloody, but, unbowed

bloody minded

slang Petulant and argumentative in nature. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I hate spending time with bloody minded people who have a pessimistic response to all of my ideas. Don't listen to him—he's just bloody minded, and his argument doesn't even make sense.
See also: bloody, minded

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 ?
At the height of this crisis, Russia intervened on behalf of the Ossetians, bloodily repulsed the Georgians and then officially recognized both Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Summary: As the Syrian war grinds bloodily along in its fourth year the armed opposition has been coming under fire -- verbally -- over its military tactics, as it struggles to find ways to confront regime forces without generating negative political repercussions.
Protesters and security services clashed bloodily leaving nearly 100 people dead and scores injured.
Midsomer Murders (Wednesday, STV) celebrated the show's 100th episode by transporting itself from the bloodily bucolic settings of Midsomer to beautiful, beautiful – and it turns out deadly – Copenhagen.
It was the second reported blast during three days of protests commemorating the month-long Arab Spring-inspired uprising which was bloodily suppressed by Saudi-backed troops three years ago.
Interim president Adly Mansour issued the demonstration ban last Sunday and police have since enforced it, sometimes bloodily.
However the "third war" has been raging bloodily and mercilessly for less than three years now in Syria, "led from behind" by his administration and either openly armed, financed and logistically supported by the US regional Qatari, Saudi and Turkish allies or proxies, it doesn't matter which, or away from media spotlights by the US Israeli strategic ally.
Beijing : Three people were killed and many injured on Monday, police said, when a car ploughed into pedestrians and caught fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, the site of 1989 pro-democracy protests bloodily suppressed by the government.
Instead of a shootout, this film's climax is a bloodily cruel choreography of swordsmanship.
One result of the cleanliness was increased hatred for United States foreign policy by Middle East militants, a vehemence that has bloodily persisted until this day.
There was the Rose Revolution in Georgia in 2003, the Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan in 2005, and, more recently, the Jasmine Revolution, which, after a month of protests in Tunisia that were bloodily repressed, eventually brought about the downfall of Ben Ali and inspired the revolt of the Arab world in its wake.
For 19 months, the Syrian people have been expressing their rejection of the regime of Bashar Al-Assad who has been bloodily repressing protests that were peaceful originally," Foreign Ministry spokesman Philippe Lalliot said in a briefing.
As the conflict grinds bloodily into its 18th month, the regime is resorting to even heavier fire power against the rebels, a motley collection of fighters and military defectors loosely united as the Free Syrian Army.
An influx of Iranian arms for the Syrian regime and weapons from Arab states for the rebels is creating conditions for a fight that could drag on longand bloodily into the future.
Even when Bell got bloodily smacked on the jaw last week, he still got up the next day to hit his highest one-day score of 126 at the Rose Bowl.