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against the collar

Difficult, exhausting, or problematic. The phrase originates from the collar on a horse's harness, which tightens on the horse's neck when it travels uphill. Primarily heard in UK. I was doing fine in the marathon, but it was a bit against the collar for the last couple miles. I don't think I have time to meet you today. Work has been a bit against the collar recently.
See also: collar

collar (someone)

1. To detain or restrain someone, either physically or figuratively. Likened to grabbing someone by the collar. I was trying to get out of the office early, but my boss collared me on my way out. I spent all afternoon running around collaring the kids to bring them in for supper. I thought I'd be able to sneak out of the assembly, but one of the nuns collared me and pulled me back inside.
2. Of police, to arrest or detain someone, such as a suspect of a crime. Police were able to collar the suspect after he fled down one of the neighborhood's back alleys.
See also: collar

get hot under the collar

To become angry. I'm sorry I got hot under the collar just then, I have a hard time hearing criticism about my novel. I know you get hot under the collar at times like this, but please, stop yelling at me!
See also: collar, get, hot

make (one) hot under the collar

To anger someone. I wouldn't say anything that could provoke the boss—it doesn't take much to make her hot under the collar! The way you kids deliberately disobey me makes me hot under the collar!
See also: collar, hot, make

work up to the collar

To work hard; to exert oneself. This now-outdated phrase refers to the collar on a beast of burden. I ended up doing most of the project myself because I didn't trust my partner to work up to the collar—he's lazy.
See also: collar, up, work

blue collar

Characteristic of the working class, especially manual laborers. The phrase refers to the collar of a laborer's uniform, in contrast to the "white collar" shirts that typically accompany formal dress. I come from a blue collar family, so I will always champion the common man's concerns. Blue collar workers have always been an important part of our economy.
See also: blue, collar

collar-and-tie men

A phrase that refers to businessmen collectively by their usual attire of a dress shirt and tie. I like working with my hands too much to ever become one of those collar-and-tie men who stay cooped up in an office all day.
See also: men


Of or in the service industry, which most typically employs women. (Used before nouns.) There is nothing wrong with women finding work in a pink-collar profession; the problem is in expecting women—and only women—to work in those types of jobs.


Describing a professional or position whose work responsibilities do not include manual labor (i.e. like that of a so-called blue-collar worker). The name comes from the formal dress typically worn by such workers. One of the problems is that too many people are training for white-collar jobs, when what we need are more highly skilled blue-collar workers.

hot under the collar

Angry. I'm sorry I got hot under the collar just then, I have a hard time hearing criticism about my novel. The way you kids deliberately disobey me makes me hot under the collar!
See also: collar, hot

blue collar

of the lower class or working class; of a job or a worker, having to do with manual labor. (Also, when used as an attributive adjective, often blue-collar. Compare this with white collar. Alludes to the typical color of work shirts worn by mechanics, laborers, etc.) His parents were both blue-collar workers. He was the first person in his family to go to college. They bought a house in a nice, settled, blue-collar neighborhood.
See also: blue, collar

collar-and-tie men

Rur. businessmen who wear dress shirts and ties. After Jim graduated from college, he went off to join the collar-and-tie men. Us working folks at the plant have an awful time getting the collar-and-tie men to see our point of view.
See also: men

hot under the collar

Fig. very angry. The boss was really hot under the collar when you told him you lost the contract. I get hot under the collar every time I think about it.
See also: collar, hot

hot under the collar

Angry, as in She is quick to get hot under the collar, but once the problem is ironed out she forgets it entirely . This expression alludes to the heat of anger. [c. 1900]
See also: collar, hot

get hot under the collar

If you get hot under the collar, you get annoyed about something. Biographers tend to get a little hot under the collar when conversation turns to the invasion of privacy. Note: You can also say that someone is hot under the collar. Judges are hot under the collar about proposals to alter their pension arrangements.
See also: collar, get, hot

feel someone's collar

arrest or legally apprehend someone.
The image here is of using a person's collar as a means of getting a secure grip on them.
See also: collar, feel

hot under the collar

angry, resentful, or embarrassed.
1995 Edward Toman Dancing in Limbo It seems that the gentleman in question has been getting very hot under the collar of late about our public image.
See also: collar, hot

hot under the ˈcollar

(informal) annoyed, embarrassed or excited: He gets very hot under the collar if people disagree with him.
See also: collar, hot

black-collar workers

n. people, usually affected, who wear black all the time. (Contrived. A play on white-collar and blue-collar workers.) I hate to go over to the gallery. It’s filled with black-collar workers. Reminds me of the Adams Family.
See also: worker


1. tv. to arrest someone. (see also collared.) The cops collared her as she was leaving the hotel.
2. n. an arrest. It was a tough collar, with all the screaming and yelling.


mod. arrested. Got collared during a routine traffic stop.
See also: collar

dog collar

n. the collar worn by priests and some other clerics. The man in the dog collar prayed for a while, then we ate dinner.
See also: collar, dog


1. and hot under the collar mod. angry. Gee, that guy is really hot under the collar. What did I do?
2. mod. wanted by the police. (Underworld.) Lefty is hot because of his part in the bank job.
3. mod. stolen. Rocko won’t touch a hot watch or anything else hot.
4. mod. carrying contraband and subject to arrest if caught. Lefty was hot and needed a place to stay.
5. mod. having a run of good luck in gambling. I was hot when I started. I’m broke now.
6. mod. of great renown; doing quite well for the time being. The opera tenor was hot, and even the lowbrows would pay to hear him.
7. mod. alcohol intoxicated. (Old.) Willy was too hot to stand up.
8. mod. selling well. These things are really hot this season.
9. mod. sexy; sexually arousing. Wow, who was that hot hunk you were with?

hot under the collar

See hot
See also: collar, hot

righteous collar

n. a justifiable arrest. (As opposed to a setup or a frame.) Spike was taken in, and the gang agreed it was a righteous collar. Mooshoo was caught red-handed.
See also: collar, righteous

hot under the collar

See also: collar, hot
References in classic literature ?
Try to recall a few words that went before, between the idiot in the collar and me.
A long time passed away, then the collar came into the rag chest at the paper mill; there was a large company of rags, the fine by themselves, and the coarse by themselves, just as it should be.
And it became so, all the rags were turned into white paper; but the collar came to be just this very piece of white paper we here see, and on which the story is printed; and that was because it boasted so terribly afterwards of what had never happened to it.
There was once a fine gentleman, all of whose moveables were a boot-jack and a hair-comb: but he had the finest false collars in the world; and it is about one of these collars that we are now to hear a story.
Here, the fat boy burst forth into stentorian blubberings, and was led forth by the coat collar, by Mr.
Shawls are pulled up, coat collars are readjusted, the pavement ceases, the houses disappear; and they are once again dashing along the open road, with the fresh clear air blowing in their faces, and gladdening their very hearts within them.
Always run the mangle Wednesday nights - collars an' cuffs.
Running the collars and cuffs through the mangle was also Joe's idea.
Some of the donkeys were white, some were brown, or gray, or black, or spotted; but their hair was sleek and smooth and their broad collars and caps gave them a neat, if whimsical, appearance.
IN 1988, JEFF Gonda was working as an electronic collar repair technician in Arizona for his father, the original owner of Tri-Tronics.
This industry research report segments the global drill collars market by raw material (standard steel drill collar and non-magnetic alloy drill collar), by design (spiral and slick), by application (offshore and onshore), and by geography (Americas, APAC, and EMEA).
A pet can tear its flesh by getting a leg stuck in a collar that's too loose.
com)-- Leading industry specialists for dog training equipment, Pet Store Unlimited, are now offering a comprehensive pet collar concierge program to help pet owners choose an e-collar for their pet.
UNION_W/ 5+ FULL BIZ SUITS (NOT SEPARATES) - JUNE 4, 2014 White Collar - Season 6 6/4/2014 Television PAID/0 Yes AFTRA 5/19/2014