fighting words

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Related to fighting word: them's fighting words

fighting words

Speech meant to provoke a fight or confrontation with someone. The senatorial candidate issued strong fighting words to her opponent today, challenging her to an open debate on the matter of tax increases.
See also: fight, word

fighting words

A statement bound to start a quarrel or fight. It is often expressed as them's fighting words, as in You say your father's smarter than mine? Them's fighting words. The ungrammatical use of them's for "those are" emphasizes the folksy tone of this colloquialism, first recorded in Ring Lardner's Gullible's Travels (1917).
See also: fight, word
References in periodicals archive ?
Founded in 2009 by The Barrytown Trilogy author and Sean Love, Fighting Words aims to provide primary and secondary level students with the chance to explore their imagination through creative writing.
A speech-based criminal-harassment conviction passes First Amendment muster if it is based on fighting words that target the victim, are capable of inciting an immediate fight, and seriously alarm the victim,'' Gail Johnson's lawyer, Valerie DePalma, wrote in a legal brief.
appealed and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, which is when the term fighting words
In the Racing Post Chase The Fellow finished third before going on to Gold Cup glory, fourth Elfast took the Mildmay of Flete and sixth Fighting Words the Kim Muir.
Rowntree's fighting words continued a theme set earlier in the week by Tom Wood, who returns to the England team as one of six changes from the 20-14 defeat to Australia.
With fighting words, these fifteen legislators, known as TDs, say that they will refuse to vote for any law that liberalises abortion even if the party whips command them to do so.
David said that Times Square doesn't have enough gimmicks and then threw down some fighting words.
But all of the fighting words sounded a lot more like the Republican presidential candidates race than an annual prize for truck maker bragging rights.
Perhaps sensing the increased scrutiny of his candidacy over everything from his jobs record to his views on evolution, Perry ended his remarks with fighting words for the "liberal pundits," advising his supporters about how they should reply when the media downplays the Texas way: "I want you to say, 'That dog won't hunt
Fighting words from a man who admits the next two games are 'must-win' for him.
He acknowledged that Lebanese hummus "is very good" but boasted that "Abu Gosh is the hummus capital of the world" -- fighting words to rival fans.
For Mayweather, a sure Hall of Famer whose only current blemish is that he hasn't fought some of the welterweight (147 pound) division's best fighters - Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Cotto and now Pacquiao - those were fighting words.
Netanyahu did not address the issue at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, but the fighting words were echoed by other members of the cabinet, including the Labor party.
Them's fighting words (at least in Elizabethan England), but she was greeted with nothing but a round of laughter and cheers.