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flap (one's) jaws

To talk in a meaningless, aimless, or idle manner. Jim always starts flapping his jaws after he's had a couple of drinks.
See also: flap, jaw

jaw away

To talk incessantly and/or at great length. I became so bored while the professor jawed away at us that I nearly fell asleep in the middle of the lecture. Whenever I meet up with Tammy, our "conversation" is always just her jawing away while I listen patiently on.
See also: away, jaw

snatch (someone) from the jaws of death

To rescue someone at the last moment from near or certain death. Thankfully, the EMTs arrived to the crash in time to snatch the woman and her child from the jaws of death.
See also: death, jaw, of, snatch

be snatched from the jaws of death

To be rescued at the last moment from near or certain death. The drowning fishermen were snatched from the jaws of death by a passing cruise ship.
See also: death, jaw, of, snatch

make (someone's) jaw drop

To cause someone to pause in astonishment, awe, or disbelief, especially with his or her mouth left open. Did you see Kathy's new dress? It's so gorgeous it made my jaw drop! That play was so amazing that it made all of our jaws drop! It made my husband's jaw drop to hear that I was leaving him.
See also: drop, jaw, make

snatch defeat from the jaws of victory

To fail, lose, or be defeated despite the appearance that one would be victorious, especially due to a mistake, error, or poor judgment. (An ironic reversal of the more common "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.") We were ahead by nearly 20 points with less than half the quarter remaining—how on earth did we manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory like that? The candidate has led in the polls right up to election day, but with that unfortunate remark last night, he may well have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

flap one's gums

 and flap one's jaws
Rur. to talk aimlessly. They're still out on the porch, flapping their gums. Well, I can't sit here flapping my jaws all day. Gotta get back to work.
See also: flap, gum

have a glass jaw

Fig. to be susceptible to a knockout when struck on the head. (Said only of boxers who are frequently knocked down by a blow to the head.) When the prizefighter was knocked out cold by a right to the chin in the first round, the newspapers said he had a glass jaw. Once a fighter has a glass jaw, he's finished as a boxer.
See also: glass, have, jaw

jaw about someone or something

Fig. to talk aimlessly about someone or something. Do we have to keep jawing about Tom all day? Stop jawing about your problems and set about fixing them.
See also: jaw

jaw at someone

Fig. to lecture at someone; to talk endlessly to someone. Please stop jawing at me. You are jawing at me too much lately.
See also: jaw

jaw someone down

Sl. to talk someone down; to wear someone down talking. We'll try to jaw him down. If that doesn't work, I don't know what we will do. We will jaw down the objectors.
See also: down, jaw

snatch someone out of the jaws of death

 and snatch someone from the jaws of death
Fig. to save someone from almost certain or imminent death. The soldier snatched the tiny child from the jaws of death.
See also: death, jaw, of, out, snatch

snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

Cliché to win at the last moment. At the last moment, the team snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a last-second full-court basket.
See also: defeat, jaw, of, snatch, victory

your jaw drops

to show great surprise My jaw dropped when I heard she'd been admitted to Harvard.
See also: drop, jaw


1. n. a chat. I could use a good jaw with my old friend.
2. in. to chat. Stop jawing and get to work.
3. Go to jaw(bone).

jaw someone down

tv. to talk someone down; to wear someone down talking. We’ll try to jaw him down. If that doesn’t work, I don’t know what we will do.
See also: down, jaw


tv. to try to persuade someone verbally; to apply verbal pressure to someone. They tried to jawbone me into doing it.


References in classic literature ?
Presently I sat up on the ground, and, placing the handle of the Watcher between his jaws, I forced them open, freeing my flesh from the grip of his teeth.
The reader will perhaps best appreciate the amount of difference in these workers, by my giving not the actual measurements, but a strictly accurate illustration: the difference was the same as if we were to see a set of workmen building a house of whom many were five feet four inches high, and many sixteen feet high; but we must suppose that the larger workmen had heads four instead of three times as big as those of the smaller men, and jaws nearly five times as big.
The hay for him, Bill; put her across to the jaw an' see 'm fall
Frightful jaws in front and mighty, poisoned sting behind made my relatively puny long-sword seem a pitiful weapon of defense indeed.
Presently the beast dropped to the earth again and Tarzan came quickly to seize the rope, but Sabor had now found that it was only a slender cord that held her, and grasping it in her huge jaws severed it before Tarzan could tighten the strangling noose a second time.
The huntsmen assembled with their booty and their stories, and all came to look at the wolf, which, with her broad-browed head hanging down and the bitten stick between her jaws, gazed with great glassy eyes at this crowd of dogs and men surrounding her.
The head bears a slight resemblance to that of a frog, except that the jaws are equipped with three rows of long, sharp tusks.
The monster seemed to be but playing with his victim before he closed his awful jaws upon him and dragged him down to his dark den beneath the surface to devour him.
Should I close my eyes it might be to open them again to the feel of those mighty jaws at my throat.
It was Sheeta, and with grinning jaws the mighty beast slunk silently toward the terror-stricken man.
Kwaque possessed a jews' harp, and, whenever the world of the Makambo and the servitude to the steward grew wearisome, he could transport himself to King William Island by thrusting the primitive instrument between his jaws and fanning weird rhythms from it with his hand, and when he thus crossed space and time, Michael sang-- or howled, rather, though his howl possessed the same soft mellowness as Jerry's.
The bull-dog stood too short, while its massive jaws were an added protection.
The Hunter agreed, but said: "If you desire to conquer the Stag, you must permit me to place this piece of iron between your jaws, so that I may guide you with these reins, and allow this saddle to be placed upon your back so that I may keep steady upon you as we follow after the enemy.
Dreadfully hungry," answered the Tiger, snapping his jaws together with a fierce click.
Wolf Larsen stooped, coolly, to the Cockney, and pressed with thumb and finger at the rear of the jaws and below the ears.