mule

(redirected from mules)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

kick like a mule

 and kick like a steer
to kick very hard. They say that ostriches will kick like a mule if you bother them. Stay away from the back end of Tom's horse. It will kick like a steer when a stranger comes up.
See also: kick, like, mule

*stubborn as a mule

 and *obstinate as a mule
Cliché very stubborn. (*Also: as ~.) I tried to convince Jake to go to the doctor, but he's as stubborn as a mule. For four years, Henry pestered his parents to let him learn the trumpet. They tried to talk him into some other, quieter instrument, but he was stubborn as a mule, and now he has a trumpet.
See also: mule, stubborn

work like a beaver

 and work like a mule; work like a horse; work like a slave
Fig. to work very hard. She has an important deadline coming up, so she's been working like a beaver. You need a vacation. You work like a slave in that kitchen. I'm too old to work like a horse. I'd prefer to relax more.
See also: beaver, like, work

be as stubborn as a mule

to be very determined not to change your decision or opinion about something, even when it is wrong You won't get him to change his mind - he's as stubborn as a mule.
See also: mule, stubborn

stubborn as a mule

Extremely obstinate, as in He's stubborn as a mule about wearing a suit and tie. This simile evokes the proverbial stubbornness of mules, whose use as draft animals was once so common that the reputation for obstinacy can hardly be as warranted as the term indicates. [Early 1800s]
See also: mule, stubborn

work like a beaver

Also, work like a dog or horse or Trojan . Work very energetically and hard, as in She worked like a beaver to clean out all the closets, or I've been working like a dog weeding the garden, or He's very strong and works like a horse. The first of these similes is the oldest, first recorded in 1741; the variants date from the second half of the 1800s. Also see work one's fingers to the bone.
See also: beaver, like, work

mule

n. someone who delivers or smuggles drugs for a drug dealer. (Drugs.) The jerks use a twelve-year-old kid for a mule!

Forty acres and a mule

A a government handout; a broken promise. As Union general William T. Sherman marched through Georgia and other parts of the confederacy during the Civil War, he promised freed slaves the gift of forty acres of South Carolina and Georgia farmland and an army mule with which to work the soil. Following the war, however, President Johnson rescinded Sherman's order, and the appropriated land was restored to its owners. While most citizens adopted the phrase as a metaphor for either any form of government handout (or a trifling salary or bonus from their employer), African-Americans who remembered the expression's history used it as a rueful reminder of a offer that was reneged upon.
See also: acre, and, forty, mule
References in classic literature ?
I'm the breech-piece mule of number two gun of the First Screw Battery," said the mule, "and the other's one of your friends.
Sit down," said the mule, "or you'll snap your long stick-legs between the guns.
So saying she lashed the mules with her whip and they left the river.
When he heard this the old man's heart failed him, and he was in great fear; he stayed where he was as one dazed, and the hair stood on end over his whole body; but the bringer of good luck came up to him and took him by the hand, saying, "Whither, father, are you thus driving your mules and horses in the dead of night when other men are asleep?
The bringer of good luck then sprang on to the chariot, and seizing the whip and reins he breathed fresh spirit into the mules and horses.
The latter, unable to escape from the shower of blows, set spurs to his mule and rode for his life, with his enemy thundering behind him.
814-818) Again, few know that the twenty-seventh of the month is best for opening a wine-jar, and putting yokes on the necks of oxen and mules and swift-footed horses, and for hauling a swift ship of many thwarts down to the sparkling sea; few call it by its right name.
We slept with a party of men, who were employed in loading mules with this substance, which is used in the manufacture of wine.
The mules would halt every fifty yards, and after resting for a few seconds the poor willing animals started of their own accord again.
Other mules had arrived not long before, some with peasant riders and some with goods, and had trodden the snow about the door into a pool of mud.
Disengaged from the turmoil, which was already calming down as the crowd of mules began to be bestowed in the stable, they hurried shivering up the steps and into the building.
If you do not go, sir," said De Guiche, "remember that we have two steeds able to catch your mule and the power of having you seized wherever you may be; and then I swear your trial will be summary; one can always find a tree and a cord.
At this moment the wounded man arrived from one direction and the monk from the other, the latter dismounting from his mule and desiring that it should be taken to the stables without being unharnessed.
He's good-natured at heart, and he's the gratefullest mule I've ever seen in the business.
Ladies and gentlemen," he addressed the sawdust emptiness before him as if it were a packed audience, "this is Barney Barnato, the biggest joker of a mule ever born.