snake in the grass


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

snake in the grass

One who feigns friendship with the intent to deceive. Did you hear that Daria's best friend stole money from her bank account? What a snake in the grass.
See also: grass, snake

snake in the grass

a sneaky and despised person. How could I ever have trusted that snake in the grass? John is such a snake in the grass.
See also: grass, snake

snake in the grass

A treacherous person, as in Ben secretly applied for the same job as his best friend; no one knew he was such a snake in the grass . This metaphor for treachery, alluding to a poisonous snake concealed in tall grass, was used in 37 b.c. by the Roman poet Virgil ( latet anguis in herba). It was first recorded in English in 1696 as the title of a book by Charles Leslie.
See also: grass, snake

a snake in the grass

If you describe someone as a snake in the grass, you mean they are false because they pretend to be your friend while actually harming you. He's a snake in the grass — a guy you really can't trust. Note: This phrase was first used by the Roman poet Virgil in his work `The Eclogues' to refer to a hidden danger.
See also: grass, snake

a snake in the grass

a treacherous or deceitful person.
Since the late 17th century this expression has entirely superseded the earlier idiom a pad in the straw . Pad is an old dialect term for a toad, an animal that was formerly thought to be poisonous.
See also: grass, snake

a ˌsnake in the ˈgrass

(disapproving) a person who pretends to be your friend but who cannot be trusted: We used to be friends, but who knew he’d turn out to be such a snake in the grass?
See also: grass, snake

snake in the grass

n. a sneaky and despised person. How could I ever have trusted that snake in the grass?
See also: grass, snake
References in periodicals archive ?
Snake in the Grass is a 2002 play by the British playwright who is an Olivier, Tony and Moliere Award winning playwright who has written 75 plays.
Between 1972 and 2009 he was the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough where Snake in the Grass premiered.
Senga Veasey directs Snake in the Grass, a psychological thriller starring three middle-aged women - two feuding sisters, and the nurse who looked after their late father.
He said: "We were on holiday in Cornwall when myself and my brother and saw this snake in the grass and it bit me.
SNAKE IN THE GRASS - Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, until Saturday.
Master playwright Alan Ayckbourn is in top form as her creates a truly scary tale laced with dark humour in Snake In The Grass.