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stack the cards (against someone or something)
To make surreptitious arrangements that result in an unfair advantage over someone or something else. (Likened to fixing a deck of playing cards in one's favor during a card game.) Of course, simply by virtue of his being the boss's son, Jeremy has stacked the cards against the rest of us for an early promotion. The mega corporation has been accused of trying to stack the cards with billions of dollars spent putting political pressure on members of congress.
To get some sleep. We've got a pretty long layover before our next flight, so I'm going to try to stack some Z's at the gate. A: "Where's Jeff?" B: "Upstairs stacking Z's. It's been a hard week for him."
See also: stack
blow (one's) stack
To become very angry, often quickly. Oh man, dad is going to blow his stack when he sees that I wrecked his car!
blow a fuse
1. Literally, to suddenly lose power due to an overloaded electrical circuit. Well, we just blew a fuse—it seems that running the space heater, the coffee maker, and a blow dryer at the same time was not the best idea!
2. To react furiously and/or violently to something or someone, to the point of losing control of one's behavior. Mom totally blew a fuse when I told her I had failed math. Don't blow a fuse, it's just a tiny scratch on the car.
stack the deck (against) (someone or something)
To make arrangements that result in an unfair advantage over someone or something. (Likened to fixing a deck of playing cards in one's favor during a game.) By dating the boss's daughter, Jeremy has stacked the deck against the rest of us for an early promotion. The mega corporation has been accused of trying to stack the deck by spending millions to influence members of congress.
swear on a stack of Bibles
To make a very serious, solemn pledge, especially that one is telling the truth. A hyperbolic reference to the traditional act of placing one's hand on a Bible while taking an oath, such as before a court proceeding. Janet has sworn on a stack of Bibles that she wasn't the one to betray me, and I believe her. I swear on a stack of Bibles that if I have a chance to help your campaign, I will.
*black as a skilletand *black as a stack of black cats; *black as a sweep; *black as coal; *black as night; *black as pitch; *black as the ace of spades
completely dark or black. (*Also: as ~.) I don't want to go down to the cellar. It's as black as a skillet down there. Her hair was black as a stack of black cats. After playing in the mud all morning, the children were as black as night. The stranger's clothes were all black as pitch.
blow a fuse
1. to burn out the fuse on an electrical circuit and lose power. The microwave oven blew a fuse, so we had no power. You'll blow a fuse if you use too many appliances at once.
2. and blow one's fuse; blow a gasket; blow one's cork; blow one's lid; blow one's top; blow one's stack Fig. to explode with anger; to lose one's temper. Come on, don't blow a fuse. Go ahead, blow a gasket! What good will that do?
cards are stacked against (one)
[informal] luck is against one. I have the worst luck. The cards are stacked against me all the time. How can I accomplish anything when the cards are stacked against me?
stack something against someone or something
to make a pile of something that leans against someone or something. (See also stack the deck (against someone or something).) Watch what you are doing! Why are you stacking the books against me? They will fall when I move. stack the books against the wall.
See also: stack
stack something up
to make a stack of things. (Also without the up.) Where should I stack them up? Please stack up these boxes.
stack the deck (against someone or something)and stack the cards (against someone or something)
to arrange things against someone or something. (Originally from card playing; stacking the deck is to cheat by arranging the cards to be dealt out to one's advantage.) I can't get ahead at my office. Someone has stacked the cards against me. Do you really think that someone has stacked the deck? Isn't it just fate?
[for something] to accumulate, as in stacks. Your work is stacking up. You will have to work late to finish it. I hate to let my work stack up. I have to do it sooner or later.
stack up to someone or something
[for someone or something] to measure up favorably when compared to someone or something. How do you think I stack up to Liz? My car stacks up pretty well to yours.
swear on a stack of Biblesand swear on one's mother's grave
to state something very earnestly, pledging to tell the truth. (~ a Stack of Bibles refers in an exaggerated way to swearing to tell the truth in court by placing one's hand on a Bible.) I swear on a stack of Bibles that I am telling the truth. Of course, I'm telling the truth. I swear on my mother's grave!
stack the deckalso the deck is stacked against you
to arrange something so that it is unfair to someone We wanted to make sure no one was stacking the deck in their favor. The deck truly is stacked against the poor.
Etymology: based on a way of cheating in a card game by secretly arranging the cards so that you will win
stack up (against something)
to compare with something else We wondered how London restaurants stacked up against Atlanta's.
blow a fuse/gasket(informal)
to become very angry and shout or behave in a violent way Jim'll blow a fuse if he finds you here. When her husband realised how much she'd spent he blew a gasket.
blow your stack/top(informal)
to suddenly become very angry My mother blew her top when she saw the mess we'd made in the kitchen.
stack the deck(mainly American)
to arrange something in a way that is not fair in order to achieve what you wantSee blow stack
Usage notes: This phrase comes from the idea of arranging a set of cards in a card game so that you will win.The manager stacked the deck in Joe's favor so he got the promotion.
blow a fuse
Also, blow a gasket. Lose one's temper, express furious anger. For example, When his paycheck bounced, John blew a fuse, or Tell Mom what really happened before she blows a gasket. An electric fuse is said to "blow" (melt) when the circuit is overloaded, whereas a gasket, used to seal a piston, "blows" (breaks) when the pressure is too high. The first of these slangy terms dates from the 1930s, the second from the 1940s. Also see blow one's top; keep one's cool.
blow one's top
1. Also, blow one's stack. Fly into a rage; lose one's composure. For example, If she calls about this one more time I'm going to blow my top, or Warren is generally very easy-going, but today he blew his stack. The top here has been likened to the top of an erupting volcano; the stack alludes to a smokestack. [Slang; first half of 1900s]
2. Go crazy, become insane, as in When she regains consciousness, she just may blow her top. [Slang; first half of 1900s] Also see flip one's lid.
cards are stacked against
Many difficulties face someone or something, as in The cards are stacked against the new highway project. This term originated in gambling, where to stack the cards or stack the deck means to arrange cards secretly and dishonestly in one's own favor or against one's opponent. [Mid-1800s]
1. Measure up, equal, as in Their gift doesn't stack up against mine. This usage alludes to piling up one's chips at poker, and comparing them to those of the other players. [Early 1900s]
2. Make sense, seem plausible, as in Her explanation just doesn't stack up. Also see add up, def. 2.
swear on a stack of Bibles
Promise solemnly that what one is about to say is true, as in I swear on a stack of Bibles that I had nothing to do with his dropping out. This term alludes to the practice of placing one's hand on a sacred object while taking an oath, which dates from the mid-10th century. It is still followed in courts of law where a witness being sworn to tell the truth places a hand on the Bible. [Mid-1800s]
1. To arrange something in a stack; pile something: I stacked up the magazines in orderly piles. Don't leave newspapers all over the floor; stack them up neatly.
2. To form into or as if into a stack; accumulate: I've been away for two weeks, and my mail is stacking up.
3. To equal or be of similar quality: The salary and benefits at this company don't stack up against those offered by larger companies.
4. To rank against one another; bear comparison: We sent our critic out to see how the local restaurants stack up.
5. To make sense; add up: The story he gave the police was full of contradictions—it just didn't stack up.
6. To direct or cause some aircraft to circle at different altitudes while waiting to land: The control tower stacked up the planes until the runway could be cleared. The controllers stacked the planes up because only one runway was open.
blow a fuseand blow one’s fuse and blow a gasket and blow one’s cork and blow one’s lid and blow one’s top and blow one’s stack
tv. to explode with anger; to lose one’s temper. Go ahead, blow a gasket! What good will that do? Crunk! I so blew my top!
blow one’s stackverb
See blow a fuse
stack the deck
tv. to arrange things secretly for a desired outcome. (From card playing where a cheater may arrange the order of the cards that are to be dealt to the players.) The president stacked the deck so I would be appointed head of the finance committee.
swear on a stack of Bibles
in. to make a very solemn pledge of one’s honesty. (Folksy. Official oaths are sometimes taken with one hand on a Bible. This phrase implies that more Bibles make an even stronger oath.) I swear on a stack of Bibles that I was in Atlanta on the night of January sixteenth.
blow a fuse/gasket Slang
To explode with anger.
blow a fuse
Lose your temper. Back in the days before circuit breakers, a house's electrical system was regulated by a fuse box. Individual fuses connected to separate lines throughout the house were inserted into the box. When a circuit became overloaded, a thin metal strip in the fuse melted, breaking the circuit to prevent an overload and a possible fire. You'd then replace the fuse after disconnecting whatever appliance might have caused the overload. Someone who because very angry was said to blow a fuse, which doesn't make sense because a fuse was meant to defuse, so to speak, the situation. But no one ever said that idioms must be rational. Similar expressions that make more sense are “blow your stack,” which came from the era of steam engines that would explode if the steam wasn't allowed to explode, and “have a meltdown,” as in a nuclear reactor gone wild.