twist the knife

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twist the knife

To add to, exacerbate, or amplify a betrayal or wrong by further malicious actions. He said it was over, and then he twisted the knife and said he had never loved me.
See also: knife, twist

twist the knife


twist the knife in the wound

If someone twists the knife or twists the knife in the wound, they deliberately do or say something which make a situation even worse for someone who is upset or experiencing problems. Her daughter managed to twist the knife still further by claiming Nancy never loved her. To twist the knife in the wound, he appears to have cast doubt on whether Gray's invention was really his own idea. Note: You can also talk about a twist of the knife. Any cut-backs on the ceremony would be a further twist of the knife for bereaved families.
See also: knife, twist

twist (or turn) the knife

deliberately make someone's grief or problems worse.
1991 Mavis Nicholson Martha Jane & Me While she and I were playing the cat-and-mouse game of these stories, I would sometimes, just to twist the knife a little further, ask about the little girl's father.
See also: knife, twist

turn/twist the ˈknife (in the wound)

deliberately remind somebody of something they are already upset about, and so upset them even more: After the divorce, her friend turned the knife in the wound by saying she had always thought that the marriage wouldn’t last.All right. I know I was stupid. You don’t have to twist the knife.
See also: knife, turn, twist
References in periodicals archive ?
Boeing could twist the knife into struggling European rival Airbus next week as it is set to dominate Britain's Farnborough air show with a stream of new orders for its 787 Dreamliner and other jets.
Nicholson continued to twist the knife after the interval, trapping Robert Croft lbw with his second ball after the break - the former English international top-scoring with a miserable 10.
The ex-Cabinet minister continued to twist the knife today with a call for Mr Blair to step down and organise an ``elegant hand-over'' - presumably to Chancellor Gordon Brown.
The second half saw the hosts twist the knife as Mike Wilcox crossed twice without conversion.
Gail will discover the truth about what a liar he is, though Lewis aims to get the last laugh by leaving her a cruel message, to twist the knife yet further.
well, the real Nicholas remains missing - and Bourdin was able to twist the knife one more time to give this film an all too rare, powerful ending.
We've got to keep the pressure on Australia - turn the screw, twist the knife and rotate any other metaphorical tool that's handy.
Drop his name/Push it in and twist the knife again/Watch my face/As I pretend to feel no pain.