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wail like a banshee

Scream shrilly, as in Terrified, she wailed like a banshee. In Irish folklore, a banshee is a spirit in the form of a wailing woman whose appearance is an omen that one member of a family will die. The simile dates from the late 1800s.
See also: like, wail


in. to be great. (see also wailing.) Things really started to wail about midnight when the band really got going.

wail on someone

in. to beat someone. (see also whale the tar out of someone.) Who are those two guys wailing on Sam?
See also: on, wail


and whaling
mod. excellent. (Teens.) What a whaling guitar!
See also: wail
References in periodicals archive ?
Reggae stars Beres Hammond (left) and Bunny Wailer are at O2 Academy next week
Wailer trails off, but we can guess the rest: Barrett should have aligned himself with the Marley family, as Wailer has done, and the brilliant and apparently broke Jamaican bassist might've found himself at the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday as part of the Bob Marley: Roots, Rock, Reggae Festival 2006, headlined by Bob's sons, Ziggy and Stephen Marley, and Wailer.
REGGAE group The Wailers Band, formed by the remaining members of Bob Marley and The Wailers following his death, will perform at Coral Bay next weekend.
Bob picked the luxurious brand for what he felt it stood for - Bob Marley And The Wailers.
The Disturbia star was in party CARIBBEAN queen Rihanna has a Wailer of a time as she goes for a night-time dip in her native Barbados.
When it comes to reggae, the Wailers have an impressive history.
Originally, the Wailers were a vocal trio formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
While Dodger fans saw new pitcher Brad Penny injure his arm in the first inning of Sunday's game, fans at the Hollywood Bowl Sunday could be assured that great Bunny Wailer, 57, hasn't lost his fastball.
One of the Wailers' last shows with Tosh (Bunny Wailer had already departed), the recording -- mixed and mastered for the first time in 2004 -- offers a fascinating glimpse into an otherwise undocumented phase of the band's history.
Also ringing true are readings of ``Never Grow Old'' with Terry Hall, U-Roy and the Skatalites, and a nice ``Take a Trip'' with Bunny Wailer.
Described by Rolling Stone as the greatest Brit blues wailer since Free frontman Paul Rodgers, Topley has tonsils made of steel.
Additional footage shows a journey to and at Cane River Falls, outside Kingston, with Bob, Bunny Wailer, Secco Patterson (The Wailers percussionist), and Ras Daniel Hartman (co-star of the movie "The Harder They Come") and his infant son.
Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear.
Also returning this year is KCRW's world music festival with reggae great Bunny Wailer, dance act Crystal Method, hip-hoppers the Roots and Lyle Lovett.
In addition, the series will for the first time result in royalties from this period going to the children of Bob Marley, the Estate of Peter Tosh, and the last surviving Wailer, Bunny Wailer.