millstone

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(as) hard as the nether millstone

Tough or harsh and unlikely to submit. The phrase is Biblical in origin. That guy is as hard as the nether millstone—he'll never give you what you want in the negotiations.
See also: hard, millstone, nether

a millstone about (one's) neck

An extremely difficult or disadvantageous burden or hindrance. I wish I hadn't bought that house—the mortgage has been nothing but a millstone about my neck. Given the man's laundry list of scandals, he's proving to be quite a millstone about the candidate's neck.
See also: millstone, neck

a millstone round (one's) neck

An extremely difficult or disadvantageous burden or hindrance. I wish I hadn't bought that house—the mortgage has been nothing but a millstone round my neck. Given the man's laundry list of scandals, he's proving to be quite a millstone round the candidate's neck.
See also: millstone, neck, round

look through a millstone

To have exceptional powers of perception. A millstone is opaque and thus is impossible to see through. I knew he was a dishonest person the minute I met him. I can look through a millstone, you know.
See also: look, millstone, through

millstone around (one's) neck

A heavy burden. I wish I hadn't bought that house—the mortgage is a millstone around my neck.
See also: around, millstone, neck

weep millstones

Said hyperbolically of one who is deemed so cold and indifferent as to be unable to cry tears. I've never seen Claire show any emotion—in fact, she probably weeps millstones. Why didn't you comfort that poor little girl? Do you weep millstones?
See also: millstone, weep

millstone about one's neck

a continual burden or handicap. This huge and expensive house is a millstone about my neck. Bill's inability to control his temper is a millstone about his neck.
See also: millstone, neck

millstone around one's neck

A heavy burden, as in Julie finds Grandma, who is crabby, a millstone around her neck. The literal hanging of a millstone about the neck is mentioned as a punishment in the New Testament (Matthew 18:6), causing the miscreant to be drowned. Its present figurative use was first recorded in a history of the Quakers (c. 1720).
See also: around, millstone, neck

a millstone around your neck

BRITISH, AMERICAN or

a millstone round your neck

BRITISH
COMMON If something is a millstone around your neck or a millstone round your neck, it is a very unpleasant problem or responsibility that you cannot escape from. The country's inefficient telephone company has been a millstone round the government's neck. Long-term illness can make you feel like a millstone around your family's necks. Note: Millstone is often used on its own with this meaning. There is the continuing millstone of the country's enormous foreign debt. Note: A millstone is one of a pair of very heavy round flat stones which are used to grind grain. Jesus referred to children in Matthew 18:5 by saying, `Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.'
See also: around, millstone, neck

hard as the nether millstone

callous and unyielding.
The nether millstone is the lower of the two millstones by which corn is ground. The phrase alludes to Job 41:24: ‘His heart is as firm as a stone, and as hard as a piece of the nether millstone’.
See also: hard, millstone, nether

a millstone round your neck

a very severe impediment or disadvantage.
A millstone was a large circular stone used to grind corn. The phrase alludes to a method of executing people by throwing them into deep water with a heavy stone attached to them, a fate believed to have been suffered by several early Christian martyrs.
See also: millstone, neck, round

a millstone around/round somebody’s ˈneck

something which limits your freedom or makes you worry: My debts are a millstone round my neck.A millstone is a very large heavy flat stone used to crush grain to make flour. This phrase refers to an old form of punishing people by tying a heavy stone around their necks and dropping them into deep water to drown.
See also: around, millstone, neck, round

millstone (around one's neck), to bear/carry a

To bear a heavy burden, literal or figurative. The idea is mentioned in the Bible in the Gospel of Matthew (18:6), as a stone to be hung around the neck of an offender who will then be drowned. Even though grain continued for many centuries to be ground by using a pair of heavy circular stones, by the sixteenth century the term was also being used figuratively for an emotional or mental burden. Jeremy Bentham used it in his treatise on usury (1787): “The millstone intended for the necks of those vermin . . . the dealers in corn, was found to fall upon the heads of the consumers.”
See also: bear, carry, millstone
References in periodicals archive ?
Unlike millstones, which are often hammer-dressed or edge-flaked, tjiwa blanks were usually not shaped prior to use (Gould et al.
However, none appear to have evidence of preparation of the blank, or pecking on working surfaces, that is an integral part of Central Australian millstones.
The millstones are generally constructed from 20 to 30 pieces of individual stone and then banded together.
The efficiency of the round quartz millstones was discovered centuries ago and uncovered again by Moore in his research.
* Use-life of millstones. We estimate that the use-life of a millstone is likely to have been around 1600 hours of use.
In much of Central Australia, millstones were women's implements, though their acquisition and production was in the hands of men (Hamilton 1980).
Barry Turner with Andy Sneddon of Chiron Vaccines with the old Evans Medical millstones moved from Glaxo's Speke factory Picture: TERRY MEALEY
"The millstone is symbolic of the burden they have carried because of sexual abuse.
Crane said Jesus' words about the millstone belonged on the inscription, and that people should view them metaphorically, not literally
I READ with interest in your paper, and again in the Focus leaflet, of the millstones erected at Coatham.
Councillors Crawford and Curr state that the millstones are from the Coatham mill.
Town Council Mayor Linda Bell said the High Street scheme, which has involved the installation of eight historic and modern millstones, plus the planting of a herbaceous garden, has been a "great success".
The give-away is on its website news section, with a headline screaming: "Millstone approval for Liverpool Science Park."