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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


a millstone round your neck

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
It is evident throughout that this book represents a serious meditation on a lifetime of engagement with the study of querns and millstones, and on the cultural and environmental contexts in which they were used.
Instead, however, he has chosen to write a well-rounded, ethnographically and scientifically grounded examination of the topic that is easily accessible to archaeologists who are not specialists in the study of millstones and milling.
Chapters 1-6 present the development of quern and millstone technology, from the saddle querns and rock mortars of the late Palaeolithic, through Iron Age rotary querns, and Olynthus- and Pompeian-style mills of the Greek and Roman periods, to the water mills of the Roman and Late Antique periods.
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.
1997) argued that 'amorphous' grindstones and millstones are the opposite ends of a reduction trajectory that begins with flat grindstones and ends with the more deeply worn 'troughed' millstones.
Microscopic examination of tjiwa shows that even heavily worn implements exhibit only weakly developed use-polish (unlike millstones, which often have a bright, well-developed reticulate polish) (Smith et al.
This compares with 500 g of seed ground in two hours (250 g per hour) by women using millstones (Cane 1984; O'Connell and Hawkes 1981).
To the east of Fregon, tjiwa may be replaced by millstones traded from quarries in the Flinders Ranges and around Lake Eyre (McBryde 1987).
31; Tindale 1977), which we can now see generally corresponds to the distribution of millstones in contrast to that of tjiwa.
It is tempting to suggest that 'amorphous' grinding slabs resembling tjiwa may have been a precursor to intensive seed-grinding on 'troughed' millstones.
To do this, it will presumably be an advantage to distinguish tjiwa from more elaborate implements such as millstones.
They are the only granite millstones in the area and were gifted to Kirkleatham Museum by the Troup family of Marsh Farm in the 1980s.
Perhaps with a plaque on the millstones stating their true provenance?