a viper in (one's) bosom

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a viper in (one's) bosom

A friend, lover, or relation who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. (Used especially in the phrase "nourish/nurse/nurture a viper in one's bosom.") Well, it turns out that Margaret was quite a viper in my bosom. I put my neck on the line to get her a job in our company, and then she turns around and tries to steal my position! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nursed a viper in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman. I thought the profligate had seen the light and was seeking redemption, and so I took him into my care. But before long, I knew I had nurtured a viper in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind!
See also: bosom, viper
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

viper in one's bosom

Also, snake in one's bosom. An ungrateful or treacherous friend, as in I got him dozens of freelance jobs, and then he told everyone I was a lousy musician-nothing like nourishing a viper in one's bosom . This metaphoric expression, often put as nourish a viper (or snake) in one's bosom, comes from Aesop's fable about a farmer who shelters a snake dying from the cold, which then fatally bites him after it recovers. It was referred to by Chaucer and Shakespeare, and appeared in numerous proverb collections.
See also: bosom, viper
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

a viper in your bosom

a person you have helped but who behaves treacherously towards you.
The phrase comes from one of Aesop's fables, in which a viper reared in a person's bosom eventually bites its nurturer. The idea is also found in Latin (in sinu viperam habere ) and the expression appears in various forms in English from the late 16th century.
See also: bosom, viper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

viper in one's bosom, (nourish) a

An ungrateful and treacherous friend; an individual whom one has helped and who returns the favor with treachery. This term comes from Aesop’s fable about a peasant who brings indoors a snake dying from the cold and is fatally bitten as soon as the snake recovers. Chaucer was among the first of the many writers to use this metaphor, which also made its way into the proverb collections of John Ray (1670), James Kelly (1721), and Thomas Fuller (1732). The term is variously put as snake or viper.
See also: viper
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Back at Mom's Snak Shak in Creswell, co-owner Bob Dugre cautioned that the war on terror is likely far from over.
Aiming to add a different dimension to the "dashboard dining" menu for hungry travelers is a new range of frozen savory products called Fingys, launched by Snak in a Box, Wirral, Cheshire, UK.
Set to add a new dimension to the "dashboard dining" sector for hungry travellers is a unique new range of savoury products launched by Snak in a Box.
Kellogg Co., long recognized as a giant in the cereal industry, is making inroads in the snack food segment with its summer launch of Rice Krispies Treats (caramel chocolate squares), Snack 'Ums (cinnamon baked snacks) Pop-Tarts Snak Stix (cookies and cream) and Nutri-Grain Twists (chocolate fudge cereal bars) and Nutri-Grain Squares (chocolate chip muffin squares).
The remaining items index one position forward, much like snak products in a vending machine.
On one recent day, the hot food menu featured a chicken snak, barbecue ribs, barbecue chicken, fried fish, chicken pot pie and macaroni and cheese with prices ranging from 85 cents a pound for the macaroni and cheese to $2.75 a pound for the fish.
The EzyDog Snak PakTreat Bag also utilizes magnets to close its top.
Jafar, played by "Stitchers" star Oded Fehr, easily uses his snak staff to turn the man into a pile of dust.
"So when the chance came along to be a franchisee with Snak Appeal I decided to take it on.
To register to attend please email: events@brabners.com FRIDAY, MAY 15 Jobs Fair for Liverpool: Fifteen Merseyside employers, including Snak Appeal, A4E, and Building Careers, are looking to recruit and will be at the Holiday Inn Hotel on Lime Street, from 10am to 2pm.
Levin: Well, my fondest memory is actually tied to one of the most difficult periods in Snak King's history: when 12,000 square feet of roof over the heart of our manufacturing and processing room collapsed in 2008 due to poor construction and heavy rains.
He He He i ri rita ta tage g chain print blouse, pounds 16, black pencil skirt, pounds 16, and mo mock ck sn snak akes eski kin sh shoe oes, s, pounds 15.
CRESWELL - Two hundred and ten photographs of American veterans line the wall on the far left side of Mom's Snak Shak diner.
Snak Srl was established in 1961, in Florence, Italy by Alfredo Carrai, whose passion for tea made this company the leading firm in loose leaf tea, importing both teas and tea ware from all over the world.