viper

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nurse a viper in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. 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 nursed a viper in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! 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.
See also: bosom, nurse, viper

nurture a viper in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. 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! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nurtured a viper in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nurture, viper

nourish a viper in (one's) bosom

To befriend, look after, or take care of someone who proves to be traitorous, untrustworthy, deceitful, or ungrateful. 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 nourished a viper in my bosom, as I awoke one morning to find myself robbed blind! I thought our love was not only mutual but indestructible; and yet, I have nourished a viper in my bosom all these years: my darling husband has cast me out and run off with a younger woman.
See also: bosom, nourish, viper

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!
See also: bosom, viper

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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
L'objectif de l'auteur etait de purger la cour de ce << tigre enragee, vipere venimeuse, sepulcre d'abomination, spectacle de malheur >>.
Une espece de grenouille de torrent (Hylodes asper) est une proie courante pour deux especes de viperes fouisseuses (Bothrops jaracacussu et B.
gt;>, Acte I, et << Femme, tu m'as trompe, tu as rempli ma poitrine de viperes, de lezards et de grenouilles.
They can even enjoy a meal in the trendy cafe Les Viperes, which is set between the river view and the visitors rising to the galleries on the great diagonal travelator.
The author of Desert de l'amour (Desert of Love), Therese Desqueyroux and Le noeud de viperes (The Knot of Vipers) and winner of the 1952 Nobel Prize for Literature, Mauriac was among those who sought counsel from Altermann, as did the French philosopher Gabriel Marcel, writers Charles Du Bos and Henry Gheon, and the painter Maria Blanchard.
Mauriac's declared wish, in his life-threatening illness of 1932, to 'make amends' by leaving for posterity a more benign image of the family than the one bequeathed in novels up and to including Le Noeud de viperes is well known.