battle-ax


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.

(old) battle-ax(e)

A strong-willed, argumentative woman, typically older in age, who is considered overbearing or domineering. My grandmother was always the matriarch of the entire family, an old battle-axe who answered to no one but God. I gained a reputation of being a bit of a battle ax in the office because of how outspoken and unbending I am about certain issues.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

battle-ax

A bossy, combative woman. Obviously referring to the ancient weapon, the figurative usage dates from the late 1800s. For example, “That battle-ax of a secretary guards her boss so no one can get in to see him.” The cliché is now heard less often and may be dying out.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in classic literature ?
On the walls, over the doors, on the ceiling, were swords, daggers, Malay creeses, maces, battle-axes; gilded, damasked, and inlaid suits of armor; dried plants, minerals, and stuffed birds, their flame-colored wings outspread in motionless flight, and their beaks forever open.
The oldest, dated 1500-1300 BC, was from Nandrup in northwestern Denmark, where a warrior prince had been buried in an oak coffin with a massively hafted bronze sword, battle-ax, and pottery jar whose interior was covered with a dark residue that was sampled.
He emerges as a genuinely likeable guy--the opposite of his battle-ax of a mother--who always cast a wry eye on the world's follies.
We must stand to the fight-wing ideologues and say, "No, that is not the way it is!" and "I'm not going to stay quiet!" No one can be permitted to use the Holy Scriptures like a battle-ax to kill and wound our brothers and sisters, our sons and daughters, unimpeded.
Analysis of the skeletons belonging to the skulls indicates that these individuals died of sword and battle-ax wounds, Murphy and her colleagues report in the January American Journal of Archaeology.
Battle-ax Division: From Africa to Italy with the 78th Division, 1942-45.
"Uh, that's your battle-ax," one of Quantum3D's technical staff gently corrects me.
Canales himself essayed the title role (the matriarch, not her casa) as an iron-willed battle-ax minding her spinster-bound daughters.
Originally taking its form front an ancient battle-ax planted in the ground to mark place and direction, this monumental adaptation is modeled on the 500-year-old Hua Biao pillars in front of the Forbidden City, opposite Tiananmen Square.
tiresome battle-ax (played by Judy Kaye) shouting slogans