beat (one's) breast

(redirected from beat their breast)

beat (one's) breast

To publicly express emotions or views that one does not actually feel or support. During election season, all the candidates beat their breasts about how much they love our communities—and then they get into office and slash community initiatives.
See also: beat, breast

beat your breast

or

beat your chest

COMMON If someone beats their breast or beats their chest, they publicly show regret or anger about something that has happened. At this month's meeting of the party's Central Committee, the party leader beat his breast with ritual self-criticism. Why don't you both stop beating your chests and do something productive? Note: You can describe the action of doing this as breast-beating or chest-beating. His breast-beating on behalf of the working classes always seemed false to me. Note: You usually use these expressions to suggest that the person is not being sincere but is trying to draw attention to himself or herself.
See also: beat, breast

beat your breast

make a great show of sorrow or regret.
See also: beat, breast
References in classic literature ?
The crystal cave was filled with their multitude and they all beat their breasts while Thetis led them in their lament.
They then wept and beat their breasts, crying, "This is the fruit of idleness, and of our wicked lives.
Those who had saved any property were obliged to keep a constant watch, for thieves prowled about, and at each little trembling of the ground, with one hand they beat their breasts and cried "Misericordia
It was piteous to hear the cries the two good ladies raised, how they beat their breasts and poured out fresh maledictions on those accursed books of chivalry; all which was renewed when they saw Don Quixote coming in at the gate.
There are Pharisees who beat their breast and pray on their knees, including priests and ministers who live a shady private life behind their saintly public face.
We don't admire the people who beat their breasts about how sad the divisiveness was, treating the conflict over oppression as worse than the oppression itself.
MPs were allowed to claim up to PS3,750 expenses for returning from abroad to attend Parliament for a few hours to beat their breasts and shed tears for the departure of Margaret Thatcher.
Government and politicians continued to beat their breasts over the situation yesterday with Justice Minister Loucas Louca censuring club officials and the media for inflammatory remarks they sometimes make in the run up to games, which incite fans to violence.
Politicians like Des Brown, pictured, Paul Murphy and Ruth Kelly, who beat their breasts and parade their sensitive conscience had no difficulty in voting for the Iraq war.
The 15 per cent of Welsh writers and speakers in Wales, backed up by self-serving politicians, ably supported by BBC Wales news programmes, came out in force to beat their breasts in total anguish about Thomas Cook's sacrilegious comments.
The Irish will beat their breasts to such an extent that they will almost convince themselves that they really care.
A s some Premiership managers beat their breasts about valuable players heading off this week to the African Nations Cup for at least a month, it's refreshing to hear the realistic views of Birmingham City's Steve Bruce.
As carnage continues and the two leaders beat their breasts about the export of democracy, let us remember the people of Zimbabwe.
A bleeding, beaten, condemned criminal was being led by a Roman contingent out to be crucified, while the crowds howled and mocked, and some women cried and beat their breasts.
Now, with lead effectively eliminated as an air pollutant, oil companies beat their breasts with pride.