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kick in the breech

A humiliating disappointment or setback. Losing my job after my car broke down was a real kick in the breech.
See also: breech, kick

too big for (one's) breeches

Overconfident in one's importance, skill, or authority; behaving as if one is more important or influential than one actually is. He's gotten too big for his breeches ever since he got that promotion. John's been too big for his breeches now that he's been scouted by pro teams.
See also: big, breech

kick in the pants, a

1. Also, a kick in the teeth. A humiliating setback or rebuff. For example, That rejection was a real kick in the pants, or That review was a kick in the teeth. A third, vulgar variant of these colloquial terms is a kick in the ass. Versions of this last expression- kick in the breech, kick in the behind-have been used since the early 1800s.
2. A cause of enjoyment, as in That show was a real kick in the pants. This meaning is virtually the opposite of def. 1 and can be differentiated from it only by the context. [1960s]
See also: kick

too big for one's britches (breeches)

Conceited, self-important. This expression, alluding to becoming so swelled with self-importance as to burst out of one’s clothes, sounds ancient but dates only from about 1900, as does the closely related too big for one’s boots. The latter appeared in Sir Henry Maxwell’s Life of W. H. Smith (1894): “Sometimes a young man, ‘too big for his boots,’ would sniff at being put in charge of a railway bookstall.” And H. G. Wells (Kipp, The Story of a Simple Soul, 1905) wrote, “He’s getting too big for ’is britches.”
See also: big, britches
References in periodicals archive ?
The basic will-they-or-won't-they-succeed plot drives the drama of "Into the Breeches!" There's also plenty of natural humor from the rehearsal process.
"The brigade was the first such organisation anywhere in the world to use to the breeches buoy equipment to save life from shipwreck.
An extract in Genesis, Chapter 3, Verse 7, says: "They sewed leaves together and made themselves breeches."
"The American market is very interested in them, as the Breeches Bible was the one the Pilgrim Fathers took with them.
Conclusion: Undiagnosed, uncomplicated breeches presenting in labour can be safely delivered vaginally, but large randomized study is needed to decide about the best mode of delivery.
Before too long, mark my words, someone will push the boundaries with a pair of breeches modelled on John Daly's kaleidoscopic strides and then the BHA will have to make a change to the rules, so they may as well make it now.
Airgun makers seem to know this, and the gun breeches with sliding compression chambers seem to have a leade, or a tapered rifling section that lets the pellet seat flush.
DURING THE FLOOD of innovations that made the late 19th century the most productive time in the history of firearms, no one considered marrying open breeches to loose powder and ball.
Nancy told the nurse but she said, "I don't like to check breeches too often." Oh well, too late.
Once she had tasted success in breeches she wouldn't take them off; she scandalously went on to live her life dressed as a man.
BROAD herbaceous borders demand dramatic planting and few herbaceous plants can equal acanthus, otherwise known as bear's breeches, for architectural presence.
But she was shocked by Mr Blair's remarks in the House of Commons when he derided the wearing of ceremonial dress - such as 'the full-bottomed wig, 18th Century breeches and women's tights' worn by the Lord Chancellor Derry Irvine.
"There are arguments on both sides of the fence when it comes to premature breeches," he said.
Kieren Fallon has signed a five-figure two-year deal to wear the logo of bookmaker Victor Chandler on his breeches.