Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

a bully is always a coward

proverb A bully will only mistreat others perceived to be weaker. Of course he always picks on kids who are smaller than him. A bully is always a coward. A bully is always a coward, so try standing up to him—I bet he'll back down. You don't scare me, Jack, because I know the truth about bullies like you. I know that a bully is always a coward!
See also: always, bully, coward

big bully

Someone who is overly critical, domineering, or authoritative, or who is physically or psychologically abusive. The intensifier "big" implies a level childishness, immaturity, or a lack of seriousness or severity if used by an adult. Don't take what he says too much to heart, he's just a big bully. Jeff's been a big bully since he got that promotion.
See also: big, bully

bully (one) into (something)

To thoroughly and continually dominate, intimidate, or browbeat someone into doing something. Oh, they've tried to bully us into accepting their subpar proposal, but we refuse to settle.
See also: bully

bully for (someone)

Good for someone. Used to express congratulations, though it is often used sarcastically to express one's annoyance or displeasure. Primarily heard in UK. A: "I just found out I got into Harvard!" B: "Hey, bully for you! That's very exciting news." A: "I hear Tom got another promotion." B: "Well, that's just bully for him. Meanwhile, I haven't gotten so much as a pay raise in nearly five years."
See also: bully, for

Bully for you!

Good for you! Well done! Can also be used sarcastically to convey the speaker's annoyance. Primarily heard in UK. I heard you got promoted—bully for you! A: "I'm so excited to have a date to the dance!" B: "Well, bully for you! No one has asked me yet."
See also: bully, for

bully pulpit

A public position that allows a person to speak with authority and share their views with a large audience. James used his position of class president as a bully pulpit to raise awareness about cyberbullying.
See also: bully, pulpit


To bother or badger someone. Would you quit bullyragging me? I didn't do anything wrong, I swear!

use the/(one's) bully pulpit

To make use of a public position of authority that allows one to share one's views with and potentially influence a large audience. The phrase "bully pulpit" is commonly attributed to US President Theodore Roosevelt, who used "bully" in the sense of "splendid" or "excellent." As class president, James used his bully pulpit to raise awareness about cyberbullying. If only politicians would use the bully pulpit to further causes that actually affect people's lives, instead of simply furthering their own political careers.
See also: bully, pulpit, use
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

Bully for you!

1. an expression that praises someone or someone's courage. (Dated, but still heard.) The audience shouted, "Bravo! Bully for you!" Bob: I quit my job today. Sally: Bully for you! Now what are you going to do? Bob: Well, I need a little loan to tide me over.
2. a sarcastic phrase belittling someone's statement or accomplishment. Bob: I managed to save three dollars last week. Bill: Well, bully for you! Mary: I won a certificate good for a free meal! Sally: Bully for you!
See also: bully, for

bully is always a coward

Prov. Bullies will only intimidate people who are much weaker than they are, because they are afraid of losing a fight. Child: Dad, Joey keeps picking on me. How can I make him stop? Father: Try fighting back. A bully is always a coward. Bill took advantage of the younger children, but he was quiet and docile around the older ones. A bully is always a coward.
See also: always, bully, coward

bully someone into something

to harass or threaten someone into doing something. The coach tried to bully them into agreeing to stay late and practice. Don't try to bully me into your way of doing things.
See also: bully
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

bully for —!

well done!; good for (you, them, etc.)!
This expression takes its origin from the US colloquial sense of bully meaning ‘first-rate’, recorded since the mid 19th century.
See also: bully, for
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

bully for somebody!

(spoken) used to show that you do not think that what somebody has said or done is very impressive: ‘Janet’s just won a free holiday in Spain.’ ‘Oh, bully for her! She’s so rich anyway, she can afford to go away whenever she wants to.’
See also: bully, for
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017


tv. & in. to harass someone. Don’t bullyrag me just because you’re upset.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

bully for you/him/her/them

Good for you/him/her/them. This term uses the adjective “bully” in the sense of “fine” or “excellent,” a largely British usage. It became popular in the United States during the Civil War but is heard less often today and may be heading toward obsolescence. Tristan Jones had it in Ice (1977), “Bully for him. Was there free booze?”
See also: bully, for
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
But there's a thin line between bullying a bully and heaping opprobrium on him.
Yes, they bully at this age, however, they may not have the ability to understand what they are doing and how to manage their feelings.
In general, however, ensure you listen carefully and respectfully, explain why children bully so child does not blame themselves (often bullies are being bullied themselves in some area of their life), try to problem solve how they can respond and create a safety plan if happens again.
The bully or bullies in each book intended to cause harm to the victims for various reasons, such as to preserve their status (staying at top of the social ladder in school) or to gain or maintain a sense of power or control in their environment.
If it is unsafe to stop a bully during the act, report the situation as soon as possible.
Because, like many bullies, she suffered at the hands of one before she became a bully herself.
Recording incidents of bullying in a diary can be helpful if you decide to pursue further action against the bully.
The issue of bullying bystanders and how to stop bullying if you are the bully are also addressed.
One study reported that children who have multiple roles in bullying behavior such as victim bully and bystander (Children who witnessed bullying but they did not report it.
In the 50-page Manny McMoose book, which McMahon self-published three years ago and reissued in September with full-color illustrations, the overweight hero with a chubby posterior gets teased by a bully to the point of depression.
If you can, tell the bully that their behaviour is unreasonable and inappropriate, and that you want it to stop.
Nursing is about caring and being a team, so how we go from that to bullying I do not have a definite answer, but most of the time the people who bully do not realize that they are bullying.