curse (someone) under (one's) breath

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curse (someone) under (one's) breath

To murmur something in such a soft, quiet voice that others cannot hear it distinctly. (Said especially of rude, unpleasant, complaining, or impertinent remarks.) I could hear Bill cursing the boss under his breath as he walked back to his desk after his annual review. If you curse under your breath around me again, I'll tan your hide so quick it will smart for a week!
See also: breath, curse
References in periodicals archive ?
I don't mind admitting to road rage - but that is confined to cursing under my breath while smiling sweetly at whichever numpty has annoyed me.
And if the 3am wake-up call isn't bad enough, I'm then implored to get up for the day at the joyful hour of 5am which naturally sets me up nicely for a full day's work before returning home, going to bed, and cursing under my breath again come 3am.
Cursing under my breath at Bush-Cheney stickers on cars
Dear Editor, -Having just struggled round the scrum hunting for sale bargains in the Bullring and cursing under my breath as I did so, it suddenly occured to me that we are already taking this fantastic new facility for granted.
My husband caught me cursing under my breath at Mass.
Likewise, I remember cursing under my breath at the math teacher who stuffed equations in us until we burst.
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