fighting words


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fighting words

Speech meant to provoke a fight or confrontation with someone. The senatorial candidate issued strong fighting words to her opponent today, challenging her to an open debate on the matter of tax increases.
See also: fight, word

fighting words

A statement bound to start a quarrel or fight. It is often expressed as them's fighting words, as in You say your father's smarter than mine? Them's fighting words. The ungrammatical use of them's for "those are" emphasizes the folksy tone of this colloquialism, first recorded in Ring Lardner's Gullible's Travels (1917).
See also: fight, word
References in periodicals archive ?
to be generally regarded as 'fighting words' when applied face-to-face to an average American,
Presumably, all serious readers will appreciate Avalos' hard work and discipline in compiling Fighting Words. But dedicated secularists of all habits will be among those to applaud his candor, passion, and refreshing sense of social duty.
Similarly, he observes that the impact of fighting words and incitement hinges on the reactions of the people to whom they are addressed.
Paul ordinance, the Court found that the ordinance's prohibition on "fighting words" was directed to speech that insulted or provoked violence "on the basis of race, color, creed, religion or gender." As such, it sought to regulate speech based on its content or message.
Rather, the Legislature has 'limit[ed] the categories of constitutionally unprotected speech that may qualify as 'harassment' to two: 'fighting words' and 'true threats.'' Van Liew, 474 Mass.
In response to the first question, much to the chagrin of lovers of dirty words throughout the state, it appears it is legal if the language of the law prohibits "profane fighting words," according to First Amendment attorney and law professor David Hudson Jr., of the Nashville School of Law in Tennessee.
571-572) Given Justice Murphy's opinion, slurs reasonably could be considered "fighting words." However, the U.S.
For instance, there is an exception for 'fighting words' --face-to-face personal insults addressed to a specific person, of the sort that are likely to start an immediate fight.
Recently Ichi Ban took out the NSW IRC Championship at Sail Port Stephens with a mighty clean-sweep of results and some fighting words, an important step in Allen's most serious challenge to halt the dominance of the form boat and international Beau Geste crew, sailing for New Zealand and Hong Kong.
They were not fighting words and they were not threats.''
Fighting words; polemics and social change in literary naturalism.
Brave, fighting words from a side second-bottom and on 51 points along with Wolves and Peterborough.
For a company thathas been marketing itselfas being more open to working with competitors and non-VMware environments, those seem like some fighting words.
In the Racing Post Chase The Fellow finished third before going on to Gold Cup glory, fourth Elfast took the Mildmay of Flete and sixth Fighting Words the Kim Muir.