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dip (one's) pen in gall
To write something that conveys one's animosity, anger, or malice. The critic must have dipped his pen in gall before writing that very negative review.
gall and wormwood
Strong feelings of bitterness and resentment. ("Gall" is bile and "wormwood" is a bitter plant.) Ever since I lost the election for school president, I only feel gall and wormwood when I think of my unworthy opponent.
have the gall to (do something)
To be bold and brazen enough to do something. I can't believe that intern had the gall to ask for a week off on her first day. A: "I can't believe their coach had the gall to pull the goalie with so much time left." B: "Yeah, but if they tie the score, he'll look like a genius."
cliché Complete and outrageous insolence, impudence, or effrontery. I can't believe the unmitigated gall of the governor. How dare he blame the victims of this tragic accident for what happened?
wormwood and gall
Bitterness, resentment, disappointment, or humiliation; a figurative source of such feelings. Let me tell you, the life of a book publisher is full of wormwood and gall these days. My aunt relished cruel, embittered opinions on people and the world, seeming to prefer feasting on wormwood and gall than the many joys life brings.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
have the gall to do something
Fig. to have sufficient arrogance to do something. I bet you don't have the gall to argue with the mayor. Only Jane has the gall to ask the boss for a second raise this month.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
dip your pen in gallwrite unpleasantly or spitefully.
Gall is another word for bile, the bitter secretion of the liver; it is used in many places in the Bible as a metaphor for bitterness or affliction. See also wormwood and gall (at wormwood).
wormwood and galla source of bitter mortification and grief. literary
Gall is bile, a substance secreted by the liver and proverbial for its bitterness, while wormwood is an aromatic plant with a bitter taste. The expression originated in reference to various passages in the Bible, for example Lamentations 3:19: ‘Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall’.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
Absolute impudence, out-and-out effrontery. The use of gall, which strictly speaking means the liver’s secretion, or bile, and its extension to bitterness of any kind, dates from about a.d. 1000. In late nineteenth-century America, however, it began to be used in the sense of “nerve” or “brazenness.” Its frequent pairing with unmitigated, meaning “unmodified” or “intense,” occurred in the twentieth century.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer