go against the grain

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go against the grain

To do something or be in opposition or contrary to what is generally understood, assumed, practiced, or accepted. The artist always tried to go against the grain, ignoring the artistic trends of her day.
See also: go, grain
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

go against the grain

COMMON If an idea or action goes against the grain, it is the opposite from what you feel is right or normal and you find it difficult to accept. It goes against the grain to pay more for a product that you know is inferior. The decision not to have children somehow goes against the grain. Note: Something can also run against the grain. It runs against the grain to force your child to leave home. Note: The grain of a piece of wood is the direction of its fibres. It is easier to cut or plane wood along the direction of the grain, rather than across it.
See also: go, grain
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

be/go against the ˈgrain

be or do something different from what is normal or natural: Voting for the Liberal Party goes against the grain with him. He’s voted Conservative all his life.It goes against the grain for her to spend a lot of money on clothes.
The grain is the natural direction of lines in a piece of wood.
See also: go, grain
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

against the grain, to go

“There was something about Prohibition that went against the American grain,” a high school history teacher once said, quite innocent of her pun on this phrase, which means contrary to expectations, custom, or common sense. The literal meaning, against the natural direction of the fibers in a piece of wood, was turned figurative by Shakespeare in Coriolanus (“Preoccupied with what you rather must do than what you should, made you against the grain to voice him consul”). By the time Dickens used it in Edwin Drood (1870) it probably was already a cliché.
See also: go
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"But just the same it goes against the grain to be walked off my legs by a poet--by a poet, mind you."
I try to be, but I can't manage it; it goes against the grain. My business habits are too deep-seated.
I like to know the news as well as any man,' said Toby, slowly; folding it a little smaller, and putting it in his pocket again: 'but it almost goes against the grain with me to read a paper now.
I owe it to you to tell you, Bunny, though it goes against the grain. She would take me 'to the dear, warm underworld, where the sun really shines,' and she would 'nurse me back to life and love!' The artistic temperament is a fearsome thing, Bunny, in a woman with the devil's own will!"
It is barbaric and goes against the grain of a civilised society where peo...
It goes against the grain that Kenyan leaders can afford foreign benchmarking trips and leave county workers unpaid.
It goes against the grain of the character of Filipinos.
"Defence Minister is caught lying again on the number of fighter aircraft required by Indian Air Force (IAF),"Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala told the media."Her claim that IAF does not have the infrastructure like parking place, maintenance facility to fly 126 Fighter aircraft is preposterous and goes against the grain of national security requirements,"he said.
Risk aversion is dominating and is overshadowing the CPI report, but interestingly, it's the longer maturities that are outperforming, which goes against the grain of typical safe haven flows, and is in spite of a slightly hotter CPI in terms of the 12-month gains where the 2.4% y/y pace on the core was the strongest since September 2008.
"I believe I conduct myself with colleagues with integrity, with openness and that is why I have such remorse about the matter as I believe it goes against the grain of who I am - especially how it is portrayed.
'It goes against the grain. It's very unAsian, un-Melayu, un-everything.'
Being a maverick who goes against the grain can pay dividends.
As much as it goes against the grain, Ed Miliband is the only thing that stands between us and the lunatics taking over again, especially if it comes down to Cameron/Farage.
Bhagwat, with his irresponsible and reprehensible views on the "Hindu-ness" of all Indians is not only postulating a ludicrous theory -- which goes against the grain of India's Constitution -- but he is also proving that the RSS has no compunctions in steering the public discourse in India into disruptive realms.