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(as) gruff as a bear

Surly or brusque. Don't take it personally, Gordon is gruff as a bear with everyone. Try talking to Lauren later in the day—she can be as gruff as a bear before she's had her morning coffee. Mr. Stewart may seem gruff as a bear, but he's really nice—he's actually helped me carry my groceries many times.
See also: bear, gruff
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

*gruff as a bear

gruff; curt and unsociable. (*Also: as ∼.) I hate to ask Erica questions; she's always gruff as a bear. I'm always as gruff as a bear before I've had my first cup of coffee.
See also: bear, gruff
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in classic literature ?
And long on the bright steps stood Gruff and Glum, looking after the pretty bride, with a narcotic consciousness of having dreamed a dream.
Then they, all three, out for a charming ride, and for a charming stroll among heath in bloom, and there behold the identical Gruff and Glum with his wooden legs horizontally disposed before him, apparently sitting meditating on the vicissitudes of life!
It was a pleasant sight, in the midst of the golden bloom, to see this salt old Gruff and Glum, waving his shovel hat at Bella, while his thin white hair flowed free, as if she had once more launched him into blue water again.
Miss Slowboy, in the mean time, who had a mechanical power of reproducing scraps of current conversation for the delectation of the baby, with all the sense struck out of them, and all the nouns changed into the plural number, inquired aloud of that young creature, Was it Gruffs and Tackletons the toymakers then, and Would it call at Pastry-cooks for wedding-cakes, and Did its mothers know the boxes when its fathers brought them homes; and so on.
MAE FOCUS WALES a NEUADD OGWEN, yn cydweithio a GRUFF RHYS, cyfansoddwr, awdur a prif leisydd Super Furry Animals, i gyflwyno cyfres o gyngherddau a digwyddiadau ym Methesda, o dan y faner 'ARA DEG'.
CHARLOTTE Church's Late Night Pop Dungeon, Super Furry Animals' Cian Ciaran and Gruff Rhys, Gwenno and Welsh Music Prize-winners, Boy Azooga are to come together in support of Welsh independence.
Is there a musician in Britain more prolific than Gruff Rhys?
CITYLIFE catches up with Gruff Rhys - the Super Furry Animals frontman-turned-solo artist - on the eve of his two big concerts at the Royal Northern College of Music this weekend.
FDyna farn y beiciwr proffesiynol, Gruff Lewis, sydd yn rhan o dim sylwebu cyfres Seiclo, fydd yn dangos pob cymal o'r Tour eleni gyda rhaglenni byw ac uchafbwyntiau dyddiol ar S4C, o heddiw ymlaen.
Cardiff Blues have appointed long-serving former Ospreys coach Gruff Rees as their new academy manager.
Gruff is now among the favourites to win the competition, along with singing father and son duo Jack and Tim and magician Marc Spelmann.
THE family of Robert Hardy has paid tribute to the "gruff, elegant, twinkly, and always dignified" actor, who has died at the age of 91.
"When we recorded it, we had been on tour for about four years," says frontman Gruff Rhys, 44.
One of them is a hulking creature called a Neverbeast, which she names 'Gruff '.