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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.
See also: bear, gruff
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 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 periodicals archive ?
"Where ya from?" we'll fake-shout in our gruffest Harvey voices and laugh.
Interweaving the past with the present gives the story a rich texture lacking in many modern mysteries, and Bentinck's softly feminine voice has enough range to carry both the most wistful thoughts and the gruffest outbursts without going to any vocal extremes.
Even today, more than one hundred years since the bandoneon arrived on these shores, the sight of a musician walking down the street with the tell-tale rectangular case of a bandoneon sends a thrill through even the gruffest porteno.
CELEBRATING 30 years on the box, David Jason returns tonight as telly's gruffest cop, Jack Frost.
But Danny stopped the band, and in the silence said in his gruffest voice, "'Ere mate - you try it for a bit", and offered his hat to th e astonished patron.
Fergie phoned Gough when he moved into the Livingston hot seat and in his gruffest tone told him: 'Welcome to the rat race.'