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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 ?
They recall his tearful apology to the congregation in the fall of 2011, when he asked forgiveness for any feelings he had hurt--a moment his critics remember, too, but insist the gruffness returned the next week.
[Grahame's Badger is an] extraordinary amalgam of high rank, coarse manners, gruffness, shyness, and goodness.
Olson, the president and CEO of Whelen Engineering Company, of Charlestown, N.H., and Chester, Conn.--one of the state's most successful, innovative manufacturing companies, with over 1,200 employees--scoffs at both suggestions with equal gruffness.
David loved his grandfather, but points out the General's occasional impatience, gruffness, and weakness for flattery.
The old English pattern worked fine in one instance: Old pro David Bull added gruffness and a needed sense of doom as one of the witches.
What follows is a brief Q&A, a smattering of Dustin's musings and misgivings about his life and times as a small-town newspaper editor-owner--a mix of the scalawag in Studs Terkel, the gruffness of Red Smith and the gravitas of Editor
One mistake callers make is to blow the chuckle without adding some gruffness. Circling ducks make the chuckle, but it retains the basic hen sound, so rather than just blow a sterile chuckle, add some throat--some depth--to the sound.
"Common warning signs include hoarseness in the absence of an illness (or hoarseness that hangs around after cold symptoms have cleared up); decrease in speaking or singing range; change in voice quality (breathiness, gruffness, a veiled sound); increased physical effort to speak or sing; physical discomfort or pain when voicing; something just not feeling right with the voice."
Emma flinched at his gruffness, chastening herself for making him the object of her vain and childish desires, for disregarding her mother's most obvious lesson, that a man's brief sweetness would lead only to endless chores, and a whole lot of bitterness.
Operating on four hours of sleep a night, sacking uncooperative and underperforming underlings, and tilting against "mastodons" like Egor Ligachev (who ironically had tapped him for promotion from Sverdlovsk), Yeltsin affected a gruffness that appealed to a public hungering for action from above.
One of the pleasures of Fleming's Bond books is their raw, uncensored style of a gruffness their author shared with his secret-agent creation.
Aunt Lise responds to her fate with sullen acceptance, her resentment manifesting itself in a certain gruffness and an unsociability which make others wary around her.
The heavy drawl and gruffness which evokes Leonard Cohen and Nick Cave is perfect.