hammer and tongs

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go at it hammer and tongs

To do something or perform some task with tremendous fervor, determination, energy, or forcefulness. An allusion to the force with which a blacksmith strikes metal using a hammer and tongs. What started as a minor disagreement has escalated into a heated argument, and the two have been going at it hammer and tongs ever since. I need to go at this paper hammer and tongs if I want to keep my A in the class.
See also: and, go, hammer, tongs
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

hammer and tongs

Forcefully, with great vigor. For example, She went at the weeds hammer and tongs, determined to clean out the long neglected flowerbed . Often put as go at it hammer and tongs, this phrase alludes to the blacksmith's tools. [c. 1700]
See also: and, hammer, tongs
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

hammer and tongs

with great energy and noise.
The image here is of a blacksmith striking the hot iron removed from the forge with a pair of tongs.
1996 Emma Lathen Brewing Up a Storm The big fight she had with Sean Cushing . They were going at it hammer and tongs.
See also: and, hammer, tongs
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

hammer and tongs, go at it

Engage with great vigor in work, a contest, a fight, or some other undertaking. This metaphor from the blacksmith’s tools— the hammer used to shape hot metal taken from the fire with tongs—replaced an earlier metaphor from the same source, “between the hammer and the anvil,” with a meaning similar to that of between a rock and a hard place. The current expression was in print by 1708 and has been a cliché since the mid-nineteenth century.
See also: and, go, hammer
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
lPat Eddery and Roberts are going at it hammer and tongs at the top of the riders' table, with both on 50.
He was without his trousers and they were at it hammer and tongs."
Tuning Fork and Ulundi had made sure that there were few hard-luck stories as they went hammer and tongs up front, but Philip Robinson always had Red Fort perfectly positioned.
With the cameras rolling and their purple faces only separated by Chick Young's probing microphone, let's see managers and refs going at it hammer and tongs five minutes after the final whistle.
Frankie Dettori has been going hammer and tongs on the all-weather, and rides his 50th winner of the year when the John Gosden-trained PG Tips lands the maiden sprint at Wolverhampton.
There's a scene in a lift when, as the door closes, we are expected to believe the two stars go at it hammer and tongs but the look on her face suggests, not sex, but that her leading man has just broken wind.
"We're playing a very good French team going for a Grand Slam and so we've got to go in there hammer and tongs for an hour and a half and see what happens."
Raging Rooney stunned his Manchester United teammates with the 'hammer and tongs' screaming match in full view of other drinkers.
INJURIES have ravaged both Leicester and Gloucester ahead of today's live Premiership match but both sets of reserves will be going it hammer and tongs and backing the Cherry and Whites with an eight-point start could prove fruitful, writes Geoffrey Riddle.
Just a few years ago, Evan Williams from Llancarfan and Christian Williams from Ogmore were at hammer and tongs competing against each other in point-to-points with no quarter asked or given.
"They were going at it hammer and tongs," said Fiona Childs, who works at the Tropical Forest exhibition in Weymouth, Dorset.
HAMMER AND TONGS Drummond United player Chris Thompson and Peter Greenwood of Lower Shankill at the Hammer
Going at it hammer and tongs after too much bevvy one of them eventually takes the moral high ground in the argument by roaring at his pal: 'Haw,just remember who it wiz that intimidated witnesses fur ye!'
It opens with Jason Patric going at it hammer and tongs with an unseen partner - then the camera pulls back and we see he's merely rehearsing his moans of passion into a tape recorder.
A fellow councillor said: "When he identified who the bad guys were, he went after them hammer and tongs and didn't care much about the consequences."