hit below the belt


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hit (one) below the belt

To unfairly target one's weakness or vulnerability. The phrase refers to boxing, in which hitting an opponent below the waist is prohibited. I know she really wants the promotion, but she really hit me below the belt by telling the boss about my personal problems.
See also: below, belt, hit

hit below the belt

To unfairly target another person's weakness or vulnerability. The phrase refers to boxing, in which hitting an opponent below the waist is unacceptable. I know she really wants the promotion, but she hit below the belt when she told the boss about my personal problems.
See also: below, belt, hit

hit someone below the belt

 
1. Lit. [for a boxer] to strike an opponent below the belt. (An unfair blow.) The champ hit the contender below the belt and the crowd began to boo like fury. Fred was hit below the belt and suffered considerably.
2. Fig. to deal someone an unfair blow. That's not fair! You told them I was the one who ordered the wrong-size carpet. That's hitting me below the belt. Todd hit below the belt when he said it was all her fault because she had become ill during the trip.
See also: below, belt, hit

below the belt, hit

Not behave according to the rules or decency, unfairly, as in Bringing up my mother's faults-that's really hitting below the belt. The term comes from boxing, where according to the Marquis of Queensberry Rules (1865) a fighter may punch his opponent only in the upper body or head. For a synonym, see low blow; also see under one's belt.
See also: below, hit

below the belt

Unfair behavior. The term comes from boxing, where the Marquess of Queensberry rules, formulated in 1865, prohibit striking an opponent there. It began to be used figuratively in the late nineteenth century.
See also: below, belt
References in periodicals archive ?
Reprinted with permission from Hit Below the Belt: Facing Up to Prostate Cancer.
It hit below the belt. India's poor have been sold for 32 metal pieces that the rulers consider a king's ransom that can guarantee a contentment of an existence.
Chulani agrees, " Don't hit below the belt. Be diplomatic while revealing your mind," she says.
I never hit below the belt, I never use the Cyprus problem for other purposes," said Garoyian.
Dan Lydiate was also prepared to hit below the belt, but a little too low when he handed Jules Plisson an easy kick.
No Queensbury Rules this time, as the Lib Dumb hit below the belt after last week's mistakes.
While both hit below the belt, Louis was perhaps harder - even saying that Pete had "had his day and should just go quietly now".