an iron fist in a velvet glove

(redirected from iron fist in the velvet glove)

an iron fist in a velvet glove

A person who has a gentle, sweet, or unassuming appearance or disposition, but who in reality is particularly severe, forceful, and uncompromising. Tom is in for it now with his wife. She might seem like a nice lady to us, but she's an iron fist in a velvet glove. The new leader of the country rose to power with promises of democracy and equality, but as his despotic intentions came to light he soon proved to be an iron fist in a velvet glove.
See also: fist, glove, iron, velvet

an iron fist in the velvet glove

If you describe someone or something as an iron fist in the velvet glove you mean that they look gentle but in fact they use a lot of force. There is an iron fist in the velvet glove of the charming Irishman as he plots to make Leeds the top team of the new millennium.
See also: fist, glove, iron, velvet
References in periodicals archive ?
After their debut single You Do Nothing For Me - a stick of gelignite in scabrous guitar form - did a pretty effective job of announcing their arrival, their latest offering the Under The Strobelight EP summons forth both light and dark, fitting the metaphor of the iron fist in the velvet glove perfectly On Swansea to Hornsey (which documents the wanderlust that led them to leave Wales) and Very Thin they pull away, pare it back and craft two ornate gems demonstrating a sensitivity a world away from the snarling anger management.
Some of that was down to Petrenko and the Phil, and some to debuting violinist Vilde Frang, a Stradivariuswielding Norwegian Pre-Raphelite who turned her instrument into a songbird, singing a romantic, rhapsodic refrain over the Phil's impassioned, furious scherzo before launching her own musical assault that showed there is an iron fist in the velvet glove.
The legendary Bob Dylan says of him: "Some guys got it down, Leonard Cohen, Paul Brady, Lou Reed - Secret Heroes", while U2's Bono describes him as "The iron fist in the velvet glove of Irish Music".
The centrality of the Indian army to British global power is why David Washbrook has concluded that "the Indian army was the iron fist in the velvet glove of Victorian expansionism." (2)
BONO describes him as 'the iron fist in the velvet glove of Irish music'.
I prefer the philosophy of the "iron fist in the velvet glove," but when that fails and the gloves come off, you must not waffle in your commitment or will to see the conflict through.
A bit of the iron fist in the velvet glove would not come amiss.