rattle (one's) saber

(redirected from rattle their saber)

rattle (one's) saber

To make aggressive, blustering, and typically empty threats. I'd like to think that his threats are just him rattling his saber, but I'm not too sure anymore. The boss just likes to rattle her saber every now and then to make herself feel powerful.
See also: rattle, saber

rattle one's saber

 and rattle its saber
Fig. to make threatening statements or actions. The president is just rattling his saber. He would never attack such a small country!
See also: rattle, saber
References in periodicals archive ?
"You read from some of the ratings that they sort of rattle their saber and talk about what they might do about various countries, but they're not threatening the state of Texas."
Well, they can pick any day they want to rattle their saber, they won't catch this nation, this Air Force, or our United States Army by surprise!
They have to up the ante and rattle their sabers a little, he said, adding that the MILF has to play that game otherwise they lose their leverage, the senator said.
It is also true that whenever Republicans rattle their sabers about the debt ceiling, and threaten not to raise it, the bond market yawns and there is no significant impact on yields.
And sure, the Chinese have repressed their Tibetan minority since 1950, regularly rattle their sabers over Taiwan and squelch dissidents like gnats.
Northwest Airlines flight attendants continued to rattle their sabers following Monday's rejection of the latest labor agreement, announcing their "intent to exercise their right to strike" on the evening of Aug.
"The fact that you are hearing the Israelis rattle their sabers so much is the best evidence" that a reprise is not imminent, Pollack concludes.
He gives avid assent to most papal teachings but votes for political candidates who love to rattle their sabers and threaten to "nuke our enemies back to the Stone Age." He always manages to look the other way when the surly head usher escorts unsightly and repugnant street people out the back door of church--"thank God!"--before the wedding party arrives.