snake in the grass


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snake in the grass

One who feigns friendship with the intent to deceive. Did you hear that Daria's best friend stole money from her bank account? What a snake in the grass.
See also: grass, snake
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

snake in the grass

a sneaky and despised person. How could I ever have trusted that snake in the grass? John is such a snake in the grass.
See also: grass, snake
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

snake in the grass

A treacherous person, as in Ben secretly applied for the same job as his best friend; no one knew he was such a snake in the grass . This metaphor for treachery, alluding to a poisonous snake concealed in tall grass, was used in 37 b.c. by the Roman poet Virgil ( latet anguis in herba). It was first recorded in English in 1696 as the title of a book by Charles Leslie.
See also: grass, snake
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.

a snake in the grass

If you describe someone as a snake in the grass, you mean they are false because they pretend to be your friend while actually harming you. He's a snake in the grass — a guy you really can't trust. Note: This phrase was first used by the Roman poet Virgil in his work `The Eclogues' to refer to a hidden danger.
See also: grass, snake
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

a snake in the grass

a treacherous or deceitful person.
Since the late 17th century this expression has entirely superseded the earlier idiom a pad in the straw . Pad is an old dialect term for a toad, an animal that was formerly thought to be poisonous.
See also: grass, snake
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

a ˌsnake in the ˈgrass

(disapproving) a person who pretends to be your friend but who cannot be trusted: We used to be friends, but who knew he’d turn out to be such a snake in the grass?
See also: grass, snake
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

snake in the grass

n. a sneaky and despised person. How could I ever have trusted that snake in the grass?
See also: grass, snake
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

snake in the grass

An underhanded, stealthily treacherous individual. The metaphor was already used by the Roman poet Virgil in his Eclogues (37 b.c.) as well as by the Italian poet Dante in the Inferno of The Divine Comedy (“Hidden like a snake in the grass”). Snakes have been feared and hated for centuries, and the metaphor has remained both vivid and current. It appears equally often on both sides of the Atlantic. Mark Twain used it in Tom Sawyer (1876), “A guileful snake in the grass,” to describe how the boys in Sunday school viewed the hero, who had duped them out of enough “tickets” to win a Bible.
See also: grass, snake
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Lawrence added: "It offers us the opportunity to take it on with the maximum visual impact." Snake in the Grass is a 2002 play by the British playwright who is an Olivier, Tony and Moliere Award winning playwright who has written 75 plays.
Between 1972 and 2009 he was the Artistic Director of the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough where Snake in the Grass premiered.
Rugby Theatre is holding open auditions tomorrow night for two productions - John Godber's Men of the World in April and Alan Ayckbourn's thriller Snake in the Grass which hits the stage in May.
Senga Veasey directs Snake in the Grass, a psychological thriller starring three middle-aged women - two feuding sisters, and the nurse who looked after their late father.
SNAKE IN THE GRASS - Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry, until Saturday.
He said: "We were on holiday in Cornwall when myself and my brother and saw this snake in the grass and it bit me.