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A sad story told in an attempt to generate sympathy for the storyteller. Don't come in tomorrow without your final project. I don't want to hear any sob stories about how you forgot it at home.
sob (one's) heart out
To cry for an extended period of time. Poor Jane really sobbed her heart out during the funeral service. I can't watch those sappy movies because I just sob my heart out every time.
son of a bitch
1. rude slang A mean, unpleasant, or despicable person. Usually, but not exclusively, said of a man. Sometimes abbreviated as SOB. Julie's ex-husband was such a mean son of a bitch, it's no wonder she divorced him. He can be a real son of a bitch sometimes, but he gets the job done. Those sons of bitches stole our stuff.
2. rude slang A person one considers daring, mischievous, or tough. Often used as an emphatic expression of affection. Usually, but not exclusively, said of a man. Sometimes abbreviated as SOB. That son of a bitch really pulled through for us when we needed him! I can't believe that lucky son of a bitch won the case! Dude, Karen is a tough son of a bitch. She just sewed her own stitches!
3. rude slang An object or task that is especially problematic. Sometimes abbreviated as SOB. My car broke down, and I can't figure out how to fix the son of a bitch! This project is turning out to be a real son of a bitch.
4. rude slang An exclamation of anger, disgust, or dismay. Son of a bitch! My car got towed! My computer crashed again—son of a bitch!
1. rude slang An abbreviation of "son of a bitch," referring to a mean, unpleasant, or despicable person. Usually, but not exclusively, said of a man. Julie's ex-husband was such a mean SOB, it's no wonder she divorced him. He can be a real SOB sometimes, but he gets the job done.
2. rude slang An abbreviation of "son of a bitch," referring to a person one considers daring, mischievous, or tough. Often used as an emphatic expression of affection. Usually, but not exclusively, said of a man. That SOB really pulled through for us when we needed him! I can't believe that lucky SOB won the case! Dude, Karen is a tough SOB. She just sewed her own stitches!
3. rude slang An abbreviation of "son of a bitch," referring to an object or task that is especially problematic. My car broke down, and I can't figure out how to fix the SOB.
1. A writer or journalist who keeps an advice column in a newspaper to answer readers' problems or quandaries. Collins worked as a sob sister for her local newspaper for several years before moving on to a permanent position with the New York Times.
2. A writer or journalist who focuses on or specializes in overly emotional, dramatic, or sentimental articles. They hired me as a sob sister to write about the plights of those in need of charity around the city.
3. A girl or woman who is prone to overly emotional pleas, complaints, or outbursts. It's a very difficult and narrow path to tread as a woman in the business world. If you show any emotional vulnerability, you are considered a sob sister, but if you allow nothing to show through, you're seen as some stuck-up ice queen—there's just very little in the way of a middle ground. There's this sob sister in my group who just drains all my energy with her constant complaining and whining.
sob (oneself) to sleep
1. Literally, to weep uncontrollably until one falls asleep. I was so upset after the funeral that I sobbed myself to sleep that night.
2. By extension, to be upset by or distraught about something. Typically used sarcastically to mean the opposite. I'm not thrilled with that grade, but it's not like I'm going to sob myself to sleep over it. Yeah, I'm sure that actor is really sobbing himself to sleep over a single bad review!
To attempt to say something while in the middle of sobbing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "sob" and "out." After getting caught stealing, the poor child sobbed out a pitiful story about how he couldn't afford to pay for the food. He sobbed an apology out, promising to never do it again.
sob to (one)
To weep uncontrollably to one (about something). A noun or pronoun can be used between "sob" and "to" to specify what's being told to the other person. The poor girl went sobbing to her parents after getting picked on at school. He sobbed an apology to his wife, promising to never do it again.
See also: sob
cry one's heart outand sing one's heart out; play one's heart out; sob one's heart out
Fig. to do something with vigor or intensity. She suffered such grief—alone and sobbing her heart out. The bird sang its little heart out each morning.
sob oneself to sleep
to cry until one falls asleep. He sobbed himself to sleep for days after his grandpa died. The child sobbed himself to sleep night after night.
sob something out
to speak something out while sobbing. Wally sobbed his story out while the police made notes. He sobbed out his sad tale.
sob something to someone
to cry and tell one's troubles to someone. He is always sobbing his sad tale to anyone who will listen. Timmy sobbed his story to the teacher.
See also: sob
Fig. a sad story that is likely to draw tears. I've heard nothing but sob stories today. Isn't anybody happy? She had quite a sob story, and I listened to the whole thing.
son of a bitch
1. Inf. a very horrible person. (Use with caution. Usually intended as a strong insult. Never used casually.) Bill called Bob a son of a bitch, and Bob punched Bill in the face. This guy's a son of a bitch. He treats everybody rotten.
2. Inf. a useless thing. This car is a son of a bitch. It won't ever start when it's cold. This bumpy old road needs paving. It's a real son of a bitch.
3. Inf. a difficult task. This job is a son of a bitch. I can't do this kind of thing. It's too hard—a real son of a bitch.
A tale of personal hardship, true or invented, that is intended to arouse pity in the listener. For example, She always came up with some sob story to excuse her absences, but no one believed her . [Early 1900s]
son of a bitch
Also, SOB; son of a gun. A mean, disagreeable individual, as in He was regarded as the worst son of a bitch in the industry, or He ran out on her? What an SOB, or He's a real son of a gun when it comes to owing you money. The first of these terms, calling a man the son of a female dog, dates from the early 1300s and is considered vulgar enough to have given rise to the two variants, both euphemisms. The first variant, an abbreviation, dates from World War I. The second, first recorded in 1708, gave rise to the theory that it originally applied to baby boys born at sea (in the days when women accompanied their husbands on long voyages). The explanation seems unlikely, especially since presumably some of the babies were girls. It also once meant the illegitimate son of a soldier (or "gun"). More probably, however, son of a gun evolved simply as a euphemism for the first term and appealed because of its rhyme. Both it and son of a bitch are also put as interjections expressing surprise, amazement, disgust, or disappointment, as in Son of a bitch! I lost my ticket, or I'll be a son of a gun! That must be the governor.
cry your heart outor
sob your heart outINFORMAL
COMMON If you cry your heart out or sob your heart out, you cry a lot. Note: The heart is traditionally regarded as the centre of the emotions. I threw myself on to the bed and cried my heart out. I had never known her cry, and here she was sobbing her heart out. Compare with your heart out.
sob your ˈheart outcry noisily for a long time because you are very sad: After the argument she spent an hour sobbing her heart out in the bedroom. OPPOSITE: laugh your head off
a ˈsob story(informal, disapproving) a story that somebody tells you so that you will feel sorry for them, especially one that does not have that effect or is not true: Then she gave me another of her sob stories, this time about an argument with her boyfriend.
n. a son of a bitch; a despised person, usually a male. (Initialism only. Crude. Also a rude and provocative term of address.) Tell that SOB to mind his own business.
n. a weak woman who is prone to crying. I had another sob sister in the office today. Went through half a box of tissues.
n. a sad story that is likely to draw tears. I’ve heard nothing but sob stories today. Isn’t anybody happy?
son of a bitch
1. n. a despicable person, usually a male. (Rude and derogatory. Abbreviated SOB.) Tell that son of a bitch to get out of here, but fast.
2. n. old buddy. (Used between close male companions.) Where you been keeping yourself, you son of a bitch?
3. exclam. Dammit! (Usually objectionable. Usually Son of a bitch!) Son of a bitch! I didn’t even see that car pull out.
An oversentimental tale; a tearjerker. This expression from the early twentieth century presumably represents a reaction to Victorian sentimentality. C. E. Montague used it in Fiery Particles (1923): “Thomas Curtayne, the greatest of Irishmen, was to be buried in homely state. . . . Here was a sob story.” A roughly contemporary term is sob sister, a woman reporter who writes stories full of sentimental pathos. This expression, however, is obsolescent.
Someone devoted to charities, or (less charitably) a do-gooder. Originally a newspaper reporter or editor, invariably a woman, whose assignment was to produce sentimental stories and interviews that would appeal to female readers. By extension, the phrase came to mean any overly emotional person, whether male or female, especially one involved in charitable and public service efforts where sad tales of the recipients would tug on their heartstrings.