sob(redirected from sobs)
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gulp back (one's) sobs
To try to stop oneself from crying. I didn't want to have to tell my parents what was going on, so I tried to gulp back my sobs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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?
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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.
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price