sour

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(as) sour as vinegar

Particularly unpleasant, disagreeable, peevish, or ill-tempered. After such a broken night of sleep, I woke up feeling as sour as vinegar. Her words were sour as vinegar when she greeted us.
See also: sour, vinegar

go sour

To become unpleasant or troubling. Those two are bickering all the time now—I hope their relationship hasn't gone sour. Don’t bring up politics unless you want things to go sour real fast!
See also: go, sour

hit a sour note

To indicate, introduce, or allude to something particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, or disagreeable. News of my father's passing hit quite a sour note before my graduation ceremony. No one in the family brought attention to David's drinking problem until it started hitting a sour note at their holiday get-togethers.
See also: hit, note, sour

leave a sour taste in (one's) mouth

To have a persistent negative effect on someone after an offending incident has ended. I know Kelly's your friend, but she was so rude at dinner—it just left a sour taste in my mouth. Of course Andrew not inviting me to his party leaves a sour taste in my mouth.
See also: leave, mouth, sour, taste

sour cherry

A tart variety of cherry. I can't stand sour cherries, so these better be sweet ones!
See also: cherry, sour

sour grapes

Criticism or disparagement of that which one cannot have. The phrase originated in one of Aesop's fables, in which a fox that cannot reach some grapes deems them sour and therefore undesirable. He always mocks sports cars as being really impractical, but it's just sour grapes, if you ask me.
See also: grape, sour

sour note

A particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, or disagreeable topic of news, information, or conversation. News of my father's passing hit quite a sour note before my graduation ceremony. The CEO's speech at the Annual General Meeting ended on quite a sour note when he announced that there would be company-wide pay cuts and layoffs.
See also: note, sour

sour on (someone or something)

To become less happy or enthusiastic about someone or something; to begin to dislike or be repelled by someone or something, especially someone or something that had been liked or favored. I was really interested in film studies when I first got into college, but I soured on it after I started encountering the obnoxious, elitist types of people who specialize in that field. I don't know why, but John always sours on the women he dates after only a couple of weeks.
See also: on, sour

sour stomach

An unpleasant sensation that typically includes gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, indigestion, and bloating. The phrase can be used with or without an article preceding it. Bill has a sour stomach now after eating all that spicy food at dinner. I have sour stomach a lot, so I always keep antacids with me.
See also: sour, stomach

strike a sour note

To indicate, introduce, or allude to something particularly unfortunate, unpleasant, or disagreeable. You definitely struck a sour note when you brought up Dan's ex-girlfriends during your best man speech.
See also: note, sour, strike

sweet-and-sour

1. Containing sugary and acidic ingredients blended together. I've had the same bottle of sweet-and-sour sauce in my cupboard for the last five years. These sweet-and-sour gummies are delicious, but they'll give you a stomach ache if you eat too many!
2. Cooked in or with a sauce containing blended sugar and vinegar. Usually in reference to Chinese and Chinese-style cuisine. Personally, I think the sweet-and-sour chicken is the best thing they serve here. Have you tried Sarah's sweet-and-sour dumplings? They're absolutely delicious!

turn sour

To become unpleasant or troubling. Those two are bickering all the time now—I hope their relationship hasn't turned sour. Don’t bring up politics unless you want things to turn sour real fast!
See also: sour, turn

go sour

Fig. to turn bad or unpleasant. It looks like all my plans are going sour. My whole life is going sour right now.
See also: go, sour

*sour as vinegar

 
1. [of something] very sour. (*Also: as ~.) This milk is as sour as vinegar. The juice they gave us is sour as vinegar.
2. [of someone] ill-natured and disagreeable. (Fig. on {2}. *Also: as ~.) The old man greeted us ill-naturedly, his face as sour as vinegar. Jill: Is Mary in a bad mood today? Jane: Yes, sour as vinegar.
See also: sour, vinegar

sour grapes

Fig. something that one cannot have and so disparages as if it were never desirable. of course you want to buy this expensive jacket. Criticizing it is just sour grapes, but you still really want it.
See also: grape, sour

strike a sour note

 and hit a sour note
Fig. to signify something unpleasant. Jane's sad announcement struck a sour note at the annual banquet. News of the accident hit a sour note in our holiday celebration.
See also: note, sour, strike

sweet and sour

a combination of fruity sweet and sour, but not necessarily salty, flavors. (Typically referring to certain Chinese-American foods.) I prefer sweet-and-sour pork to anything else on the menu. Alice does not care for sweet-and-sour dishes, but she will usually eat whatever we serve her.
See also: and, sour, sweet

sour grapes

Disparaging what one cannot obtain, as in The losers' scorn for the award is pure sour grapes. This expression alludes to the Greek writer Aesop's famous fable about a fox that cannot reach some grapes on a high vine and announces that they are sour. In English the fable was first recorded in William Caxton's 1484 translation, "The fox said these raisins be sour."
See also: grape, sour

sour on

Become disenchanted with, take a dislike to, as in At first they liked the new supervisor, but now they've soured on her. [c. 1860]
See also: on, sour

sour grapes

COMMON If you describe someone's attitude as sour grapes, you mean that they are jealous of another person's success and show this jealousy by criticizing that person. These accusations have been going on for some time now, but it is just sour grapes. The government says that Mr Fedorov's criticisms are mere sour grapes. Note: In one of Aesop's fables (= traditional stories, usually with a moral), a fox tries several times unsuccessfully to reach a bunch of delicious-looking grapes. In the end he gives up, telling himself that they are probably sour and inedible anyway.
See also: grape, sour

strike (or sound) a — note

express a feeling or view of a particular kind.
2000 Times John McCain …was expected to strike a hawkish note last night, calling for the upgrading of the Armed Forces.
See also: note, strike

sour grapes

an attitude in which someone disparages or pretends to despise something because they cannot have it themselves.
In Aesop's fable The Fox and the Grapes, the fox, unable to reach the tempting bunch of grapes, comforts himself with the thought that they were probably sour anyway.
1998 New Scientist At 66, I can be acquitted of any sour grapes, but I feel sorry for younger MPs…[who] have all been passed over.
See also: grape, sour

go/turn ˈsour

become less enjoyable, pleasant or good: Relations between the two nations have recently gone sour.
See also: go, sour, turn

sour ˈgrapes

(saying) used to describe the behaviour of somebody who pretends that something they cannot have is of little value or interest: When she failed the entrance exam, she started saying that she never wanted to go to college anyway, but I think that’s just sour grapes.This idiom comes from one of Aesop’s fables. A fox cannot reach some grapes so he decides that they are not ready to eat.
See also: grape, sour

go sour

in. to turn bad or unpleasant. My whole life is going sour right now.
See also: go, sour

sour grapes

Disparaging what one cannot but would like to have. This term comes from the punch line of one of Aesop’s most famous fables, delivered by the fox when she finds she cannot reach some grapes on a very high vine. It has been used ever since to describe putting down what one can’t attain.
See also: grape, sour
References in periodicals archive ?
Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature 6 to 24 hours; maximum time gives sourest flavor.
THE freedoms we enjoy, the respect we show for the rights of others and the comforts that ll our lives might persuade even the sourest old cynic that humanity's progressed, that the liberal democracy that characterises the best of the West is mankind's default setting.
OF all the summer-long transfer sagas we have seen, it is the Gareth Bale one which leaves the sourest taste in my mouth.
There have also been countless bags of sweets, including the terrifying Sourballs, which (as you'll know if you follow my tweets) have given rise to the Sourball Challenge, where the production team insist on you shoving the sourest sweet you can imagine in your mouth and then taking a photo as the true horror engulfs your head!
UNITED were swept away on a tidal wave of pace and power when the Albion of West Bromwich came forth to dish out the sourest of Christmas presents.
A crofter friend of ours in Beauly said we had hit the sourest crofting community in the Highlands.
Could our liberal, Obama-loving state still be plagued with some folks who have dragged out some of the oldest, sourest racist views that exist?
Last year ended on the sourest of notes for Worcester Warriors following the discovery that they will be without influential centre Sam Tuitupou for the remainder of the season.
Now, any of uswho covered Fletcher's seven-year reign will tell you of the utter contempt shown to Press and public by this sourest of men.
The injury overshadowed an amazing game, in which Didier Drogba plundered his 27th and 28th goals of the season after Theo Walcott had put Arsenal ahead, but ended in the sourest manner imaginable with a mass brawl, which Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger tried to break up.
Expressing their discombobulation at the news of Henry's parenthood in more demonstrative ways are his conniving fiancee Glynnis (Amanda Chancellor), for whom every move is a political decision, and her snobbish daughter Clarissa (Christina Cole), who comes off like the sourest possible version of Reese Witherspoon's character in "Election." As if born to be evil stepmother and stepsister, the women do all they can to rid themselves of this potential scandal producer and rival for Henry's affections, but Daphne's winning New World ways keep jolting to life a society otherwise shown as teetering on the white cliffs of calcification.
Makes about 12 dozen,--Eunice Ellefson, N4474 Thompson Rd., Shiocton, WI 54170 Alaskan Sourest Dough Starter 1 pkg.
Surely nobody, not even the sourest American, could dispute that any more.
For sourest flavor, cover and let stand in a warm place (80' to 90') until bubbly and sour smelling, 12 to 24 hours.
An FA Cup run that has electrified Wearside ended on the sourest of notes as frustrated Sunderland began to lash out.