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Related to stings: jellyfish stings, insect stings, Bee Stings

sting in the tail

A disappointing ending to something, such as a story, that is otherwise upbeat and positive. The movie began as a sweet, romantic love story, so the tragic ending was an unexpected sting in the tail.
See also: sting, tail

take the sting out of (something)

To alleviate the pain or annoyance caused by something. Well, coming home to freshly baked cookies somewhat took the sting out of getting another parking ticket.
See also: of, out, sting, take

sting someone for something

Sl. to cheat someone of a particular amount; to make someone pay for something. That guy stung me for twenty bucks! Toby was stung for the lunch bill.
See also: sting

sting someone with something

to use something to sting someone. The bee stung me with its stinger. The wasp can sting you with its poisonous barb.
See also: sting

take the sting out of

Lessen the severity or unpleasantness of something, as in That senior citizen discount took the sting out of the airfares. [Mid-1800s]
See also: of, out, sting, take

a sting in the tail

COMMON If something such as a remark or a plan has a sting in the tail, it seems good at first but contains an unpleasant part at the end. Even the remark about Chomsky being `arguably the most important intellectual alive' had a sting in its tail. The sentence went on: `how can he write such nonsense about international affairs?' The increased tax rate was an unexpected sting in the tail in an otherwise acceptable Budget. Note: This is a reference to a scorpion, which is small and looks harmless, but has a poisonous sting in its tail.
See also: sting, tail

take the sting out of something

If something takes the sting out of an unpleasant situation, it makes it less unpleasant. His calmness surprised her and helped to take the sting out of her anger. One of the best ways to take the sting out of things is put a humorous angle on it.
See also: of, out, something, sting, take

sting for

To charge someone some surprisingly large amount of money: The airline stung us for $100 to change our ticket.
See also: sting


1. tv. to cheat or swindle someone; to overcharge someone. That street merchant stung me, but good.
2. n. a well-planned scheme to entrap criminals. The sting came off without a hitch.
3. tv. to entrap and arrest someone. “We’ve been stung!” they hollered.

sting someone for something

tv. to cheat someone of a particular amount; to make someone pay for something. That guy stung me for twenty bucks!
See also: something, sting
References in periodicals archive ?
Jellyfish can also sting and are increasingly common around Scottish waters.
For a sting in the mouth, give the person an ice cube to suck if they are over one year old or some cold water to sip.
First aid for insect stings is to use a cold compress or ice cube to cool the area, and take an ordinary painkiller such as paracetamol.
If your friend or loved one is stung by a bee/wasp try to make them as comfortable as possible and if visible, scrape the sting off sideways with your fingernail.
Once out, slowly pouring seawater over the sting will help ease the pain.
The number of treatment sittings and bee stings differ from one patient to another depending on seriousness of the disease.
For the sting, police had two plainclothes officers act as pedestrians, taking turns walking across the four-lane boulevard.
If Huaman stayed completely still, he might have walked away with just one sting, Kutcher says.
At least 40 people die every year in the United States from severe anaphylactic reactions triggered by the stings of yellow jackets, wasps, bees, hornets, or fire ants.
Honey bees will sting, but usually only in defence.
Widow Lynn, 45, said construction boss Anthony had suffered small swellings in the past after stings.
Up to ten people a year die from severe allergic reactions to wasp or bee stings.
Deaths from wasp and bee stings are rare: Between 50 and 100 deaths are reported each year in the United States, though there may be many more that aren't attributed to stings, experts say.
There are 80 known deaths from outdoor fire ant stings.