the worm turns

the worm has turned

A person or group of people is retaliating or refusing to put up with agitation or mistreatment. With the dictator in hiding and the oppressed population taking control, it seems that the worm has turned. I used to get awful verbal abuse from my last boss, but the worm has turned and now I'm starting up my own rival company.
See also: turn, worm

the worm turns

Even quiet, submissive people will get angry if you continually agitate them. Sweet little Janine is going to snap at you if you keep bugging her—the worm turns.
See also: turn, worm

worm turns, the

Also, the worm has turned. Even a very tolerant person will one day lose patience. For example, He bullied his assistant for years, but one day the worm turned and he walked out without notice, taking along his best clients . This expression comes from the proverb Tread on a worm and it will turn, first recorded in John Heywood's 1546 collection.
See also: worm

the ˌworm ˈturns

(informal) even a patient, calm person will get angry if they are repeatedly badly treated: He’s often rude to his secretary and she doesn’t say anything — but one day the worm will turn.
See also: turn, worm

worm turns, the

The loser becomes a winner. The expression comes from an old proverb, tread on a worm and it will turn, meaning that the lowliest individual will resent being treated badly. It appeared in John Heywood’s 1546 proverb collection and was repeated by Shakespeare. Robert Browning used it in Mr. Sludge (1864): “Tread on a worm, it turns, sir! If I turn, Your fault!”
See also: worm
References in classic literature ?
You've made a poor sort of creature of me, but even the worm turns, you know.
For a moment the worm turned. Barrington rose to his feet, and with a deep flush upon his cheeks moved towards the door.
Da Souza did hear it, and the worm turned. He sat down in the most comfortable easy-chair, and addressed Trent directly.
Lindsay Girvan How the worm turns. Aussies shouldn't have been in the final.
The worm turns, as we know it will -- Lily James, a likeable Cinders, brings down the house with her dignified "You never have been, and never will be, my mother!" -- and the happy ending is properly heartwarming.
Among his recent compositions are Nerdwell: From Clod to King and As the Worm Turns, both chamber operas; and Psalm 121, for choir and published by Concordia Press.
Yet when the worm turns, and it is turning, our sycophant colleagues and their hip theologians will discover that the leftwing friends they have been ardently courting will abandon them.
Being the aggressor is not an emblem of strength but a sign of insecurity and a fear of what will happen when the worm turns.
It's something the young TV performers will carry with them whichever way the worm turns. Houchins thinks he may ultimately have a career in the medical field.
IN PS 645 (AUG 06), WE RAN AN ARTICLE ON WOOD PACKAGING MATERIALS (WPM) CALLED "AS THE WORM TURNS."
It is always a surprise when the worm turns. It was a surprise when a popular insurrection began in Egypt, even though we all knew that change had to come some day.
As he tries to find his way in New York and makes his first tentative steps onto the stage, his jealousy of Guy, who keeps turning up like a bad penny, festers with his rival seemingly getting the upper hand professionally and personally, until the worm turns.
If you are in the public eye and lap up the good publicity, then tough luck when the worm turns.
ISSUE: How quickly the worm turns! A home health nurse who was repeatedly stabbed while in the course of her employment was the object of sympathy by her employer who admitted that she was victimized in the course of her employment.
* The story, "The Worm turns" on page 14 is by Roland Klose, who was managing editor of the Riverfront Times from shortly after New Times bought the paper from Ray Hartmann in 1998 until 2003.