twist the knife

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twist the knife

To add to, exacerbate, or amplify a betrayal or wrong by further malicious actions. He said it was over, and then he twisted the knife and said he had never loved me.
See also: knife, twist

twist the knife


twist the knife in the wound

If someone twists the knife or twists the knife in the wound, they deliberately do or say something which make a situation even worse for someone who is upset or experiencing problems. Her daughter managed to twist the knife still further by claiming Nancy never loved her. To twist the knife in the wound, he appears to have cast doubt on whether Gray's invention was really his own idea. Note: You can also talk about a twist of the knife. Any cut-backs on the ceremony would be a further twist of the knife for bereaved families.
See also: knife, twist

twist (or turn) the knife

deliberately make someone's grief or problems worse.
1991 Mavis Nicholson Martha Jane & Me While she and I were playing the cat-and-mouse game of these stories, I would sometimes, just to twist the knife a little further, ask about the little girl's father.
See also: knife, twist

turn/twist the ˈknife (in the wound)

deliberately remind somebody of something they are already upset about, and so upset them even more: After the divorce, her friend turned the knife in the wound by saying she had always thought that the marriage wouldn’t last.All right. I know I was stupid. You don’t have to twist the knife.
See also: knife, turn, twist
References in periodicals archive ?
Drop his name/Push it in and twist the knife again/Watch my face/As I pretend to feel no pain.
Blair is sure to use the defection to twist the knife when he faces Cameron in a last Prime Minister's Questions showdown.
Warwick Crown Court heard how Hunt, of Pattens Road, Warwick, had admitted to a psychiatric nurse that she planned to stab one of her attackers and twist the knife while watching her expression.
As she continued to twist the knife following her resignation yesterday as International Development Secretary, the Labour MP said her party should organise an ``elegant succession'' as it would be ``extremely sad'' if Mr Blair ``hung on to his position and spoiled his reputation''.
By March, even Major's friends will be stabbing him in the front and it will be left to the voters to twist the knife.
Aussie centre Joel Moon, 24, scored twice to twist the knife into the Broncos and ensure McDermott was not upstaged by his namesake on the other side of town.
Spain supremacy did us as a string of four-figured buys multiplied up to twist the knife.
In Wales, there are pockets to empty and the added advantage to business of a bunch of New Labour wimps happy to help twist the knife into guts of the language of their own people.