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
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
The ex-Cabinet minister continued to twist the knife today with a call for Mr Blair to step down and organise an ``elegant hand-over'' - presumably to Chancellor Gordon Brown.
As ever, Deirdre was first to twist the knife. "I was up against the whole thing from the start," she told Tracy, but was she referring to Tracy's relationship?
It's as if he wants to twist the knife into my family.
Yeovil, struggling in the League Two relegation zone, had forced a replay with a last-gasp equaliser in the first tie played at Blackpool's Bloomfield Road because of flood damage to Carlisle's pitch and they had the chance to twist the knife on their Cumbrian visitors again in the dying seconds last night.
well, the real Nicholas remains missing - and Bourdin was able to twist the knife one more time to give this film an all too rare, powerful ending.
"Spain supremacy did us as a string of four-figured buys multiplied up to twist the knife."
This time around it was East Fife's turn to twist the knife and they did it with the last kick of the ball.
He said the CHI report had given an opportunity for critics to twist the knife and force changes at the hospital but the problems had deep roots within the NHS.
It was the first time City had lost a League match against Stockport and just to twist the knife in the wound, it's County who have a chance of Premiership football next season - they are now handily placed in seventh.
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.