velvet


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an iron hand in a velvet glove

A person who has a gentle, sweet, or unassuming appearance or disposition, but who in reality is particularly severe, forceful, or uncompromising. Tom is in for it now with his wife. She might seem like a nice lady to us, but she's an iron hand in a velvet glove when they're at home. The new leader of the country rose to power by promises of democracy and equality to its citizens, but, as his despotic intentions came to light, he soon proved an iron hand in a velvet glove.
See also: glove, hand, iron, velvet

velvet handcuffs

A situation that is undesirable, unenjoyable, or unfulfilling but that provides enough financial security as to make one unwilling or unable to leave. After nearly three years at my mind-numbing job, held back by the velvet handcuffs of my salary and benefits, I decided to break away from it all and go live in Japan.
See also: handcuff, velvet

an iron fist in a velvet glove

A person who has a gentle, sweet, or unassuming appearance or disposition, but who in reality is particularly severe, forceful, and uncompromising. Tom is in for it now with his wife. She might seem like a nice lady to us, but she's an iron fist in a velvet glove. The new leader of the country rose to power by promises of democracy and equality to its citizens, but as his despotic intentions came to light he soon proved to be an iron fist in a velvet glove.
See also: fist, glove, iron, velvet

the little gentleman in the velvet coat

obsolete, literary A humorous name for the mole. The ground was dotted with tiny hills. "What is it that made these?" I asked my uncle. "Why, the little gentleman in the velvet coat," he replied, suppressing a smile.

iron hand

A manner that is severe, forceful, or uncompromising. Grandma runs the house with an iron hand—if you break a rule, you're grounded for weeks.
See also: hand, iron

rule with a velvet glove

To rule, govern, or control a group or population in a very permissive, lenient, or flexible manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "rule" and "with." The principal has been ruling the school with a velvet glove, trusting students to behave and follow the rules of their own accord. Not surprisingly, the place is in near-constant chaos. You can't rule with a velvet glove and expect every employees to put in their full efforts day in, day out.
See also: glove, rule, velvet

(as) soft as velvet

Exceptionally soft and/or smooth. I love how your face feels after you shave—it's as soft as velvet! This is my favorite blanket to get snuggled up in at night. It's soft as velvet, and it keeps me nice and warm in bed.
See also: soft, velvet

rule with a velvet glove

Fig. to rule in a very gentle way. She rules with a velvet glove, but she gets things done, nonetheless. He may appear to rule with a velvet glove, but he is really quite cruel.
See also: glove, rule, velvet

*soft as a baby's bottom

 and soft as a baby's backside; *soft as down; *soft as silk; *soft as velvet
Cliché very soft and smooth to the touch. (*Also: as ~.) This cloth is as soft as a baby's bottom. The kitten's fur was as soft as down. Your touch is soft as silk. This lotion will make your skin soft as velvet.
See also: bottom, soft

iron hand

Rigorous control, as in He ruled the company with an iron hand. This usage is sometimes put as iron hand in a velvet glove, meaning "firm but seemingly gentle control," as in She runs the town with an iron hand in a velvet glove. [c. 1700]
See also: hand, iron

velvet

see under iron hand.

an iron fist in the velvet glove

If you describe someone or something as an iron fist in the velvet glove you mean that they look gentle but in fact they use a lot of force. There is an iron fist in the velvet glove of the charming Irishman as he plots to make Leeds the top team of the new millennium.
See also: fist, glove, iron, velvet

the little gentleman in the velvet coat

the mole. humorous
This expression was a toast used by the Jacobites, supporters of the deposed James II and his descendants in their claim to the British throne. It referred to the belief that the death of King William III resulted from complications following a fall from his horse when it stumbled over a molehill. The phrase is found in various other forms, including the wee gentleman in black velvet .

an iron hand (or fist) in a velvet glove

firmness or ruthlessness masked by outward gentleness.
See also: glove, hand, iron, velvet

iron hand (in a velvet glove), to rule with an

To rule with absolute firmness (concealed by a mild manner). Ruling with iron was an idea expressed in the Bible, in the Book of Revelation: “And he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (2:27). Iron hand in a velvet glove comes from Thomas Carlyle’s Latter-Day Pamphlets (1850) and is there ascribed to Napoleon Bonaparte: “‘Iron hand in a velvet glove,’ as Napoleon defined it.” However, the phrase has been attributed to other rulers, too, among them Charles V. Today it is more often used for lesser authorities, such as a strict parent, but may be dying out.
See also: hand, iron, rule, velvet
References in periodicals archive ?
This crushed velvet throw is the ultimate in opulent decor, the thick and luxurious fabric has a shimmering two tone colour and is sure to help you nail the 2018 trend with minimal effort.
We love the velvet on velvet with the clutch bag too.
Blue velvet dress, PS45 @ Wallis Blue jewelled shoes, PS59 @ Miss Selfridge If you're going to do sequins, might as well go all-out.
Seven-year-old Velvet has been described as a "lifeline" to the Elland teenager, who has been in a wheelchair after she was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus.
It took me a while to warm up to the velvet trend, but I think I'm there, with two caveats: I don't want to swim in it and it can't be shiny.
Velvet carries with it the legacy of that final request: that need to be swaddled in heavy soft jewel tones, that desire to be wrapped forever in excess.
VAN DE WIELE will show all the new trends into carpet and velvet weaving, as the great handlook quality in reed density up to 1200 dents/meter and 8 colours.
As the season changes and we all start digging out our winter coats and snuggly jumpers, the high street is full of this season's hottest trend - sumptuous, luxurious velvet.
Velvet Taco has received a significant strategic growth investment from L Catterton, the company said.
By mid-July, many whitetail hunters are sharing trail-camera pictures of bucks with large antlers covered in velvet.
com)-- After creating a huge buzz with his galvanizing performances down at SXSW, international electro dance rock artist Jupiter In Velvet will be joining the International Pop Overthrow Music Festival as it rolls into Detroit, Michigan on April 7th at PJ's Lager House.
Summary: There's been a velvet revolution on the catwalk for autumn/winter and now it's taking over the high street