wail

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gnashing of teeth

A very vocal display of anger, irritation, contempt, or complaint. After the initial gnashing of teeth, most people just came to accept the new policy. There was much gnashing of teeth over the decision to replace the show's star with another actor.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

wail like a banshee

To scream, howl, or screech in a very loud, high-pitched, and unsettling manner. Some animal has been wailing like a banshee in the alleyway all night long. Kids, stop wailing like a banshees back there! I need to focus on driving and I can barely hear myself think!
See also: banshee, like, wail

whale on (someone or something)

1. To attack or thrash something in an brutal, forceful, or relentless manner. He stood there whaling on the wall with a sledgehammer, but he barely seemed to be making a dent in it. She began whaling on the poor child until a police officer finally intervened. The other team whaled on us for the entire game, leading to one of our most humiliating defeats of the season.
2. To criticize, rebuke, or verbally assault someone or something vehemently or relentlessly. The interviewer suddenly began whaling on the politician over his alleged ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The boss whaled on us for the entirety of the meeting because of our failure to meet our sales quota.
See also: on, whale

whale into (someone or something)

1. To attack or thrash something in an brutal, forceful, or relentless manner. He stood there whaling into the wall with a sledgehammer, but he barely seemed to be making a dent in it. She began whaling into the poor child until a police officer finally intervened. The other team whaled into us for the entire game, leading to one of our most humiliating defeats of the season.
2. To criticize, rebuke, or verbally assault someone or something vehemently or relentlessly. The interviewer suddenly began whaling into the politician over his alleged ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The boss whaled into us for the entirety of the meeting because of our failure to meet our sales quota.
See also: whale

whale away at (someone or something)

1. To attack or thrash something in an brutal, forceful, or relentless manner. He stood there whaling away at the wall with a sledgehammer, but he barely seemed to be making a dent in it. She began whaling away at the poor child until a police officer finally intervened. The other team whaled away at us for the entire game, leading to one of our most humiliating defeats of the season.
2. To criticize, rebuke, or verbally assault someone or something vehemently or relentlessly. The interviewer suddenly began whaling away at the politician over his alleged ties to the pharmaceutical industry. The boss whaled away at us for the entirety of the meeting because of our failure to meet our sales quota.
See also: away, whale

gnashing of teeth

Fig. a show of anger or dismay. (Biblical: "weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth.") After a little gnashing of teeth and a few threats, the boss calmed down and became almost reasonable.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

wail like a banshee

Scream shrilly, as in Terrified, she wailed like a banshee. In Irish folklore, a banshee is a spirit in the form of a wailing woman whose appearance is an omen that one member of a family will die. The simile dates from the late 1800s.
See also: banshee, like, wail

gnashing of teeth

or

wailing and gnashing of teeth

People say that there is gnashing of teeth or wailing and gnashing of teeth when people become very worried or upset by something that has happened. In the City, the government's proposal is causing much gnashing of teeth. Despite the wailing and gnashing of teeth from Social Democratic left-wingers, this does look like a first step in the right direction. Note: You can also say weeping and gnashing of teeth. There was much weeping and gnashing of teeth when the Office for National Statistics counted a million fewer people than expected. Note: This expression is often used disapprovingly to show that you think people's reactions are too strong. Note: The phrases `weeping and gnashing of teeth' and `wailing and gnashing of teeth' both appear several times in the Bible in descriptions of the people who are sent to hell.
See also: gnash, of, teeth

wail

in. to be great. (see also wailing.) Things really started to wail about midnight when the band really got going.

wail on someone

in. to beat someone. (see also whale the tar out of someone.) Who are those two guys wailing on Sam?
See also: on, someone, wail

wailing

and whaling
mod. excellent. (Teens.) What a whaling guitar!
See also: wail

wail like a banshee, to

To scream shrilly. In Irish folklore, a “banshee” is a spirit in the form of a wailing woman who appears or is heard as a sign that one member of a family will soon die. The word appeared in English (from the Gaelic bean sidhe) in the second half of the eighteenth century. The simile dates from the late nineteenth century.
See also: like, wail
References in periodicals archive ?
The Wailers are all set to perform at Indigo, Sheraton.
Specifically, said Wailer, there's a concern for emerging diseases, such as Chronic Wasting Disease, which is most easily contracted and spread when deer are weakened and concentrated near food sources.
And there have continued to be outstanding creators in Marley's idiom, including his childhood pal Bunny Wailer and his son by Rita, Ziggy.
Beres Hammond and Bunny Wailer are at the O2 Academy, Birmingham, on July 18.
REGGAE group The Wailers Band, formed by the remaining members of Bob Marley and The Wailers following his death, will perform at Coral Bay next weekend.
The Disturbia star was in party CARIBBEAN queen Rihanna has a Wailer of a time as she goes for a night-time dip in her native Barbados.
When it comes to reggae, the Wailers have an impressive history.
But,later that year,Bob Marley turned up with his pals Peter Tosh and Johnny Wailer, calling themselves the Juveniles.
Laughterhouse At Slaughterhouse, Friday, July 17, 8pm Music Reggae Jamaican reggae giants Bunny Wailer and Beres Hammond will perform hits including What One Dance Can Do, Tempted To Touch and I Feel Good.
Oriel Park is set for a star-packed one day fest on Saturday, July 6, with standout performers including rock hunk Bressie, reggae legend Natty Wailer, the Original Rude Boys, and techno favourites Le Galaxie.
Originally, the Wailers were a vocal trio formed by Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer.
She had a short affair with Bunny Wailer, Bob's percussionist, who also did some of the back-up and lead vocals.
Two of the most luminous Rastamen who made early reggae were Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, who with Bunny Wailer formed the original Wailers in the early 1960s.