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witch hunt

An attempt to blame and punish people who hold unpopular views and opinions, often under the guise of some other investigation. The ruling party's witch hunt against its detractors sparked a civil war.
See also: hunt, witch

*cold as a welldigger's ass (in January)

 and *cold as a welldigger's feet (in January); *cold as a witch's caress; *cold as marble; *cold as a witch's tit; *cold as a welldigger's ears (in January)
very, very cold; chilling. (Use caution with ass. *Also: as ~.) Bill: How's the weather where you are? Tom: Cold as a welldigger's ass in January. By the time I got in from the storm, I was as cold as a welldigger's feet. The car's heater broke, so it's as cold as a welldigger's ears to ride around in it. She gave me a look as cold as a witch's caress.
See also: ass, cold

witch hunt

a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views.
The expression was inspired by the persecution in former times of people believed to be witches, often culminating in execution by burning.
See also: hunt, witch
References in periodicals archive ?
Other TV witches have included Sabrina The Teenage Witch in the US and The Worst Witch in the UK, the original series of which ran from 1986 and featured both Diana Rigg and Tim Curry, while the film industry has given us a whole school of witchcraft and wizardry with the Harry Potter movies and Tilda Swinton providing the chills as sinister Jadis, the White Witch, in The Chronicles Of Narnia films.
More accused witches died in and around Trier in that twelve year period than died in many European countries over the entire early modern period.
Across the 17th and 18th centuries, it is known more than 3800 suspected witches were strangled, hanged, drowned or burned at the stake.
They hate children with a passion and seek to eliminate as many as they can, since the children emit a repulsive odour that only witches can smell (similar to dogs' droppings).
Witches from Romania's eastern and western regions are heading to the southern plains and the Danube River on Thursday to threaten the government with spells and spirits.
These include economic factors within isolated communities having limited resources, the influence of seers and prophesying for those who make an uncertain living from the sea, as well as accounts of male witches and unlucky "jinkers" who bring misfortune in their wake.
RIETI'S MAKING WITCHES makes a significant contribution to the increasingly popular study of historic and contemporary witch traditions, as well as Newfoundland folk culture and regional history/culture.
Even if you don't believe in Wicca, the wisdom of witches is still useful.
Eradicating the Devil's Minions: Anabaptists and Witches in Reformation Europe, 1525-1600.
Legislature and jurisprudence is further discussed in 'Absolutism, state-building and witchcraft' and Levack here further fleshes out the idea of witches as rebels of the state, under James VI's definition (first glimpsed at in the discussion of James VI's suspicions that witches were political destabilisers).
Instead, images of witches constitute a visual discourse connected to, yet separate from, actual trials and prosecutions.
A Witch In The Family by Stephen Hawley Martin (two time winner of the Writer's Digest Book Award for Fiction) is more than a historical examination of the Salem witch trials and executions, and case studies of accused witches.
It is, indeed, Professor Roper's major achievement in this book to show, in more detail than before, just what did motivate those who prosecuted thousands of witches in early modern Europe.
His parents apprentice him to the local Spook, who wards off witches and other ghostly creatures from the community.