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 English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Idioms: Violence and Aggressiveness
from: 'bandit territory'   to:  'in/through the wars'

  • bandit territory
    • A geographical area where law enforcement is practically impossible, because people ignore all rules, is called 'bandit territory'.
      "There are a certain number of bandit territories in the world where travellers are advised not to go."

  • beat someone black and blue
    • If a person is covered with bruise marks caused by being hit, they have been beaten black and blue.
      "The passenger was beaten black and blue by a gang of thugs.

  • beat/knock the (living) daylights out of someone
    • If a person beats the (living) daylights out of another, they hit them very hard and repeatedly.
      "If I catch you stealing again I'll beat the daylights out of you!"

  • bite someone's head off
    • If you bite someone's head off, you suddenly criticize them angrily (and perhaps unfairly).
      "I worked 10 hours a day all week and my boss bit my head off , accusing me of not doing my share of the work!"

  • come to blows
    • If two or more people come to blows, they start to fight.
      "The debate was so intense that the participants almost came to blows."

  • fight like cat and dog
    • Two people who fight or argue like cat and dog frequently have violent arguments, even though they are fond of each other.
      "They fight like cat and dog but they're still together after 30 years."

  • fight tooth and nail
    • If you fight tooth and nail for something, you fight with energy and determination.
      "The Transport Minister fought tooth and nail to have the proposed road safety law accepted."

  • (fight an) uphill battle
    • A person faced with an uphill battle has to struggle against very unfavourable circumstances.
      "After the terrible accident, his recovery was an uphill battle all the way."

  • (a) free-for-all
    • The term free-for-all refers to an uncontrolled situation such as an argument or fight where everyone present can do what they like.
      "It started as a serious debate but turned into a free-for-all."

  • (the) gloves are off!
    • The expression the gloves are off is used when there are signs that a fight is about to start.
      "The two candidates are out of their seats. The gloves are off!"

  • (want someone's) head on a platter
    • If someone makes you so angry that you want them to be punished, you want their head on a platter.
      "He was so angry when he read the article about his family that he wanted the journalist's head on a platter."

  • (wouldn't) hurt a fly
    • The expression wouldn’t hurt a fly is used to describe a person who is so gentle and non-violent that they wouldn’t harm anyone, not even an insect.
      "The man you're accusing is a peaceful non-aggressive person. He wouldn't hurt a fly."

  • road rage
    • Aggressive driving habits sometimes resulting in violence against other drivers is called road rage.
      "A number of accidents today are a direct result of road rage."

  • stab someone in the back
    • If someone stabs you in the back , they betray you by doing something harmful to you when you thought you could trust them.
      "His best friend stabbed him in the back by voting against him."

  • let off steam
    • A person who lets off steam releases surplus energy or strong feelings either through intense physical activity or by talking in an unrestrained manner.
      "It was such a stressful day for Tom that he decided to go to the gym club to let off steam."

  • take cover
    • When someone takes cover, they hide from a danger in a place where they find protection.
      "As soon as the explosion was heard, people ran to take cover."

  • take the law into your own hands
    • If, instead of calling the police, you act personally against someone who has done something wrong, you take the law into your own hands.
      "Instead of calling the police, he took the law into his own hands and confronted the youth who had stolen his son's scooter."

  • tit for tat
    • The expression tit for tatrefers to an injury or insult given in return for one received.
      "He kicked me, so I kicked him - it was tit for tat!" said the boy."

  • up in arms
    • If you are up in arms about something, you are very angry.
      "The population was up in arms over the demolition of the old theatre."

  • in/through the wars
    • If someone or something has been in (or through) the wars, they show signs of rough treatment, injury or damage.
      "He arrived in a car that looked as if it had been in the wars."

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