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Sword (phrases and proverbs)


At swordsʹ point. In deadly hostility, ready to fight each other with swords.

Poke not fire with a sword. This was a precept of Pythagoras, meaning add not fuel to fire, or do not irritate an angry man by sharp words which will only increase his rage. (See Iamblichus Protreptics, symbol ix.)

To put to the sword. To slay.

Your tongue is a double-edged sword.

You first say one thing and then the contrary; your argument cuts both ways. The allusion is to the double-edged sword out of the mouth of the Son of Man—one edge to condemn, and the other to save. (Rev. i. 16.)

Yours is a Delphic swordit cuts both ways. Erasmus says a Delphic sword is that which accommodates itself to the pro or con. of a subject. The reference is to the double meanings of the Delphic oracles, called in Greek Delphikē muchaira.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Swiss Boy (The)
Swiss Family Robinson
Swithin (St.)
Sword Excalibar (The)
Sword of God (The)
Sword of Rome (The)
Sword of the Spirit (The)
¶ Sword (phrases and proverbs)
Sword and Cloak Plays
Swords Prohibited
Sworn Brothers
Sworn at Highgate
Sycamore and Sycomore