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Have someone by the short hairs

verb phrase

To have someone in a painful and helpless situation; have absolute control over; HAVE someone BY THE BALLS: When life gets you by the short hairs, it doesn’t let go/ Someone nasty and ruthless has him by the short hairs/ You’re in no position to make deals. We got you by the curlies/ We’ve got him by the knickers and he’s hurting

[1891+; fr the short hairs growing on the scrotum]


Read Also:

  • Have someone coming and going

    verb phrase To have someone in an inescapable situation: What could I do? They had me coming and going (1903+)

  • Have someone for lunch

    verb phrase To defeat and destroy someone; clobber, EAT someone’s LUNCH: Then Ronald Reagan had Walter Mondale for lunch (1980s+)

  • Have someone over a barrel

    verb phrase To have someone in a helpless position: Okay, you got me over a barrel/ It may look like you got me over a barrel now (1930s+) verb phrase To have someone at a disadvantage or in an awkward position [1938+; apparently in allusion to the state of someone placed over a barrel to […]

  • Have something against

    Be opposed to, especially for a particular reason. For example, Do you have something against this plan? or Annie must have something against Mary, because she’s always so surly when they’re together.

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