to take the bread out of one's mouth
/tˈeɪk ðə bɹˈɛd ˌaʊɾəv wˈʌnz mˈaʊθ/
to deprive people of their most basic means of living, particularly via unfair mathods
to rub salt in / into the wound
/ɹˈʌb sˈɑːlt ɪn ˌɪntʊ ðə wˈuːnd/
to make a difficult or painful situation even worse for someone
rough justice
/ɹˈʌf dʒˈʌstɪs/
a swift and harsh punishment or judgment without fair consideration of all factors, often resulting in an unfair outcome
to drive / strike a hard bargain
/dɹˈaɪv stɹˈaɪk ɐ hˈɑːɹd bˈɑːɹɡɪn/
to be tough and smart in negotiations, insisting on favorable terms to achieve a favorable outcome for oneself
iron fist
/ˈaɪɚn fˈɪst/
an attitude or approach that is cruel, and often unrestricted
to give sb hell
/ɡˈɪv ˌɛsbˈiː hˈɛl/
to create serious problems for someone
to give sb a hard / tough / rough time
/ɡˈɪv ˌɛsbˈiː ɐ hˈɑːɹd tˈʌf ɹˈʌf tˈaɪm/
to make things difficult for a person on purpose
to put sb through hell
/pˌʊt ˌɛsbˈiː θɹuː hˈɛl/
to cause a person experience great difficulty
to twist / turn the knife (in the wound)
/twˈɪst tˈɜːn ðə nˈaɪf ɪnðə wˈuːnd/
to purposefully make someone suffer more than they already do
heavy hand
/hˈɛvi hˈænd/
the use of excessive force, control, or authority in a way that can be harsh or oppressive
iron hand / fist in a velvet glove
/ˈaɪɚn hˈænd fˈɪst ɪn ɐ vˈɛlvɪt ɡlˈʌv/
a person who appears gentle and kind on the outside, but they are firm, resolute, and even ruthless in their actions
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