fighting words


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fighting words

n. words intentionally directed toward another person which are so nasty and full of malice as to cause the hearer to suffer emotional distress or incite him/her to immediately retaliate physically (hit, stab, shoot, etc.) While such words are not an excuse or defense for a retaliatory assault and battery, if they are threatening they can form the basis for a lawsuit for assault.

References in periodicals archive ?
Founded in 2009 by The Barrytown Trilogy author and Sean Love, Fighting Words aims to provide primary and secondary level students with the chance to explore their imagination through creative writing.
A speech-based criminal-harassment conviction passes First Amendment muster if it is based on fighting words that target the victim, are capable of inciting an immediate fight, and seriously alarm the victim,'' Gail Johnson's lawyer, Valerie DePalma, wrote in a legal brief.
appealed and the case made its way to the Supreme Court, which is when the term fighting words
But all of the fighting words sounded a lot more like the Republican presidential candidates race than an annual prize for truck maker bragging rights.
Perhaps sensing the increased scrutiny of his candidacy over everything from his jobs record to his views on evolution, Perry ended his remarks with fighting words for the "liberal pundits," advising his supporters about how they should reply when the media downplays the Texas way: "I want you to say, 'That dog won't hunt
Fighting words from a man who admits the next two games are 'must-win' for him.
He acknowledged that Lebanese hummus "is very good" but boasted that "Abu Gosh is the hummus capital of the world" -- fighting words to rival fans.
For Mayweather, a sure Hall of Famer whose only current blemish is that he hasn't fought some of the welterweight (147 pound) division's best fighters - Antonio Margarito, Shane Mosley, Cotto and now Pacquiao - those were fighting words.
Netanyahu did not address the issue at the opening of the weekly cabinet meeting, but the fighting words were echoed by other members of the cabinet, including the Labor party.
Them's fighting words (at least in Elizabethan England), but she was greeted with nothing but a round of laughter and cheers.
Sources: Paul Dickson, War Slang: American Fighting Words and Phrases since the Civil War (2d ed.
I did not like those books and the name Calvin because they seemed to cause these animated discussions, with fighting words, about a split in the Church causing a division between my mother's family, where we loved to go on holidays, and my father's side.