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hammer and tongs

with great vigor, determination, or vehemence:
When he starts a job he goes at it hammer and tongs.
Origin of hammer and tongs
hard, energetically, fiercely, wholeheartedly. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for hammer-and-tongs
Historical Examples
  • After some slight exchanges they began a hammer-and-tongs game, in which Proser scored heavily.

  • He slapped Ferdy in the mouth, and the next second they were at it hammer-and-tongs.

    Gordon Keith Thomas Nelson Page
  • Would he make a stand against disciplined tars who were accustomed to close in, hammer-and-tongs?

    Blackbeard: Buccaneer Ralph D. Paine
  • I wasn't afraid of his frown or of his hammer-and-tongs manner.

    The Militants Mary Raymond Shipman Andrews
  • But in no case have I much faith in the hammer-and-tongs process at the opening of a campaign.

  • In another moment they were both at it, hammer-and-tongs, with the advantage in Bulger's favor, owing to his build and strength.

  • Moreover, the very next day I heard of a more congenial matter in the hammer-and-tongs department of my august profession.

    Canada for Gentlemen James Seton Cockburn
  • For this kind of irregular guerilla warfare was even more in Cleg's way than a plain, hammer-and-tongs, knockdown fight.

    Cleg Kelly, Arab of the City S. R. (Samuel Rutherford) Crockett
Slang definitions & phrases for hammer-and-tongs

hammer and tongs

adverb phrase

Very violently; with full force: We went at each other hammer and tongs

[1708+; reflecting use of both the blacksmith's main tools]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with hammer-and-tongs

hammer and tongs

Forcefully, with great vigor. For example, She went at the weeds hammer and tongs, determined to clean out the long neglected flowerbed. Often put as go at it hammer and tongs, this phrase alludes to the blacksmith's tools. [ c. 1700 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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