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have words with

Quarrel with, scold, as in If Pete keeps on pushing Billy I'm going to have words with him . This phrase dates from the late 1700s, although the use of words for an altercation is much older. Also see have a word with
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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