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No anger is worse than that of a jilted woman. For example, Nancy has nothing good to say about Tom—hell has no fury, you know. This term is a shortening of William Congreve's lines, “Heav'n has no rage, like love to hatred turn'd, nor Hell a fury like a woman scorn'd” (The Mourning Bride, 1697). Similar lines appear in several plays of the same period. Today the proverb is often shortened even more, as in the example.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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