What word or phrase does your mother always say?

iron hand

strict or harsh control:
The general governed the country with an iron hand.
Origin of iron hand
1840-50 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for iron hand
  • Then he wet a comb at the cabin's iron hand pump and slicked back his hair and his little brother's hair.
  • Only the iron hand rails remain from the lower run of stairs.
  • Talk not to us of weakness when you have so long broken our spirits by the iron hand of oppression.
British Dictionary definitions for iron hand

iron hand

harsh or rigorous control; overbearing or autocratic force: he ruled with an iron hand
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with iron hand

iron hand

Rigorous control, as in He ruled the company with an iron hand. This usage is sometimes put as iron hand in a velvet glove, meaning “firm but seemingly gentle control,” as in She runs the town with an iron hand in a velvet glove. [ c. 1700 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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