low blow

low blow

noun
1.
(in boxing) an illegal blow below the waist of an opponent.
2.
an unfair or unsportsmanlike criticism or attack.

Origin:
1950–55

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

low blow

An unscrupulous attack; an insult. For example, When my roommate moved out without a word of warning, leaving me to pay the entire rent, that was a low blow, or She wanted to win the argument, but bringing up his failed marriage was a low blow. This term alludes to the illegal practice of hitting an opponent in boxing below the belt. [c. 1950]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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