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twist in the wind

Slang definitions & phrases for twist in the wind

twist slowly in the wind

verb phrase

To suffer protracted humiliation, obloquy, regret, etc: The second mistake was to let Sherrill twist slowly in the wind/ just letting you twist slowly, slowly in the wind

[1973+; perhaps coined by John Ehrlichman, an aide of President Richard Nixon, fr the gruesome image of a hanging body]


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 twist in the wind
Be abandoned to a bad situation, especially be left to incur blame, as in The governor denied knowing it was illegal and left his aide to twist in the wind. It is also put as leave twisting in the wind, meaning “abandon or strand in a difficult situation,” as in Sensing a public relations disaster, the President left the Vice-President twisting in the wind. This expression, at first applied to a President's nominees who faced opposition and were abandoned by the President, alludes to the corpse of a hanged man left dangling and twisting in the open air. [ ; early 1970s ]
Also see: out on a limb
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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