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worm turns, the

Also, the worm has turned. Even a very tolerant person will one day lose patience. For example, He bullied his assistant for years, but one day the worm turned and he walked out without notice, taking along his best clients. This expression comes from the proverb Tread on a worm and it will turn, first recorded in John Heywood's 1546 collection.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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