One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Hurt oneself by persisting in useless resistance or protest.
- ‘His conscience was reached: he faced up to the fact that he had been kicking against the pricks.’
- ‘When I last left you - it seems so much longer than seven years - I knew in my heart that I was kicking against the pricks.’
- ‘And it's equally strange how much time you can spend kicking against the pricks, waiting and hoping for things to change - only to find that what you thought you wanted changed was really your safety net.’
- ‘I'm glad - more than glad, I'm indebted in a multitude of ways and even if I disagree with her on the details deeply grateful - that she is around to kick against the pricks, as exhausting and demoralizing an avocation as that is.’
- ‘Young Tim just wants a 10-speed bike but the effort he expends kicking against the pricks - brother, parents, teachers - is enough to drive insane even the healthiest among us.’
- ‘They are still kicking against the pricks for all they are worth but fortunately they have remembered to write some tunes this time around.’
- ‘In his world at least those angry young men of his youth are still forever young and eternally kicking against the pricks.’
- ‘Ned is portrayed as both the good son taking responsibility for his big Irish immigrant family and the rebel offspring of a ne'er do well: lacking guidance but not the urge to kick against the pricks of a boorish Victoria constabulary.’
- ‘He has constantly kicked against the pricks in the film business, hence the curmudgeonly tag.’
- ‘They might have been Dagenham car workers, Yorkshire miners, Scottish dockers, dustbin men or printers, shimmering spectres now from distant times when to kick against the pricks was considered admirable rather than merely pointless.’
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