One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Threaten to take aggressive action.See also saber-rattling
- ‘That could be changing, as China continues to rattle sabers and pose increasing strategic instability.’
- ‘But if it was so successful, why are we rattling sabers now?’
- ‘It talks tough, talks big, and rattles sabres but never puts its money where its mouth is.’
- ‘Why are India and Pakistan still rattling sabres and missiles at one another over Kashmir?’
- ‘Ministers are also not required to become emotionally involved, or to throw down ultimatums, or to rattle sabers and make dire threats.’
- ‘She is in no position to rattle sabers at this point.’
- ‘The Russians had rattled sabers throughout 1983, trying to stop NATO's theater missile deployment.’
- ‘The current fear-mongering over Social Security springs from the same totalitarian impulse as motivated those who rattled sabers in the past.’
- ‘We do know that they like to bluster and rattle sabres and all sorts of things.’
- ‘His best divisions were bogged down in Yemen, so he was in a weak position, and he rattled sabers hard as a bluff.’
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