One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘they could torment him without his being able to retaliate’
fight back, strike back, hit back, respond, react, reply, reciprocate, counterattack, return fire, return the compliment, put up a fight, take the bait, rise to the bait, return like for like, get back at someone, get, give tit for tat, give as good as one gets, let someone see how it feels, give someone a dose of their own medicine, give someone a taste of their own medicine
get one's revenge, have one's revenge, take one's revenge, exact revenge, take revenge, wreak revenge, be revenged, revenge oneself, avenge oneself, take reprisals, get even, even the score, settle a score, settle the score, settle accounts, pay someone back, pay someone back in their own coin, pay someone out, repay someone, exact retribution, take an eye for an eye, take an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth
informal give someone their comeuppance
British informal get one's own back
rare give someone a Roland for an Oliver
turn the other cheek
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