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handbags at dawn


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun UK, humorous, idiomatic A catty squabble.


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

In British slang a fight where the protagonists are unable or unwilling to seriously hurt each other is commonly refered to as a handbag fight, in reference to the way girls fight by hitting each other with their handbags. Handbags at dawn is therefore a combination of the above with an allusion to 'pistols at dawn' style duelling to describe a conflict brought about by a perceived slight or offense to one's honour but which is nevertheless unlikely to result in any serious injury.


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  • Ruth Buzzi meant business with her handbag.

    July 17, 2015