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(See also EXTORTION.)
force [someone’s] hand To pressure someone into taking a stand or revealing his beliefs or intentions; to compel someone to act immediately and against his will. In print since the mid-19th century, this expression perhaps derives from card games in which one player forces another to play a particular card and thereby reveal the contents of his hand. Another possible theory is that force [someone’s] hand is like twist [someone’s] arm, suggesting that the present figurative use derives from actual physical force.
knobstick wedding The forced marriage of a pregnant, unwed woman; a shotgun wedding. Churchwardens (lay officers who dealt with the secular affairs of the church and who were the legal representatives of the parish) formerly used their authority to ensure such marriages. The term knobstick ‘a knobbed stick, cane, or club used chiefly as a weapon’ refers to the churchwarden’s staff, the symbol of his office, used as an instrument of coercion, or cudgel.
put the screws to To compel action by exercise of coercion, pressure, extortion, blackmail, etc. The expression derives from an early method of torture involving the use of thumbscrews to extract confessions.
put the squeeze on To pressure another for one’s own purposes; to demand payment or performance by means of harassment or threats.
She hired me to put the squeeze on Linda for a divorce. (Raymond Chandler, High Window, 1942)
shotgun wedding Any union, compromise, agreement, etc., brought about by necessity or threat; originally a wedding necessitated or hastened by the bride-to-be’s pregnancy, a forced marriage; also shotgun marriage. The allusion is to an irate father attempting to protect his daughter’s reputation by using a shotgun to threaten the man responsible for her condition into marrying her. Use of the expression dates from at least 1927.
Werdel … characterized the Brannan plan as a “shotgun wedding between agriculture and labor.” (California Citrograph, January, 1950)
when push comes to shove See EXACERBATION.
|Noun||1.||coercion - the act of compelling by force of authority|
terror - the use of extreme fear in order to coerce people (especially for political reasons); "he used terror to make them confess"
enforcement - the act of enforcing; ensuring observance of or obedience to
|2.||coercion - using force to cause something to occur; "though pressed into rugby under compulsion I began to enjoy the game"; "they didn't have to use coercion"|