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dom•i•na•tion(ˌdɒm əˈneɪ ʃən)
browbeat To intimidate by stern looks or words; to bully; to push around. Dating from about 1600, this term refers to the brows of the beater and not the beaten, as is commonly supposed today. However, it is unclear whether to beat in the expression means to beat figuratively with one’s brows or ‘to lower’ one’s brows at, i.e., to frown at.
crack the whip To command or control; to run a tight ship; to be strict with. The allusion is to the threatening crack of a whip used to keep horses and slaves moving or in line.
have by the short hairs To have complete mastery or control over, to have someone right where you want him. The British equivalent of this expression, to have by the short and curlies, makes this rather obvious reference to pubic hair more explicit. Use of the phrase dates from the latter half of the 19th century.
Those Chinhwan really did seem to have got the rest of the world by the short hairs. (Blackwood’s Magazine, February, 1928)
have by the tail To be in control, to be in the driver’s seat; to be certain of success. Tail in this phrase refers to the buttocks and backside. This American slang expression appeared in S. Long-street’s The Pedlocks (1951):
Oh, I know all young people are sure they can have it by the tail, permit me that indelicate phrase, but can you and Alice really be happy?
have one’s foot on [someone’s] neck To be in a superior, dominating position; to have someone at one’s mercy; to have complete control over another person. This expression owes its origin to the following Biblical passage:
Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings … for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. (Joshua 10:24-25)
A similar phrase is have under one’s thumb.
lead by the nose To completely dominate another, particularly one who is weak-willed or easily intimidated. This expression refers to the practice of leading some animals by their noses; horses and asses, for example, are guided by means of a bit and bridle, while cattle and camels frequently have a ring through the nose. Thus, the implication in this expression is both demeaning and derisive, i.e., that a person led by the nose has the intelligence, initiative, and decisiveness of a beast of burden.
Because thy rage against me, and thy tumult, is come up into mine ears, therefore will I put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips, and I will turn thee back by the way by which thou earnest. (Isaiah 37:29)
The Moor is of a free and open nature
That thinks men honest that but seem to be so,
And will as tenderly be led by the nose
As asses are.
(Shakespeare, Othello, I, iii)
make [someone’s] beard To have a person totally under one’s control or at one’s mercy. This obsolete expression, dating from the 14th century, derives from the fact that a barber who is making (i.e., dressing) a man’s beard has complete control over him. The longer expression make [someone’s] beard without a razor carries this power to the limit—it is a euphemism for ‘behead.’
If I get you … I shall deliver you to Joselyn, that shall make your beard without any razor. (John Bourchier Berners’ translation of Froissart’s Chronicles, 1525)
ride herd on To dominate completely, to tyrannize; to crack the whip, to whip into line or shape, to maintain strict order and discipline; to drive hard, to oppress, to harass. The expression comes from the practice of driving cattle by riding along the outer edge of the herd, thus keeping their movement and progress under tight control. Webster’s Third cites Erie Stanley Gardner’s figurative use of the phrase:
Here comes an officer to ride herd on us.
Though ride herd on most often connotes the use of pressure, harassment, or coercion, occasionally it is used in the milder sense of simple oversight—keeping an eye on another’s performance.
ride roughshod over To treat abusively; to trample on or walk all over; to tyrannize, suppress, or dominate; to act with total disregard of another’s rights, feelings, or interests. The expression usually implies that one is ruthlessly advancing himself at another’s expense and hurt. A horse is roughshod when the nails of its shoes project, affording more sure-footed progress but also damaging the ground over which it travels. Robert Burns used the phrase in 1790; it remains in common currency.
’Tis a scheme of the Romanists, so help me God!
To ride over your most Royal Highness roughshod.
(Thomas Moore, Intercepted Letters, 1813)
rule the roost To be in charge or control, to dominate. Though the expression makes perfect sense when seen as stemming from the imperious habits of gamecocks, its origin more likely lies in a corruption of rule the roast, common in England since the mid-16th century but itself of uncertain origin. As used in some early citations, roast appears to suggest a council or ruling body of some sort. Though this latter form is rarely heard in the U.S., it remains more common in England than rule the roost. Webster’s Third cites W. S. Gilbert’s use of the phrase:
Wouldn’t you like to rule the roast, and guide this university?
settle [someone’s] hash To subdue, control, suppress, or otherwise inhibit; to squelch someone’s enthusiasm; to give a comeuppance; to make mincemeat of; to get rid of or dispose of someone. This expression alludes to hash as a jumbled mess; therefore, to settle [someone’s] hash originally meant to kill someone, implying that his murder settles, once and for all, the jumble of his mental and emotional woes.
My finger was in an instant on the trigger, and another second would have settled his hash. (Edward Napier, Excursions in Southern Africa, 1849)
The expression has been extended somewhat to include less drastic means of subdual.
Simon Legree A cruel, heartless taskmaster; an employer, foreman, or overseer. Simon Legree was the villainous slave dealer in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Nowadays, the expression is often applied somewhat humorously to any taskmaster.
At least $20 is going into a kitty to help Lewis pay for some dead horses which he has managed to scrape up during his tenure as the miner’s Simon Legree. (Retail Coalman, November, 1949)
take in tow See GUIDANCE.
wear the pants To be the dominant member; to be in control. This expression alludes to the stereotypic male dominance over women. In common usage, the expression usually refers to a domineering wife who, in essence, controls the household.
with a high hand Overbearingly, arbitrarily, arrogantly, imperiously, tyrannically, dictatorially. The expression originally meant ‘triumphantly’ as illustrated by this Biblical passage describing the delivery of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage:
On the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians. (Numbers 33:3)
The phrase apparently entered the English language with John Wycliffe’s translation of the Bible in 1382. There is, however, no explanation as to how or why the expression shifted in meaning from the original sense of ‘triumphantly’ to today’s exclusive meaning of ‘arrogantly’ or ‘imperiously.’
|Noun||1.||domination - social control by dominating |
social control - control exerted (actively or passively) by group action
bossism - domination of a political organization by a party boss
|2.||domination - power to dominate or defeat; "mastery of the seas"|
transcendence, transcendency, superiority - the state of excelling or surpassing or going beyond usual limits