wring » ring

Chiefly in:   ring so.'s neck , ring one's hands

Classification: English

Spotted in the wild:

  • Ok here comes the part where I wanted to reach through the phone and ring her neck… The MA rudely informs me that she doesn’t have time to call everyone with normal lab results, however the klincher was my second ANA was still positive, but everything else came back negative. (link)
  • She hated to move from the position she was in, but she knew she had to or Mac would ring her neck. She carefully tried to sneak out from under Dillon’s arm only to have it tighten around her waist. (link)
  • I must say, while like all good Americans, I’d like to ring his neck, the tape is just plain pathetic. (link)
  • “Bastard! Pig!” The tiny fists flew again. “Pig! Bastard! I ought’er ring your neck like a scrawny Sunday chicken!” (link)
  • We want to do something besides ring our hands, so we invent symbolic gestures. (link)
  • “The current situation allows them to furrow their brow, ring their hands, gnash their teeth but not do a dadgum thing about it,” he said. (LA Times, July 4, 2005)
  • These cry baby hand ringers of the left are nothing but agents of our enemies have should be locked up for treason for aiding and abetting the enemy during time of war! (link)
  • After more than two years of silent hand-ringing over the occupation and war in Iraq, a series of resolutions and amendments are beginning to open a debate in Congress. (American Friends Service Commitee, June 21, 2005)

The changed sense doesn’t seem to hard, since one can form a ring (with their hands) around another’s neck (altho’ I don’t recommend it).

See also wringer»ringer.

[2005/07/04: Added “ring one’s hands”, plus occurrences. CW.]

| link | entered by David Romano, 2005/04/06 |


  1. 1

    Commentary by Ken Lakritz , 2005/04/06 at 1:33 pm

    I have an entry in the ‘contributions’ section about the occurrence
    of the converse eggcorn (ring -> wring)) in the phrase
    ‘wring the changes.’

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.