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build a fire under someone

Slang definitions & phrases for build a fire under someone

build a fire under someone

verb phrase

To encourage and incite someone forcibly: Let's get those people moving if we have to build a fire under them (1950s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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