kick against the pricks

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Biblical phrase; see citation below.


kick against the pricks

  1. (idiomatic) To kick back (of an animal etc.) against being goaded.
  2. (idiomatic, figuratively) to struggle against one's fate. [from 14th c.]
    • 1526, William Tyndale, trans. Bible, Acts IX:
      The lorde sayd, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest, it shalbe harde for the to kycke against the pricke.
    • 1913, D.H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, chapter 4
      Paul was laid up with an attack of bronchitis. He did not mind much. What happened happened, and it was no good kicking against the pricks.
    • 2010, Dan Hancox, The Guardian, 8 Dec 2010:
      Middle-class, indie-loving, media-savvy 18-40-year-olds in their tens of thousands joined Facebook groups, signed online petitions, added Twibbons, wrote letters of complaint and politely but efficiently kicked against the pricks.