To nettle means to irritate or provoke someone to the point of anger or annoyance.
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Excerpts from News Articles
When popular historians write about kings and their mistresses, they always perform this elaborate bafflement when the royal in question doesn’t select for beauty, like a judge in Miss World: “Countess So-and-so was no beauty, yet Prince Whatshisface was smitten …” But when you consider the royal family, none of whom look remotely happy except in those split seconds when a horse has just won something – King Charles was “metaphorically born with a headache”, in the words of the royal biographer Hugo Vickers – it is not difficult to understand why the heir to the throne was drawn inexorably to the one woman in his circle who didn’t have an expression like a bulldog licking a nettle .
Nowadays, many families opt for ready dye sets, but some Bulgarians also rely on plants for dyeing eggs: beetroot for red dye, onion shells for yellow dye, nettle for green dye, and red onion shells for purple dye.
Unfortunately, there’s no straightforward way to avoid his request without causing offense. Ignoring him might simply prompt him to pester you further, and your aim is apparently to get him out of your life, not to have him buzzing around you like a nettled wasp. You could give him what he wants in order to keep the peace, but that might gnaw at your conscience.
The nettle is especially difficult to grasp because the very concept of ‘bullying’ is contested far more fiercely than other forms of misconduct, such as sexual harassment.