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sadism directed toward animals. — zoosadist, n. — zoosadistic, adj.


  1. Ached from head to foot, all zones of pain seemingly interdependent … like a Christmas tree whose lights wired in series, must all go out if even one bulb is defective —J. D. Salinger
  2. Ached like a bad tooth —Lawrence Durrell
  3. The air burning my lungs like a red-hot iron or cutting into them like a sharpened razor —Albert Camus
  4. Anguish poured out like blood from a gaping wound —Jonathan Kellerman

In Kellerman’s novel, When the Bough Breaks, the anguish is being poured out by a patient to the psychologist hero.

  • Bruised like a half-back in a football game —Francis W. Crowninshield
  • [Rash] burned like dots of acid —William Kennedy
  • Cut like a whiplash —Ruth Chatterton
  • (Walked out into) the dazzling sun that cut into his eyes like a knife —John Dos Passos
  • A deadly vise of pain that clamped her head like a steel helmet —Arthur A. Cohen
  • Exposed it [pain] like a beggar used to making a show of his sores —Julia O’Faolain
  • Feel like somebody stuck thumbtacks all over my head —James Lee Burke
  • Felt as if I’d been crushed between two runaway wardrobes —J. B. Priestly

    This “similistic” comment is made by the hero of Lost Empires after being beaten up.

  • Felt as though his body were wrapped in layers of plaster cast —Kenzaburo Oë

    The plaster cast comparison was used by the author to describe a character who wakes up feeling stiff and achy all over.

  • Felt her head was going to break open like a coconut struck with a hammer —Marge Piercy
  • Felt pain like hot knives —Anon
  • A flash of pain darted through her, like the ripple of sheet lightning —Edith Wharton
  • For a second he remained in torture, as if some invisible flame were playing on him to reduce his bones and fuse him down —D.H. Lawrence
  • A gash … as wide as an open grave —Jimmy Sangster
  • Generalized racking misery that makes him feel as if his pores are bleeding and his brain is leaking out of his ears —T. Coraghessan Boyle
  • A head like a sore tooth —Anon
  • Her stomach reacted as though she’d eaten sulfuric pancakes —Rita Mae Brown
  • An hour of pain is as long as a day of pleasure —English proverb
  • The hurt had gone through her like the split in a carcass —Julia O’Faolain
  • The hurt I felt … was something like a thumb struck with a hammer —MacDonald Harris
  • Hurt … like a knot passing through an artery —Donald McCaig
  • (My brother’s laugh is small, sharp, and) hurts like gravel in your shoe —Sharon Sheehe Stark
  • It [the pain of failure] was like a gnawing physical disability, an ugly mark she wanted to hide —H. E. Bates
  • A knot of pain was set like a malignant jewel in the core of his head —Truman Capote
  • (Your letter was) like a bullet straight into my heart —Sholom Aleichem
  • My back ached as if someone were holding a welding torch against my spine, turning the flame on and off at will —W. P. Kinsella
  • My breast was contracted by a pain like screws clamped on my heart —Joyce Cary
  • My insides burned like pipes in a boiler —Governeur Morris
  • My intestines felt as if they were playing host to a Bears-Raiders game —Penny Ward Moser, Discover, February, 1987
  • My stomach feels as if I have swallowed razor blades —W. P. Kinsella
  • My stomach feels like the crop of a hen —Katherine Mansfield
  • My whole body glows with pain as if I were being electrocuted —Iris Murdoch
  • Nausea coiled like a snake in her stomach —A. E. Maxwell
  • Pain and pleasure, like light and darkness, succeed each other —Laurence Sterne
  • The pain between his eyes seemed to be whirling about like a pinwheel —R. Wright Campbell
  • Pain comes billowing on like a full cloud of thunder —Dante Gabriel Rossetti
  • Painful … like cutting the heart out of her body —Phyllis Bottome

    The pain described in Bottome’s short story, The Battle Field, is that of never seeing someone again.

  • The pain goes ringing through me like alarms —Delmore Schwartz
  • Pain … hard as blows —John Berryman
  • The pain in his chest was like a tight breastplate —Graham Swift
  • Pain is immune to empathy … like love —Barbara Lazear Ascher, New York Times /Hers, October 16, 1986
  • Pain is like a love affair. When it’s over, it’s over —Elyse Sommer
  • Pain lifted like a fog that gives way to bright sunlight —Maurice Edelman
  • Pain … like a metal bar —Graham Swift
  • Pain (lingering) … like a stone pit lodged in the stomach —Anon
  • Pain rising as periodically as high water —William H. Gass
  • (The sympathy that it arouses is as) painful as charity —Mihail Lermontov
  • Pains are flinging her about like an old rag, a filthy torn rag doll —Vicki Baum
  • The pain seemed to rock inside him like a weight that would overturn him —Graham Swift
  • Pains … like streams of pulsating fire heating him to an intolerable temperature —Ambrose Bierce
  • Pain … slopped through his head like water into a sand-castle —Kingsley Amis
  • Pains that shrieked like alarm bells —Jane Rogers
  • Pain tightens like a strip of hot metal across Martin’s chest —Robert Silverberg
  • Pain … twisting like currents in a river —Martin Amis
  • Pain whistled through my body like splintered glass —Ross Macdonald
  • Pain would advance and recede like waves on a beach —Nathaniel Benchley
  • People in pain are like the wandering minstrels of the Renaissance. Any occupied space becomes their court. If the story’s told often enough, perhaps the demons will become manifest. Made visible and mastered through words —Barbara Lazear Ascher, New York Times /Hers, October 16, 1986
  • A persistent jabbing in her chest that tapped back and forth like an admonishing finger —Molly Giles
  • Pierce … like misplaced trust —John Drury
  • (Though we love pleasure, we) play with pain like a tongue toying with a bad tooth —George Garrett
  • The pounding in his head was like ten thousand hammers —Niven Busch
  • Press like a blunt thumb —Lawrence Durrell
  • Prolonged pain is like a fire in the house, it causes you to flee and wander homeless —Barbara Lazear Ascher, New York Times/Hers, October 16, 1986
  • Shudder at the thrust of pain like a virgin at the thrust of love —George Garrett
  • Spine ached as if it had been twisted like a cat’s tail —Bernard Malamud
  • Sting you like scorn —Thomas Hardy
  • (Irony …) stung like squirts from a leaky hose —Geoffrey Wolff
  • Suffering is cheap as grass and free as the rain that falls on saint and sinner alike —George Garrett
  • A sweet bewildering pain, like flowers in the wind and rain —Thomas Ashe
  • [A broken ankle] swelled like a soccer ball —Clive Cussler
  • Swollen face throbbing as if it has been pumped up with a bellows —Elena Poniatowska
  • Throat … like sandpaper soaked in salt —H. E. Bates
  • Throat … like a thicket of nettles —Arthur Train
  • [The lack of respect] tormented him like a raging thirst —Marge Piercy
  • Woke up feeling as if someone had tied sandbags to my hair —Jonathan Valin
  • Writhed like a trampled snake —Oscar Wilde
  • (Sat on a bench) writhing like a woman in labor —Isaac Babel
  • Writhing … like the poor shell-fish set to boil alive —John Greenleaf Whittier
  • pain

    - Originally meant punishment for a crime or offense—sometimes by losing one's head.

    See also related terms for losing .

    Category: Bank

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