wring the withers

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Stir the emotions or sensibilities; after Shakespeare's Hamlet ‘let the galled jade wince, our withers are unwrung.’ The withers are the highest part of a horse's back, lying at the base of the neck above the shoulders, and the word is apparently a reduced form of widersome, from obsolete wither- ‘against, contrary’ (as the part that resists the strain of the collar).

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