Posted by Masakim on August 29, 2003
In Reply to: "Rear its ugly head"? posted by anne on August 29, 2003
: The phrase "rear its ugly head" seems to come up quite a lot (more than "strange bedfellows", for example, according to google). Does anyone know the origins?
rear its ugly head
Appear. This phrase is used only of something undesirable or unpleasant, as in "The interview went very well until a question about his academic record reared its ugly head."
This expression was first recorded in slightly different from in Anthony Trollope's _Barchester Tower_ : "Rebellion had already reared her hideous head [[within the [bishop's] palace]]."
From _The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms_ by Christine Ammer
Once sex rears its ugly 'ead it's time to steer clear. (Margery Allingham, _Flowers for the Judge_, 1936)