Before batteries and household electricity were used to power clocks, most clocks had to be wound by hand to keep operating. Eight-day clocks were designed so they only had to be wound every eighth day and the movement only turned in a clockwise direction. Therefore, someone with an appearance objectionable enough to stop the clock and send the movement spinning in the wrong and opposite direction would be ugly indeed.

"She is so ugly she'd stop an eight-day clock and throw it into reverse."

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"stop an eight-day clock and throw it into reverse." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 23 Sep. 2017. <http://www.phrases.net/phrase/stop-an-eight-day-clock-and-throw-it-into-reverse_16868>.

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