плеваться желчью в кого-н

Is this expression usually used figuratively rather than in a literal sense?

On another note: Why does "желчь" take the instrumental case here, instead of the accusative? Is it because of a reflexive verb?


Желчь figuratively means

раздражение, язвительность, злость ( irritation, annoyance, anger, acrimony ) The usage is figurative, (an idiom "излить/изливать желчь" is more common )

The rule is

После возвратных глаголов никогда не употребляются недушевленные имена существительные в винительном падеже, (Reflexive verbs never take an inanimate noun in the accusative )

With animate nouns the situation is different. It's normal to use accusative in colloquial speech,but not in the written speech.

Он всегда слушается мать и отца.(colloquial).Слушайся Анну.


I might be flawed, but can't this be directly translated as

spitting bile

in the sense of

his response was full of bile and hatred

Oh, and I'd attribute -ся to "own" bile, it's not someone's else bile that gets figuratively thrown around.

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