How do you describe a person who is twisting and bending their body in reaction to great physical pain?

I have found "to writhe" and "to squirm"as verbs, and both of them mean " to make twisted movements". I have noticed that "squirm" is used for "worms" too.

1- What is the difference between "writhe" and "squirm"?

2- Can we use "squirm" for people too or it is considered rude?

3- What does this sentence (heard in American movies) mean: "I want to watch you squirm"?

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Yes, you certainly can use the word squirm about people

For people, writhing is considered a response to physical pain and squirming a response to embarrassment.

I want to watch you squirm

Means that I will enjoy your humiliation

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  • 2
    +1. Animals can also squirm. Squirming is a contorting of the body in an attempt to escape a situation (as with human embarrassment, or a puppy trying to get loose and run away). – Tᴚoɯɐuo Mar 10 '16 at 12:15
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    For a great practical demonstration of animal squirming, pick up a cat that does not like you. – Robert Columbia Apr 15 '17 at 14:24

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