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A guess...

Posted by ESC on March 15, 2000

In Reply to: Bone of Contention posted by Steve Knapp on March 14, 2000

: The question of the origin of the phrase "A Bone of Contention" came up at my office and I wonder if anyone can help?

I thought this would be an easy one. But I couldn't find a thing in any of my reference books. Here's my guess. If you have two dogs (and I do) and one bone, they are going to "fight" over it. One will grab the bone and run. Then the second dog will overtake the runner and snatch the bone away. And so forth. So if there is a particular issue that is causing strife between two people or a group of people, it's a bone of contention. How's that for a guess?