phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Phrases, Sayings and Idioms Home > Discussion Forum

Re: Bite you...

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 02, 2005

In Reply to: Bite you... posted by Cheryl on October 30, 2005

: I searched thru the archives and couldn't find this one anywhere...

: The meaning of the phrase "It will turn around and bite you in the ass."

Plainly the phrase can mean slightly different things according to context, but in general it means that things bite back. Biting you in the ass is just using a vulgarism to spice up the phrase. When you try to fix something, improve something, help someone, it or he/she may bite back, may turn on you deliberately or accidentally. "No good deed goes unpunished," as Claire Boothe Luce pointed out. Unintended or unexpected consequences can befall even the most generous and high-minded altruists, as well as ungenerous small-minded vandals. There's an interesting book about the consequences of improving technology, or just improving the situations in which we live, to wit, Edward Tenner: "Why things bite back: technology and the revenge of unintended consequences" (Knopf, 1996).

This phrase is not really related to "Bite me," which is a polite form of "Bite my ass!" I think the latter phrase is an even ruder way to say "Kiss my ass!" SS