phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Home | Search the website Search | Discussion Forum Home|


Posted by Li Yar on January 15, 2004

In Reply to: Bones posted by trish on January 13, 2004

: : : : : Hello guys I'm an Italian student and I'm translating a film review from empire magazine. Could you help me with the meaning of "If he has any bones about..."? I can't really manage to know what it means. Thanx, VIVI

: : : : 'Bones' in this context is an abbreviation of 'bone of contention,' meaning a source of continuing disagreement.

: : : : 'I have a bone to pick with you' means 'I have reason to disagree or be annoyed with you.'

: : : There's an expression: He didn't make any bones about it. Meaning: he didn't mince words, he spoke directly and plainly.

: : : It would help if you would put the text of the whole paragraph or exchange.

: : Here's the expression I was thinking of: To make no bones about -- to be direct and candid. Dice are called bones... From "Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable" revised by Adrian Room (HarperCollinsPublishers, New York, 1999, Sixteenth Edition).

: What is the origin of "I have a bone to pick with you"?

This expression is from Aramaic, I think - Old Hebrew anyhow. When the oral tradition of scripture was passed down, a little notice omission occured during the book of Genesis. When God decided to make woman to give Adam's right arm a rest, he warned him that he was going to have to lose a bit of genetic material and ossified tissue - it is quite possible that after God announced this, Adam reminded him that he had a bone to pick (to discard). hence th eexpression of somebody who has waited for an opportunity to point out something that they 'have a bone to pick'.

Another, implausible, origin would be that people pick clean the flesh (flense) from bones of animals that they are eating. beasts contend over good marrowbones, so if by analogy two people are both having a go at a bone they could be said both picking at it. so to come together and strive could be said to tbe picking a bone together.