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With the bark off

Posted by Smokey Stover on March 10, 2005

In Reply to: With the bark off posted by Tan on March 08, 2005

: Grateful if anyone would tell me what this expression means and where it comes from. thanks

: e.g.
: "Your friends will give it to you with the bark off but nobody in your Administration will talk about any instance in which you got it with the bark off."

I guess no one can tell you exactly where or when the phrase originated, but the meaning is fairly plain. The bark protects the tree; it is a protective covering. Human statements, especially those originating from politicians or corporation, often have a protective covering. What is being covered is, of course, simultaneously the truth (covered) and the politician's hind end (protected). Getting the bark off is not always easy. Don't do this to trees, however, as they really need their bark. SS