Don't Bite

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on June 10, 2005

In Reply to: Don't Bite posted by John on June 10, 2005

: Does anyone know where the saying "Don't Bite the Hand that Feeds You' came from and where it originated ?

It was used by the 18th century political writer Edmund Burke - "having looked to government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them". But that sounds as though he was using an already-common saying, rather than coining a new one. I suspect it may be hundreds of years older; after all, it's an image that would occur naturally to anyone who's ever had their hand bitten by an animal they were feeding! Anyone have an earlier sighting of the phrase?