phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Throw someone under the bus?

Posted by ESC on January 23, 2007

In Reply to: Throw someone under the bus? posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 23, 2007

: : : Does anyone know the origin of the saying to Throw someone under the bus?

: : Origins are somewhat tricky, to say the least, but there's a hint inone of these definitions from the Urban Dictionary, which lists the opinions of anyone willing to offer one.

: : 1. throw under the bus
: : 48 up, 5 down

: : to sacrifice some other person, usually one who is undeserving or at least vulnerable, to make personal gain.

: : He'd throw his mother under the bus if it'd mean he could beat the rap.
: :
: : 2. 29 up, 6 down
: :
: : One is thrown under the bus when they are made the scapegoat or blamed for something that wasn't their responsibility in the first place. A coverup for your mistake.

: : Ruby Red, I didn't have time to do the business report, so I threw you under the bus and told the boss it was your job instead.

: : 3. 37 up, 19 down
: :
: : You get thrown under the bus when someone (usually a co-worker) reports some wrongdoing or slacking off to a superior or other influential person. Sometimes used with the suffix "Vrooooom!" to simulate the noise the bus would make as it passes by at a high rate of speed.

: : "Dicky George, I can't believe you just threw me under the bus."

: : 4. 15 up, 10 down
: :
: : Physically throwing a person under a big, smelly city bus is the perfect metaphor for the act of positioning someone to be ground up under the wheels of the ever rolling omnibus of society in your stead. The bus carries people. The people's weight is what crushes the victim. This setting up of a patsy has an earlier, more agrarian beginning in "throwing him to the wolves." Someone is going down, it's not going to be you, so you select a candidate to feed into the system.

: : "Throw under the bus"
: : Every time the president gets in trouble, he'll throw another cabinet member under the bus.
: : tags throw to the wolves fall-guy patsy omnibus take the fall

: : 5. 15 up, 16 down
: :

: : 1. To reveal information damaging to another's character as to a boss or girlfriend.

: : Yo, Ben, thanks for throwing me under the bus with that remark about those girls.

: : 6. 8 up, 38 down
: :
: : This is what you do when you can't think of any other way to break up with your girlfriend.

: : I didn't want to hurt Jane's feelings, so I just threw her a s s under the bus instead.

: : SS

: The image of throwing somebody to the wolves derives from tales of the Russian winter, in which the occupants of a sleigh being chased by ravening wolves toss one of their number out, so that the wolves will spend time devouring him/her and will only return to the chase of the sleigh later, if at all, giving the others the chance of escaping entirely.

From the archives:
From "Slang: the Authoritative Topic-by-Topic Dictionary of American Lingoes from All Walks of Life" by Paul Dickson (Pocket Books, New York, 1990), under "Automotive Slang," "throw under a bus -- Sales talk for selling someone a car or van with all the extras and options at full sticker price or better."