Throw someone a bone
Posted by R. Berg on March 31, 2001
In Reply to: Throw someone a bone posted by ESC on March 31, 2001
: : : Could someone please clarify. When you "throw someone a bone", is this considered to be a nice jesture or perhaps an appeasement? In other words is it a good or bad thing? Thank you in advance.
: : There''s always a whiff of condescension involved in this. A patronizing "poor thing. out of the goodness of my heart I'll...." It's possible to read good intentions into it, but it's a chilly good deed.
: The person doing the throwing is in the superior/master position. And the second person is in the dog role. I guess it's better to be tossed a bone than to be kicked. That's one way of looking at it.
"Appeasement" is indeed a component of what I understand "throw a bone" to mean. Another word that fits is "tokenism."