Origin of Bone to Pick

Pick has several interpretations. One of these is to consistently pull at something. This is the sense the word has actually in this idiom.

You are watching: I have a bone to pick with you meaning

Many resources state that this expression originates from a dog trying to pick off the meat from a bone, and one connotation of this idiom is trying to settle a daunting time-consuming trouble.

This is most likely related to the truth that dogs often gnaw on a bone for extremely lengthy periods of time, even when the majority of of the meat is gone. This type of consumption dates ago to the 1500s.

The other, even more widespread connotation is to attempt to clear up a problem through someone. This usage just goes ago to the 1800s. It may have actually arisen from the earlier consumption. Conversely, it could come from the concept of 2 dogs fighting over a bone. The the majority of prevalent collocation is to have a bone to pick through (someone).

Instances of Bone to Pick

The dialogue listed below shows 2 university students that are arguing over the notes that one borrowed from the other.

Nisha: Hey! I have actually a bone to pick through you!

Alan: Why? What’s wrong?

Nisha: You asked to borrow my notes from the English class last year, and also I agreed to that. I didn’t agree for you to copy them and also begin marketing them to everyone else in the class.

Alan: Why is that a problem?

Nisha: You’re profiting off of my job-related. Also, the professor more than likely doesn’t mind two students sharing notes. However before, he’d more than likely be pretty upcollection through me if he assumed I was selling them! I might acquire in trouble for this. I lug every one of the hazard, and also you gain all of the benefit.

Alan: All appropriate, fine. You win. I’ll speak offering your notes.

The second dialogue shows a father and also boy arguing around the son’s responsibilities.

Dad: I’ve acquired a bone to pick with you.

Son: What is it?

Dad: You didn’t effectively clean up last night. By leaving food out all night you raised the opportunity of a pest infestation! Due to the fact that of that, I’m required to ground you.

Son: No! Come on!

Dad: Sorry. You need to learn your leschild.

More Examples

The excerpt is from an short article around a professional basketball player. He was upcollection that referees let other players commit fouls on him because of his large size.

This excerpt is about a guy convicted of conspiracy that claims he never before have to have actually gone to prichild.

See more: The Hunt For The Unicorn Killer (Tv) (1999), The Hunt For The Unicorn Killer


The expression a bone to pick suggests a conflict to clear up or a controversial issue that should be debated and also solved.


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