Bone

Bred in the bone. A part of one's nature. “What's bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.” A natural propensity cannot be repressed. Naturam furcâ expellas, autem usque redibit.

Bone in my Throat
I have a bone in my throat. I cannot talk; I cannot answer your question. I have a bone in my leg. An excuse given to children for not moving from one's seat Similarly, “I have a bone in my arm,” and must be excused using it for the present.

Bone of Contention

A disputed point; a point not yet settled. The metaphor is taken from the proverb about “Two dogs fighting for a bone,” etc.

Bones

Deucalion, after the Deluge, was ordered to cast behind him the bones of his mother, i.e. the stones of mother earth. Those thrown by Deucalion became men, and those thrown by his wife, Pyrrha, became women. Pindar suggests that laas, a stone, is a pun on laos, the people. Both words, in the genitive case singular, are alike laou. (Olynthics, ix. 66.)

Bone to pick

(A). A sop to Cerberus. A lucrative appointment given to a troublesome opponent in order to silence him. Thus Chisholm Anstey was sent to Hong-Kong as a judge to keep him away from the House of Commons Of course the allusion is to throwing a bone to a dog barking at you.

“In those days the usual plan to get rid to an oratorical patriot in the House was to give him `a bone to pick.' ” —Anthony Collins.

I have a bone to pick with you. An unpleasant matter to settle with you. At the marriage banquets of the Sicilian poor, the bride's father, after the meal, used to hand the bridegroom a bone, saying, “Pick this bone, for you have taken in hand a much harder task.”

Bone

(See Albadara; Luz; Os Sacrum.)

Bone

(To). To filch, as, I boned it. Shakespeare (2 Henry VI., act i. 3) says, “By these ten bones, my lord ...” meaning his ten fingers; and (Hamlet, iii. 2) calls the fingers “pickers and stealers.” Putting the two together there can be no doubt that “to bone” means to finger, that is, “to pick and steal.”

You thought that I was buried deep
Quite decent-like and chary,
But from her grave in Mary-bone,
They've come and boned your Mary!

Hood: Mary's Ghost.

Bone-grubber
(A). A person who grubs about dust-bins, gutters, etc., for refuse bones, which he sells to bone-grinders, and other dealers in such stores.

Bone-lace

Lace woven on bobbins made of trotter-bones.

Bone-shaker

(A ). A four-wheel cab; also an old bicycle.

“A good swift hansom is worth twice as much as a `bone-shaker' any day.” —Nineteenth Century, March, 1893, p. 473.

Boned

I boned him. Caught or seized him. (See above, Bone.)

Bones

The man who rattles or plays the bones in nigger troupes.

To make no bones about the matter, i.e.
no difficulty, no scruple. Dice are called “bones,” and the French, flatter le dé (to mince the matter), is the opposite of our expression. To make no bones of a thing is not to flatter, or “make much of,” or humour the dice in order to show favour.

Napier's bones.
(See under Napier.) Without more bones. Without further scruple or objection. (See above, “Make no bones,” etc.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Bone from Fact Monster:

  • Bône - Bône: Bône: see Annaba, Algeria.
  • Annaba - Annaba Annaba , formerly Bône(bōn), city (1998 pop. 348,554), capital of Annaba prov., ...
  • The Top Ten: Longest Bones in the Human Body - December 17 - 24 Longest Bones in the Human Body Rank Bone Avg. Inches 1. Femur (thighbone) 19.9 2. ...
  • bone black - bone black bone black, solid black material, largely carbon, produced by heating animal bones to ...
  • funny bone - funny bone funny bone, highly sensitive area at the back of the elbow where the ulnar nerve passes ...

Related Content