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Idiom

Have a Bone to Pick with Someone: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
To want to talk to someone about something annoying that they have done.
Origin
Have a bone to pick with someone Imagine two dogs and one bone. What do you think will happen? Will they politely discuss who should have the bone or will they jump down each other’s throats and fight to the bitter end? The latter would probably be the most probable outcome.

The ‘bone’ therefore represents a metaphor for an argument and a bone of contention, something to fight over.Now, to pick a bone, on the other hand is a long and laborious job. First you need to crack the bone in order to get to the delicious marrow inside. Therefore, a bone to pick is a matter or issue that is expected to require considerable discussion or argument. Put these meanings together and you will understand “have a bone to pick with someone!”
Examples
– Hey, I’ve got a bone to pick with you! Did you or did you not borrow my favourite jumper without asking?

I had a bone to pick with her but she is so lovely that I forgot about it.

– You better not come to the pub tonight as Gary’s got a bone to pick with you!