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What does it mean when someone says, 'I have a bone to pick with you'?

Having a bone to pick with someone
Having a bone to pick with someone

If somebody says, "I've got a bone to pick with you" means that person has some complaint to make against you.

The expression is used quite often; however, most people don't know its origin.

This phrase dates back to the 16th century. The saying, "I have a bone to pick with you "means that the person has something that they want to talk to you about.

The analogy simply refers to a dog chewing endlessly on, and "picking clean," a large bone. A "bone to pick" is thus a subject or issue that is expected to require considerable discussion or argument.

Two people will debate or argue until there is nothing left to argue about on a subject or issue. Usually when a person introduces a conversation that way, expect a complaint or a grievance to come up. Make no mistake about it, it is never about anything good.

The idiom means to have a small dispute to settle with someone. The expression is an introduction to what is coming next.

The next time someone tells you he has a bone to pick with you, be prepared for a debate of some kind.

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