have a bone to pick

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English[edit]

Verb[edit]

have a bone to pick

  1. (idiomatic, usually followed by with) To have a complaint or grievance (with somebody); to have a contentious issue to discuss.
    • circa 1900, Anna Katharine Green, "The Ruby and the Cauldron":
      "I offered her that sum if she would take the garment back. And she did, she did, and I shall never have to wear that dreadful satin again." ¶ I made a note of this dressmaker's name. She and I may have a bone to pick some day.
    • 1912, Arthur Quiller-Couch, Hocken and Hunken, ch. 18:
      "I have a bone to pick with you," said Mrs Bosenna. . . . "You have not been near Rilla for weeks," she went on, reproachfully.
    • 1992 Sept. 6, Merryl R. Goldberg, "Letters: Jazz," News York Times (retrieved 11 July 2011):
      Clearly, Mr. Jarrett has a bone to pick with musicians like Branford Marsalis, whom he believes "sell out".
    • 2004 July 18, Smita Madhur and Barbara Kiviat, "World Briefing," Time:
      Author John Putzier has a bone to pick with organizations that treat their employees as if they were all clones of one another.

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