bite the hand that feeds one

From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



  • (file)


bite the hand that feeds one (third-person singular simple present bites the hand that feeds one, present participle biting the hand that feeds one, simple past bit the hand that fed one, past participle bitten the hand that fed one)

  1. (idiomatic) To cause harm to a benefactor (especially one that one is dependent on, thus with the idea that this behaviour is self-damaging).
    • 1967, Rollo May, Psychology and the Human Dilemma, W. W. Norton & Company, →ISBN, page 18:
      Granted that it is not "exquisitely rational" to bite the hand that feeds you, yet that is just what clients and patients do which is one reason they need therapy.
    • 2004 November 15, Jay Newton-Small, “The Dems' Tax (and Spend) Dilemma”, in Time:
      And the reality is, for all the talk about lobbying reform, Congress has never been known to bite the hand that feeds it.
    • 2020 September 23, Nigel Harris, “Comment: We MUST seize the moment”, in Rail, page 3:
      For entirely self-serving reasons, ministers and civil servants never dispelled the public belief that uncaring 'fat cat' privateers or foreign state railways were in control, ramping up fares and creaming off profits which either enriched shareholders or subsidised European rail fares. DfT left train operators to 'take the heat' - which they dutifully did, fearful of speaking up and 'biting the hand that feeds'.
    • 2023 February 23, Mercedes Rosende, The Hand That Feeds You, Bitter Lemon Press, →ISBN:
      "Daddy, don't say that. I don't bite the hand that feeds me. What a horrible expression, 'the hand that feeds you'. How can you say that to me when you used to refuse to feed me, when you punished me by locking me in my room without a scrap of food, so I'd be skinny like Luz and like Mother."


See also[edit]