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Bite the Hand that Feeds You

Bite the Hand that Feeds You Definition

Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. Don’t mistreat or hurt someone you depend on or that has helped you.

Bite the Hand that Feeds You Examples

  • “Mom won’t let me go to the concert. So I’m going to eat all her chocolates!” “I wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds you Matt, that could end badly.”
  • Jeff said he wouldn’t tip because they forgot to get him extra credit. I told him not to bite the hand that feeds him. Literally! Who knows what they’ll do to the food next time!

Quotes

People who bite the hand that feeds them usually lick the boot that kicks them.

Eric Hoffer

The proverb warns that ‘You should not bite the hand that feeds you.’ But maybe you should, if it prevents you from feeding yourself.

Thomas Szasz

Bite the Hand that Feeds You Origin

Literary Origin

“having looked to government for bread, on the very first scarcity they will turn and bite the hand that fed them

Edmund Burke, Thoughts on the Cause of the Present Discontents, 1770

The earliest appearance of the phrase as we use it today appears to be from a political pamphlet by Irish politician and philosopher Edmund Clarke.

Spiritual Origin

There is no place for grief in a house which serves the Muse.

Sappho

Multiple sources have pointed to the Greek poet Sappho from the island of Lesbos as the spiritual origin of this idiom. Although no example has given a source. The quote above is purely a guess on my part as a quote that holds a similar meaning to our idiom.