all bark and no bite

all bark and no bite


  • threatening, aggressive, but not willing to engage in a fight
  • full of talk, but low on action
  • talk that is more impressive than one can actually do

Example Sentences

  1. I heard he has threatened you with dire consequences if you don not stop that construction. Don't worry, he is all bark and no bite.
  2. He looks rough and dangerous, somewhat like a gangster and talks tough, but he is all bark and no bite.
  3. Jimmy goes on about how he would have done things better had he been in someone else's place. but he is all bark and no bite.
  4. He has threatened me that he will break my leg if I ever go near his house again, but I guess he is all bark and no bite.
  5. He has these grand plans of being an entrepreneur and owning a big business, but he never takes any action. He is all bark and no bite.
  6. His manager had threatened to fire him if he came late again, but did not care much. He knew it was all bark and no bite.
  7. You had said that you would call the police if those people harassed you again, but you didn't. You're all bark and no bite.

The origin of the phrase is not know, but it refers to dogs which bark a lot but do not bite. A different form of the phrase "a barking dog seldom/never bites"


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