bite head off

bite someone's head off
also, snap one's head off

Meaning | Synonyms

  • overreact in an angry or harsh way
  • reply in a sharp or uncalled for manner
  • respond angrily to a harmless or moderate situation

Example Sentences

  1. His mother nearly bit his head off when he got his new shoes dirty.
  2. The boss was is such a bad mood today. He bit the new guy's head off for being two minutes late this morning.
  3. I told the waitress that my meal was cold, and she practically bit my head off.
  4. I said 'Hello' when I walked in and he nearly snapped my head off. He must have had a bad day at the office.
  5. I'm afraid that if I ask for a leave now, my boss will bite my head off.
  6. Ask your teacher the question you cannot solve. She is not going to bite your head off.

Origin

To bite (or snap) someone's head off is to react angrily to a situation when there is not a valid reason. Usually by either shouting, saying something harsh, scolding or being angry and over critical in an unprovoked, needless, or sudden manner.

This phrase seems to have replaced a much earlier idiom. Dating back to the 1500s, bite someone's nose off. Meaning to answer brusquely or in a snappy fashion. In the current form it has been in use since the eighteenth century.

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