bone to pick


a bone to pick with
also, pick a bone with


  • having a complaint that needs to be discussed.
  • something to argue about, a matter to discuss.
  • an unpleasant issue that needs discussion.
  • a person has an issue with another individual, that must be addressed or resolved.
  • two people are literally fighting over an object, an idea, a grievance, or another person.

Example in Sentences

  1. Jake walked up to Robert and told him that he had a bone to pick with him.
  2. Frank was the first one to pick a bone with Johnny, explaining that he was always wrong.
  3. Catrina decided to send Jill a DM telling her that she was about to pick some bones with her.
  4. Ruth was hesitant. She didn’t want to pick a bone with a random guy she’d never met.
  5. Alderman Masterson had a bone to pick with his constituents. They were making unrealistic demands for him to resolve all of the issues within their community.
  6. When it comes to many Americans’ eating habits, the etiquette experts in the United States have a bone to pick.
  7. The two reputed universities in the state have a bone to pick with each other over the reservation policy for admissions.


A bone to pick” is an old idiom that dates back hundreds of years into the past. This proverb has been in use since the 1500s. It was derived from dogs and how they chewed meat off bones. The meaning is also taken from canines and how they oftentimes fight over who gets to gnaw on a bone as a snack. During the late Middle Ages, dogs were primarily owned by hunters, soldiers, and people who could afford to keep them around. They were probably the first people to coin this phrase. This saying has also evolved over time to its modern use.

A bone to pick can also be phrased as “to pick a bone” or “pick a bone.” The phrase is not commonly used today. However, there are some people who say it when they have to address another individual about a problem.

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