throw under the bus

throw under the bus

Meaning | Synonyms

  • to betray a partner, colleague or close friend for self-benefits
  • to blame somebody or something
  • to deceive a friend or partner for selfish reasons
  • to betray an acquaintance to divert blame
  • to dissociate oneself from an unfavorable position on issue
  • to betray an acquaintance to divert blame or dissociate oneself from an unfavorable position on issue

Example Sentences

  1. Mark always looks for someone to blame and throw under the bus for his failings.
  2. When the FBI missed a tip about the man who became a school
    shooter, the FBI director was thrown under the bus by the state
    Governor who called for his resignation so he wouldn’t be blamed for
    the incident.
  3. John only wants the admiration and when things go wrong – he always finds for someone to throw under the bus.
  4. I am sure that my boss will throw me under the bus for the failed project.
  5. I think that I am always the one that people throw under the bus first.
  6. It’s shocking to know how my Dad got thrown under the bus by his colleague.
  7. When the FBI missed a tip about the man who became a school shooter, the FBI director was thrown under the bus by the state Governor who called for his resignation so he wouldn’t be blamed for the incident.

Origin

Although, the exact origin of this phrase has been a big mystery. It seems that the phrase was originated in Britain somewhere between the late 1970s and early 1980s.

However, some older printed records are also available used for different contexts and meanings.

In its current idiomatic usage – the oldest printed record of the phrase we can trace is dated back to June 21, 1982, as an idiomatic expression published by an English newspaper known as The Times in British politics.

“The Conservative benches listened to her in silence. She was in deep trouble and the lobbies hummed with the prospect of her departure. President Galtieri had pushed her under the bus which the gossips had said was the only means of her removal.”

– Julian Critchley, The Times (London, English), 21 June 1982

Variants

  • push under the bus
  • shove under the bus

T 3 Thoughts

3 Thoughts

Donovan McNabb made the them popular in the US in 2005 when using it against teammate Terrell Owens.

- Anthony K Okoth September 1, 2022

As a Great Generation member, this idiom was totally new to me. In other words, true – it hasn’t been around very long. However, I liked it immediately. I felt it had been needed in our language. I often use SHOVE – ‘she shoved me under the bus.” it seems to fit more.
A similarly modern idiom is “Kicked to the curb”

- Susan G Dunn November 30, 2021

I said “sweep it under the bus”

- Anonymous October 23, 2021

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